Explanation of 2012 HURT Lottery Procedure


The past few days have seen a lively debate on the HURT blog about the outcome of the lottery for the 2012 HURT 100. It seems to me that much of it is caused by misinformation and misunderstandings regarding the lottery procedure. We will update the respective section for The Book of HURT – 2013. For now, let me briefly explain the process for all applicants and participants in the 2012 race:

A total of 125 runners were admitted. Among these are up to nine runners with guaranteed entries, namely:

• The first three finishers of each gender of the prior year’s HURT 100 (assuming they have completed an application, submitted payment, and met the deadlines applicable to all runners).
• Up to three entrants (regardless of gender) with no 100-mile race finishes.
• Up to three entrants (regardless of gender) with no prior HURT 100 starts.

The remaining entrants were chosen via a weighted lottery. Kukui nuts (i.e., points) were awarded to each entrant based upon:

• Responses to questions posed on the electronic application form.
• Top-three finishes in prior HURT 100 events.
• HURT community service.

The latter (HURT community service) is a way for locals to get ahead of competition from the mainland, and for the HURT race directors to reward runners who graciously offer time and resources to make events like the HURT 100 happen. All of us are volunteers with busy lives outside of trail running. The kukui nuts awarded to those who help us prepare and stage these events are our way to show appreciation of the support we receive from the HURT ohana.

In addition, negative kukui nuts were assigned to applicants who exhibited unsportsmanlike conduct at prior HURT 100 events, the worst offense being failure of an admitted runner to show up on race day without notifying the race directors.

Note that kukui nuts only affect (and usually increase) the odds of being selected because they act as weights in the lottery; they do not guarantee entry and do not allow applicants to bypass the random drawing.

After 125 entrants were selected as described, the random drawing from the pool of weighted applications was continued in order to add fifty wait-listed runners, ranked by the order in which their names were drawn. Based on our experience from prior years, wait listed candidates have a very good chance of being invited to join the race – even those near the end of the list.

I hope this makes the process clearer. We will continue to look into ways to improve the selection procedure and make changes where necessary.



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  1. Great job clarifying things, Jeff! I didn’t even enter this year, but am watching this discussion closely. I think some of the problem is that this race was probably at one time conceived as a means to have a race by locals, for locals. It is now experiencing growing pains as it has become a world class race, drawing a lot of interest from the national and international race community. That in itself reflects very well on the hard work and aloha spirit of you, John and PJ and all the other volunteers!

  2. I am one of those unfortunates who live on the mainland (I am retired Navy, though, and spent some time at Pearl Harbor…)… Would offering to arrive early and help set up/prepare for the race count at all for the HURT community service? I haven’t entered for the 2012 race, but hope to compete in 2013

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