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Friday, September 9, 2011

Maunawili Out-N-Back Report

Maunawili Out-N-Back Race Report, August 13 2011-

First off, I was really excited about this race. The Maunawili trail, personally discovered when I got lost one time, has become a favorite of mine. I'd run it multiple times point-to-point and was excited to run the Out-N-Back. Unlike most of the HURT races I was actually pretty familiar with this course.

The concept of this race was pretty interesting. The oldest female and male runners were given ‘piggies’, stuffed animal pigs, and set out fifteen minutes before the next heat, if they got passed then they would pass the piggy on to the next front-runner. Then they sent out heats of runners broken down by sex and age. Being a relatively young, male runner, I was in the last set, which left about an hour and a half after the front-runners.

I was running in my brand new La Sportiva Fusion’s, they fit really comfortably so I figured they would be good for at least a couple miles before I switched into my good-ol standards, New balance Minimus Trail (which I stashed in my camel-back pack).

We started at the Pali lookout, which meant we’d run eleven miles mostly down-hill then hit the turn around and do eleven miles mostly uphill back. My daughter had a soccer game seven hours after the front-runner start time, and my goal was to finish in time to at least catch the end. Which sounds silly, seven hours to finish 22 miles? But it's a HURT run which easily can double a normal runner's mph.

The first half was pretty straight forward, about two and a half hours down. I was the last runner and wasn’t particularly surprised about it. I'm definitely one of the slowest runners in my age group and we started pretty far behind everybody else. We were so divided after the start, I figured I’d start to catch up to the slower runners in the second half.

I hit the aid station, refilled my camelback. The Fusions were surprisingly effective and my feet felt pretty good, so I kept them on. The aid station volunteers were awesome and had me turned around really quickly.

Unfortunately, as soon as I started the uphill portion my knees started absolutely throbbing. I was seriously tempted to turn around and go back to the aid station, but I hoped that when I got to a more runnable section it wouldn’t be so bad.

Yeah, no luck there. Between the knees and the heat I was suffering pretty bad. I managed to run a few short sections but nearly the entire way back I was walking. What took two and a half hours down took four hours to get back. I swapped into the Minimus' to see if that would help, it didn’t.

I finished last. I didn’t mind that so much, but they were taking down the tents and stuff when I got back, they thought everyone had finished already. Made me feel kind of low, but everybody who runs with HURT is simply awesome and they had me laughing in no time.

Missed the game and could barely walk for the next week. I shouldn't have been too surprised by the leg issues, I hadn't had time to really get prepared for this race so it ended up being the longest run I'd had in the last two years. The next longest being 14 miles, so I can live with it.

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