In the world of running events, there are those that fit into the ‘grand & sophisticated’ category (think mass participation city marathon), or those that fall under ‘low-key and laid-back’ (think local, running over your backyard trails). And I’m not insinuating that one is better than another, no sir, that would be very un-yogic of me and plus, I like a marathon just as much as the next distance junkie! No, I’m saying there are ‘different courses for different horses’, and how awesome is that!
And then there are HURT races. You never really know what’s going to happen in a trail race in Hawaii, but maybe that’s a good thing. However, people still sign up in such numbers that the race organisers have had to limit entries to 150 people. Take Saturday for example. The fourth race in the HURT trail running series was a ten miler, Mango Madness. It winds around the Makiki trails of Oahu – part of the course for the HURT 100. Nearly everyone who ran Mango Madness last year made the mistake of assuming the course would be more or less the same, which it almost was, just with an additional hill. And this hill is nothing to be scoffed at (no photo can do it justice) – it’s concrete, steep, long, green & slippery in places, and has cattle guards?! From my own perspective I use the cattle guards to help break up the ‘never-ending-ness’ of the hill, and find myself counting strides after each cattle guard to help find a running/ fast-striding-uphill rhythm again. It seems to help!
The course was a mixture of mainly climbs and descents over rocky, and heavily rooted trails. There are a couple of fun, rolling sections along which you can pick up some speed, and feel like you’re flying down a single track – but it’s not advisable to pick up too much velocity because before you know it, there will be a sharp bend around a densely vegetated corner, and if you swerve too much to dodge the branches you risk toppling off the edge, and down a cliff into the valley below. Yes, I’ve nearly done it a couple of times.
The best part of yesterday’s race was the final section. As runners made the last turn towards the finish, they had to spin three times around a pole, and then run with a ‘mango & spoon’ to the finishing line! Brilliant. People’s reactions were indicative of energy levels – those who were totally spent just walked their mango home, but those with an extra something kept trying to run – all with comic effect! Overall it was another great trail running event put on by the HURT gang.
After the race I attended a World Ocean’s Day event, organised by the awesome Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. And I think I’ve found a new great cool down: Zumba. I’d never been to a Zumba class before, and it sure does work on, and work out tight hips! The teacher Suelang Watson moved like someone who had just shimmied her way down from a carnival float in Rio, and no matter how hard I tried, the steps were beyond me. I can definitely say Zumba is fun, and an excellent way to work up a sweat but Shakira is right, hips don’t lie – and no matter how much yoga I do, I’m still a white girl, and a runner…
In other news, I was extremely happy to feature as a guest writer on the wonderful Jesica Cockerham’s blog: Run On Organic, created to “spread knowledge, inspiration, and incredible products that contribute to an organic & healthy way of living.” I first connected with Jes Cockerham via Instagram, thanks to the Further Faster Forever online community, and starting reading about Aubrey Organics on her website. Since then I have tried & tested two fantastic hair products, which you can read more about here: GUEST POST.
Next up – more reviews, and previews of up and coming races, including my preparations for the Canyon de Chelly Ultra…