Fish, Mauricio and I headed out from Nature Center at 6:00pm Friday to run through the night, as most of HURT running is at night. The humid weather hit us fast, and Mauricio flipped his already injured ankle just after Hogsback. We methodically made our path into the darkness to connect with Ben at Paradise. The night offered us a glimpse of duality as the moon looked down at us and Waikiki looked up at us, then the rains began a slow drizzle forewarning of more blessings to come.
With Ben on our heels after a safe trek over to Paradise, the four of us engaged in some new chatter that is always the key source for surviving a long night on the trails. Slippery as always, the path up was methodical but somehow spiritual inside. Past Leon’s and through the roots, we made time based on the experience of having been there many times before and knowing so many landmarks with strange nicknames.
After the turnaround at Nuuanu, a tired Fish blasted us up to the bench making us wonder how tired he really was. Nevertheless, we took turns up front based on the amount of exhaust that we had in the back. This was an interesting progression that seemed like a paceline in a peloton, but no bikes.
Closer to Nature Center, we were greeted with a downpour that tested the resolve to head out for another loop. Strangely enough, the showers seemed to refresh me and remove some of the well earned mud. At NC, Fish departed for better things in life as the remaining three of us continued our pursuit for the sunrise. As we continued up Hogsback again, I realized that the remaining two are two of the toughest trail runners that HURT has produced and there was no quit or whining in them. In a way, that made me focus my efforts to hang with them and not make a dumb mistake like falling off the trail after a quick pee stop.
Back into PP, we were greeted by a nice officer that found our presence at 1:45AM most alarming. We assured him of our intentions for HURT likely causing more alarm with our story about training for a 100 mile run. Still, he was nice and later I spoke to my neighbor who is also an officer on the same beat. I’m sure they will share stories about the three muddy runners mumbling about training on the trails. Still, we had a nice chat and then headed back out towards Nuuanu.
I noticed a difference in style as I followed Ben then Mauricio. Ben is a faced foot technique runner that can motor uphill, while Mauricio is a longer stride runner who tackles the down hills more. The carousel of runners were now focused on making the run into Nuuanu then back to NC. As the moon continued to offer strange effects on the bamboo making on think there was another runner out there, the was another runner out there! Coming out of Nuuanu around 3:30AM, Larry Inouye was coming in with a sure footed, carefree stride and wearing a jacket. We were all in awe of his fashion style, and it gave us something to talk about for a few hundred more yards (Thanks Larry).
Now moving with deliberation, Nature Center and the sunrise were on our minds. Very similar to the fourth HURT loop in actual time of day, the stamina of running through the night is something strange when verbalized but appreciated by all of those who do it. Closer to Nature Center, the blessings returned as did life from both hikers and runners (one without a light or bottle). Sure, we may have been hallucinating but the sight of Joel and Judy who both gave the muddy, stinking night runners a full huge that only a fellow runner would dare touch. Then the three of us continued into our separate lives without sleep on Saturday, as the families were waiting. Or at least that was our story upon departing.