We’re honored to feature HRL athlete Jeff Frank’s HURT 100 race report from January 2017. Jeff finished 8th overall in 27:55:40.
Some say the HURT 100 is so hard because of the technical terrain, some say it’s repeating the same 20-mile loop five times, some say it’s the elevation change, and as with any 100-miler, some say it’s just getting to the start line injury-free. They’re all right.
After 27 hours 55 minutes and 40 seconds, 25,000+ feet of elevation gain/descent, and endless roots and rocks, I finished my first running of the HURT 100 in 8th place overall. This is the long version of the story for my own posterity, so apologies in advance for my long-winded report.
Except for skipping a week of training 3-weeks out from the race while visiting family for the holidays, my training had gone exceptionally well. I had been able to train on the course during day, night, wind, rain, dry, and mud. I felt like I had broken the 20-mile loop into 20 segments and I knew how I wanted to run each of them – where to push, where to hold back, where to watch out for that root I always trip on, etc. All in all I had been consistent in my weekly distance and elevation and was lucky enough to be injury-free going into the race. My biggest week was 4-weeks out and included 100 miles of running with 25,300ft of elevation gain and descent.
My biggest training runs were:
-A 55-mile race here on Oahu with 12,600ft of gain and descent called the Peackock 55-miler: Strava link.
-A 31-mile sunrise-to-sunset session of hill repeats totaling 12,156ft of gain and descent: Strava link.
-A 52-mile old-school run for those training for the HURT 100 locally where you do a night HURT loop and then run to the start of the Honolulu marathon and run that too: Strava link.
-A 43-mile run doing loops on the ‘John Salmonson Special’ route that mixes a portion of the HURT trail with a descent on the pavement back to the race start: Strava link.
My wife Briana and I were joking in the car making the short drive from our apartment in Waikiki to the race start. It felt like I was heading out for another weekend training run. All in all, race day tends to feel like a celebration for me. A celebration of a lot of long hours in training when you can finally run on fresh legs and cash in on all that work. I saw my coach from the Hawaii Running Lab, Mike Garrison at the start. We had a short chat about being patient and then it was time to line up. I knew I needed to be slowed down on the first loop, so I put myself at the back of the pack at the start hoping that would force me to go slowly and not get caught up with ideas of racing at the front.
Loop 1: 4:26:11
For me loop 1 was all about not being lured into running harder than I should. When the conch shell was blown and the race started, I settled in with a pack including one of my regular training partners Jeff Snyder – finisher 2016 HURT 100 and all-around badass. Jeff and I chatted a bit and I figured I’d use his pace to help me stay smart. Coming into the Puaoa flats, course-record holder Gary Robbins was cheering people on and high-fived Jeff and I as we passed. Jeff, with a beard almost down to his chest, joked to Gary and his long red beard, “You’ve got the second best beard on the island.” Gary laughed and we moved on.
On the descent into Manoa Jeff and I had separated a bit in the crowd and I caught up to a couple other training buddies – Alyssa Amos and Malory Peterson. They were laughing and joking and it was great to see them for a bit and be reminded of all the hard miles we had put in together. I’ve never seen two people so happy to be suffering and that attitude ended up getting them both to the finish.
I was determined to treat aid stations like I hated every second being there. The Manoa aid station was packed with friends from the local running community, but I knew they would understand if I kept it short. I locked eyes with Judy Carluccio, a local runner and past HURT 100 finisher, that was volunteering. Having someone with race experience at the aid station like that is like having personalized crew. Water in one bottle, powder and water in the other, and out in under a minute. Boom – Judy nailed it and I was out of Manoa at 1:47 into the race.
The lead men were about 10-20 minutes ahead of me and I knew that was way too close for this early in the race. Sure they were going to spread their lead but I was still probably running too fast and so I tried my best to keep it easy going out of Manoa. Power hiking the ascents, easy run the flats and descents.
I reached the Nuuanu aid station 1:05 later – still too fast. The top 5 men ended up running that segment between :57-1:03. Mike Arnstein, the eventual winner was running without a watch and asked me for the time on my way into Nuuanu. He wasn’t leading but was running well and seemed effortless at this point. I remember feeling like I was holding back and taking it super easy, but the times show that I was still probably going too fast. At Nuuanu, Freddy the aid station captain, seasoned ultra-runner and a friend caught my eye and took care of my bottles while I grabbed watermelon. Bottle, bottle, and see ya later.
At the Nature Center, Briana had kindly set out all my gear in case I wanted anything.
“Here I have a chair,” she offered.
“I’m not sitting down!,” I replied as if sitting down was the most foolish thing she could have suggested. I felt bad not taking her up on what she had worked to set up and added, “Thanks but I’m just waking up. No need to sit just yet.” Bottle, bottle, a honey stinger waffle and gone. I wrapped up my first loop in 4:26:11. That was on target and I had managed to slow down on the way from Nuuanu. I had intended to have my first loop be between 4:30-4:45, so I was on the lower end but still within reason.
Loop 2: 4:50:25
Without the pack of runners around me I ended up getting to Manoa a little faster on the second loop and arrived 1:39 after leaving the Nature Center. Day hikers were out on the Manoa Falls trail so I tried to bounce around them without being too aggressive or taking risks. At the aid station. Catch Judy’s eye on the way in. Bottle, bottle, see ya later.
Up and over to Nuuanu – the heat of the day was starting to hit but I wasn’t feeling it at all. My watch said it was around 80-85 degrees. The sauna sessions I had done leading up to the race were paying off and I felt very comfortable in the heat. Before dropping down into Nuuanu I caught a glimpse of the ocean and beachfront and briefly thought of all the people going about their day while 100 or so runners were up here testing their limits.
French runner Guillaume Calmettes was slogging up a steep section coming out of Nuuanu as I was coming down. I called out “Allez! Allez!” and he shot me a big smile and cheered me on. One of the coolest parts of the HURT 100 is getting to actually see the elite runners over and over again on the course. Every time I would see Guillaume, Jesse Haynes, Mike Arnstein, Alex Nuun, or Jake Rankinen I would try to learn something about the way they were taking on the day.
I reached Nuuanu 1:18 later and saw Gary Robbins hanging out talking to volunteers. I handed off my bottles to Freddy for the same refill as before and went to say Hi. “You’re looking great!,” he said. “Thanks, Gary! Still a long way to go. We’ll see what the day brings.” Freddy handed me my water bottles, I shook Gary’s hand and took off to cross the river.
Nearing the Nature Center I was on the Makiki cross over section of the course that you cross twice and saw Alex Nunn behind me on one of the switchbacks. He caught up to me a minute or two later and, assuming he was starting his 3rd loop I called out to him, “Alex, You’re gonna finish loop 3 before dark at this pace!” He sounded awful and said something along the lines of, ‘Well not really – I’m still on loop 2.’ He explained that he was bouncing back from some major stomach issues.
We were about 2 miles from the Nature Center and I so I decided this was a good chance to run with Alex and see how he handles the course. The next 2 miles were a doctorate course in how to float over rocks and roots. Alex is one of the best on these trails and I finally got to see why. I stayed on his back for the 2 miles and definitely learned a bit about how you can turn a highly technical course into a runnable one by identifying the right footings. It takes a lot of mental focus (for me at least) but I’m hoping to get closer to Alex’s level of agility if I do this race again.
I finished Loop 2 in 4:50 and was still probably running too fast. I anticipated Loop 2 being about 5-5:15 but that was fine. I figured any time I am easily making up now will definitely be compensated for during the infamous loop 4 where everyone slows down during the night. At the aid station, Briana took my water bottles and went to my bag to refill. I stayed at the food table and said Hi to RD John Salmonson.
“Jeff, You’re looking good!” he said.
“Thanks, John. I waited too long and trained too hard not to finish. That’s my only goal today.” I said.
“The mental part is very important and with that attitude you will.”
“It was also really cool to get to see Alex run the last couple miles. It’s easy to see why he is one of the best on the island.”
Eyes wide and nodding, John replied, “He’s VERY good.”
Loop 3: 5:11:56
Alex was hunched over in a chair at the aid station clearly still fighting stomach issues but he was getting back up to take off. I followed him out of the aid station knowing he would likely fly up hogsback (a roughly 1000ft climb at the start of the loop) and the dumbest thing for me to do would be to try and match his pace. I stayed with him for a quarter of the way up hogback and then decided the point wasn’t to win loop 3 – a theme I’d be reminding myself about for the next few hours.
In Manoa I was supposed to pick up my first pacer, local triathlete and all around great guy Joe Hoddnette. Coming into Manoa I was feeling as good as I would feel in the entire race. After giving myself stomach issues by overdoing my powder-to-water ratio for the first couple loops I was feeling balanced again and allowed myself to act on it. The Manoa Falls trail is roughly a 1-mile section that leads into the Manoa (Paradise Park) aid station. It is probably the most popular trail on the island because it leads to a waterfall and so the trail is smooth and well-maintained. I turned onto the Manoa Falls Trail and let the downhill set the pace.
I heard footsteps behind me and wondered who could have caught me on the descent from the flats. As far as I knew there was no one behind me for quite a while, but I didn’t have a chance to look back and check. I had fallen too many times in training by looking down to check my watch or see a view, and that I wasn’t going to let that happen on race day. I picked up the pace and me and this mystery runner were flying around crowds of day-hikers. This was by far the fastest I ran for the day and it was probably around a 6:30-7 minute pace on the descents. About a quarter mile from the aid station I couldn’t hear the footsteps behind me anymore.
At the aid station I handed my bottles to Judy, who knew exactly what I needed, and went to talk with Joe, Briana, my coach Mike Garrison, his wife Pauline, and baby Elsie. I said a short Hi to everyone and had a quick talk with Mike. I told him how I was feeling, and he said that let’s not try to fix what isn’t broken. “Whatever you’re doing mentally right now is working, so let’s keep it going.” I completely agreed and told Joe I wouldn’t need a pacer for the next section. I would pick him up in Nuuanu instead. I apologized. It’s a lot to ask for someone to go drive to the next aid station, but he have me a slap on the back and told me not to worry about it.
I headed toward the aid station exit and Pauline called out, “You don’t you want a shirt?!” It was getting close to sundown. I looked back and joked, “What are you trying to say?” flexing my arms. I was able to get in and out of the aid station still feeling as good as I would all day and fed off the crowd lining the trail as I left the aid station. The shadows were getting long and I knew the night was going to bring on new challenges.
My only 100-mile experience had been starting at 6pm at night. In April of that year I had run 105 miles of the Oahu perimeter starting at 6pm, and I had raced the Santa Barbara 100-miler (see race report) starting at 6pm. Going into the night with 12-hour’s worth of running in my legs was a new experience. I had done plenty of night runs on tired legs but race day is always different. Nonetheless, I always loved night running. It seemed in some ways that you were stealing time and miles from the rest of the world and the seclusion of running solo deepened the experience.
Heading up the Manoa Falls Trail a non-racer coming in the other direction called out, “Thanks for leading me down that trail!” and smiled. “That was you!?” I called back and continued on. Apparently no one was on my tail. I had been running the Manoa Falls Trail for the first 3 loops. It’s an easier grade but I knew this would likely be the last loop when I could keep a running pace. Once on the trail to the flats I saw the next 3 runners behind me in quick succession. They looked strong and tired, but what worried me the most was that they were running together. As with my speeding up with a ghost pacer being me I feared they would egg each other on to push the pace and catch up.
After climbing up to the flats I was still feeling strong. There is a short flat runnable area between the Puaoa flats and the descent down Nuuanu and I remember charging along that area and remembering all the time I had spent crossing that trail in training – in pouring rain, in the middle of the night, in early Saturday mornings. At the crest of the Nuuanu trail before the descent a camera crew working on a HURT history documentary was set up capturing runners as they climbed the steepest part of that trail while the sun set. I said a quick thank you to them as I passed and the sun hit the horizon sending red and purple lines of light across the sky.
I pulled into Nuuanu 1:28 minutes after leaving Manoa – about 10 minutes slower than my second loop on that segment, which was about 10 minutes slower than my first loop on that segment. My pace was still deteriorating predictably, but that would change as the night loop began. At Nuuanu, I picked up Joe. He was there with his gear standing with the aid station caption, Freddy and some others. I handed a volunteer my water bottles, got some watermelon. While crossing the river to the aid station, I had fully submerged one of my shoes in the river and asked Joe to grab me a sock out of my drop bag. Switching out that sock immediately likely saved me a lot of discomfort later on.
Joe and I took off out of Nuuanu as if we were on a mission. Joe had gathered all the stats on where I was in the race (about tenth) and had a plan for how we would make some passes. I was still feeling good so I let myself go along with his race plan for this segment. We pushed up the climb out of Nuuanu saying Hi and cheering on the other races, almost all who had now picked up pacers in Manoa.
At the top of Nuuanu we started to go hunting. Two full loops left. Why was I hunting? I got caught up in Joe’s enthusiasm and fed off his pace. It was night and so we kept our eyes on any signs of headlamps around the corner as we passed the switchbacks on the way to the Nature Center. About 7 miles from the Nature Center we saw a headlamp. By the pace it was going to be impossible not to pass this racer by the time we reached the next aid station. It was a bold move because whoever this was it was a strong racer who knew what they were doing. To pass them now was a bit of a challenge that I would have to back up later in the race when/if they caught back up.
Coming around a corner we caught up with Tomo – a somewhat famous Japanese runner at HURT. Famous for his impressive running and for doing pushups every time he finishes a loop. Tomo was completely unfazed and quickly stepped aside and actually apologized as we passed. He’s a class act and when he passed me later on I tried to return the favor. Once we were a decent distance away, Joe cheered me on for making the pass and started estimating the time to the next runner. The next runner was Alex.
Once you get through the pig gates, the pace always speeds up on the descent to the Nature Center. It’s about a 5-mile descent with a couple of up hills but overall this is one of the faster sections of the loop. Just before the road crossing on the descent Joe and I came upon Alex. Although it was dark, I had a short flashback to when I had seen Alex training on this portion of the trail a few weeks earlier.
The fact that I was passing Tomo and Alex on this segment of the race was a red flag to me. I was pushing too hard, going too fast, and digging a ditch I would probably pay for later in the race. I admit it now, and would probably have admitted it then, that I wasn’t being smart. Nonetheless it was fun to be running fast but the point isn’t to win Loop 3 of HURT, it’s to finish.
At the Nature Center I came in with the objective of taking a little more time than usual. My gear was good, but I need to collect myself and change my mentality. If I kept pushing like this I worried that I wouldn’t make it to Loop 5.
At the Nature Center I was picking up Ivan Colon, an accomplished local trail runner who has done a lot of really impressive running in the local races. When he said he was willing to spend his Saturday night getting me through the infamous Loop 4, I was thrilled. Ivan was locked and loaded. Briana convinced me to put on a shirt, we filled my bottles and took off. The Nature Center was turning into a bit of a graveyard at this point. I glanced around and saw several runners in rough shape as they seemed to be trying to decide whether to continue. I felt bad for what they were going through, but couldn’t really do anything to help. I glanced over at John Salmonson on my way out, we made eye contact and he gave me a nod on my way out. This is where a lot of people fall apart on the HURT 100 and I think he knew what I was in for as a virgin starting the night loop.
Loop 4: 6:38:00
Ivan and I took off from the Nature Center and I was starting to feel the payment for charging on Loop 3. On my way out of the aid station Tomo was coming in and doing his pushups. Not a great sign. Obviously he was pacing himself well and had plenty of mental/physical energy to spare some pushups. Ivan and I headed up hogsback and I explained to him my plan. I needed to rebalance myself after pushing too hard. He completely understood and set a pace that was steady but doable. I was starting to hurt at this point, strike that – I had been hurting for quite a while but it was only starting to bother me at this point. For that reason I barely spoke the entire loop.
Ivan told me he had been at restaurant eating dinner with his family when he checked to livestream and saw I would be starting Loop 4 earlier than he expected. He had prepared to join me around midnight but it was 10pm and so when he saw my progress he rushed out of dinner, dropped his family off at home and drove over to the Nature Center. We caught up a bit, talked about the race, but overall I was trying not to show him how much pain I was starting to be in. There is always the risk with having a pacer that you may try to get them to sympathize with you and pity you and take it easy on you. If you’re alone you have no one to elicit sympathy from, but you also have no one to keep you moving if things start to go badly. I kept my mouth shut and tried to keep an honest pace.
We reached the Moana aid station 2:14 after leaving the Nature Center. It was slow going. There were several racers sitting down and looking miserable. Ivan refilled my bottles while I looked through the aid table. I took down 2 or 3 cups of Coke, some watermelon and put a ziplock bag of honey roasted cashews in my pocket from my drop bag and we took off.
I was trying to ignore sharp pain in my feet. I couldn’t feel any blisters, it was just the expected pain for having gone 67 miles on these trails. To be honest I was expecting it to hurt more at this point. I had never run back-to-back HURT loops in training and almost every time I finished one in training I dreaded the idea of starting another. It’s just a brutal course with no space for a real rhythm and plenty of ways to roll an ankle or fall off the trail.
One of the best traits in ultra-running has got to be immunity to doubt. In any 100-miler it seems there are hours upon hours when doubt can creep in and start to take root in your mind, and so being completely focused on the goal of moving forward is so important. I didn’t have doubt about finishing – as long as I wasn’t critically injured I was determined to gut it out, but I was hoping I’d start feeling better or else it was going to be a real suffer fest for the remaining 30+ miles. The only way out is through.
Leaving Nuuanu on Loop 4 felt like I had passed a critical point. My wife Briana was going to be pacing me on my last loop, and I knew that if I could get to her she would make sure I didn’t let up. Runners were passing in the dark giving short muttered ‘Nice wooork’ ‘Good jjjob’ as the fatigue was setting in for everyone. Coming into the Nature Center I thanked Ivan for spending the night getting me through Loop 4. We talked a bit and we rolled into the aid station. The Nature Center was starting to wake up.
Loop 5: 6:49:08
It was about an hour before sunrise. I wanted to get out of there. Although no one had finished yet I could see the sign and bell at the finish line and that sight made it real that all I had to do was one more loop and I could finish. Briana was ready to go and saw that I was getting a little overwhelmed with so many people in the aid station asking me questions, so we go out and had some time to check in as we moved up hogback.
Briana was bounding over roots, full of energy and ready to take on the trail. I moved as well as I could and felt myself trying to squeeze some sympathy out of her at times. I’d grunt or moan and she was having none of it. “Yeah, Jeff, everyone is hurting. Big deal.” She was right and I sucked it up. Just have to get it done.
The roots on the flats were blurry and moving. That part of the course is really shaded and the sunlight wasn’t offering any help at this point in the morning. My eyes were falling asleep and I was having to squint or grit my teeth to get them to stop moving so I could step forward. I knew I was risking rolling my ankles with each foot step and tried my best get it together. I told Briana and she responded, “You’re fine. You need a Red Bull.”
Coming down on the Manoa Falls Trail I felt really strong for a moment and as though there was another well of energy in me that could change things now that the sun was up. I was in a chair, my eyes still blurry trying to drink ginger ale, a red bull, and some food I can’t remember. Briana was right about the Red Bull. Just a minute after getting sugar and caffeine in me I was feeling new. I thanked the aid station volunteers and we left for the last time.
Briana turned to me and said, “Well it took 3 hours to get here.” “Seriously?!” I was legitimately shocked and a little irritated that I had let that happen. “Fuck that,” I said. “There is no way I’m doing that for the rest of the loop.”
Shortly after turning onto the trail at the top of the Manoa Falls Trail we saw three runners all running within sight of each other – Treveor Baine, Shawn McTaggart and Guiseppe Cavallo. They were all looking worked but they were all running together. I knew that would push them to go harder than they may otherwise and a fire lit in me to take off.
“You gotta go.” Briana said. “If I’m not right behind you, it’s Ok.” I agreed but didn’t take off right away. We still had some climbing to do and I didn’t want to burn the rest of my energy on this ascent. I estimated I had about 45 minutes on them but there is no telling how much any of had been holding back throughout the race. Once we were up on the flats I felt like myself again and was able to keep a steady pace.
I was running angry and scared. I tried to push it on the Nuuanu descent and although I was probably only running an 8-minute pace, it felt like I was flying. I wanted the race to be over but more than that I didn’t want to get passed this late in the race. At the bottom of 5-minute hill I ran into my coach, Mike Garrison while he was pacing Alex Garcia and another running buddy Nate Burgoyne while he was pacing Rachel Parker. “Jeff!” They said as I rounded a corner. “Hey guys – Nice work! I’m being chased, I can’t slow down!” We cheered each other on and kept moving. There would be lots of time to catch up later. (After the race, Mike would tell me that he didn’t see another runner for almost an hour).
I bombed the descent into Nuuanu running on a hyper focus to finish and imagining that Guiseppe, Trevor, Shawn were about to come up behind me. I kept looking up on the switchbacks seeing no one but not feeling convinced of anything.
I ran up to the aid station at Nuuanu made eye contact with Freddy and said, “Freddy I’m being chased, I gotta go.”
“Ok my friend, what do you need?”
“Red bull and one water bottle filled with water.”
I chugged the Red Bull and was out of the aid station in under 30 seconds. I really can’t thank Freddy and Mark McKeague for making that aid station stop so quick. They saw how eager I was to leave and knew the situation I was in.
I checked my watch. 26:00 hours exactly. I could now start counting back to see how far ahead I was on the chase group. My goal was to at least be off the Judd Trail and onto the climb when I saw them next. On a short straight away I could see Briana. “Are you Ok?” I asked. “I’m fine! Keep going! They’re coming! I’ll get a ride and see you at the finish.” “Ok!” I replied. ‘I love that woman,’ I thought to myself.
It seems that in 100-milers the race doesn’t begin until everyone is suffering and sleep deprived, and it has become a test of who can handle the pain and pressure the best. I was determined to not give an inch. This was the only time in the race when I really let it all out and didn’t worry if I was burning out my legs.
At every corner I expected Guiseppe, who had been strong all day, to be rounding one of the corners. At the turn to begin the climb, still no one. That meant nothing though. Anything could happen. I was halfway up the climb at 26:25 when I saw either Shawn or Trevor. They were close and Guiseppe was close behind them. I gave them a “Good job, guys” and tried to not show any weakness.
Ok I had less than an hour. No letting up. If they were going to catch me, they were going to have to work to do it. After they passed I tried to put in another surge to get out of Nuuanu. I was grunting and heaving leaning on my trekking poles up 5-minute hill. I broke down my poles on the way to the Pauoa flats and turned the corner onto the flats passing a big tree where I had stashed water during all my training runs.
Passing over the roots for the last time I quick flashback to all the time I had run these roots in rain, wind, night, day during training. Thinking of having waited a year to run the race after pacing last year, and all the solo hours over months and months I spent training sent a short surge emotion through me and I already started to worry that I was going to be crying on my way into the finish.
Through the pig gates for the last time. It was typically around 45 minutes for me to get from the first pig gate to the Nature Center. Turning right onto the cross over trail on the Makiki loop is when I started to feel like I could feel the finish. I tried not to let me mind think it was over out of fear that my body would follow and start to crash. Coming down pipes for the last time I gave myself a little shout, “YES!” and immediately felt that surge of emotion again. I had pictured coming into the finish of HURT many times with no expectations of where I would finish in the ranks. My first goal had been to finish, my next was to make the top 20 and the last was to make the top 10. I was sitting in 8th place and kept checking my back to make sure no one was making a last-minute push.
Coming over the bridge into the finish area I started to hear voices calling out “Runner!” to alert the aid station to be ready. People were clapping and cheering but I just assumed it was for another runner leaving the aid station. As I came around the bushes and into view several voices called out my name and my mind finally felt like it could release itself from the focus and determination I had been holding onto for the last 28 hours. I was on the verge of tears jogging toward the bell and knew if I made eye contact with anyone I’d be crying. After months of training harder than I thought I could I had been lucky enough to stay injury free and make it to the finish. I reached down and rang the bell, kissed the sign, and leaned down to hug PJ at the finish.
Of all the runners on the island I probably look up to PJ the most. She not only has finished 3 loops of the Barkleys Marathon and countless ultras but helped start the HURT series and through it has inspired so many people to challenge themselves. She had seen me throughout my training at all of the HURT series races and I almost broke down crying when she simply said, “Good job, Jeff,” smiled warmly and handed me a buckle. (Video of this here)
I’m still new to the 100-mile distance but everyone says the HURT 100 is different and I now really understand why. It’s the harshness of the course mixed with the warmth of the community. Runner and non-runners from around Hawaii line up months ahead of time to volunteer and be a part of the HURT 100 and as you complete the loops you share that experience, the suffering, and the accomplishment with all of them.
Thank you especially to my wife Briana for endless support and words of encouragement, to my coach and crew Michael Garrison, Briana Lynn, Ivan Colón, and Joseph Hodnette for making my finish at the HURT 100 possible. I really can’t thank you enough for the support and sacrifice. Endless thanks also to John and PJ Salmonson, Stan Jensen, Freddy Halmes, Judy Carluccio, Steve Villiger, Jeffrey Fong, Augus To, Kalani Pascual, Marian Yasuda, Neal Yasuda, Jen McVeay, Oahu Na Ala Hele and all the volunteers who spent their weekend helping runners reach their goals.
Shoes: I ran and trained on Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2s. I have gone through 4 pairs of these, putting 500 miles on each, and have never had a blister or issue. I have never had another shoe come close to this type of comfort for trails.
Socks: Ininji high ankle socks. I like the high ankle version because they can help stop sweat from getting into your shoe.
Compression: I like wearing 2XU compression calf sleeves for 100-milers to help stop sweat from getting into my shoes and I guess they help circulation as well – I do notice my legs feeling a bit fresher with them but I don’t know if it’s a big difference. 2XU compression shorts.
Shorts: An old pair of Patagonia shorts that are good because they don’t have much material between the legs.
Chaffing: Trislide. Best stuff I’ve found.