After the Peacock Challenge

Congratulations and thank you to all involved in the event.

Peacock Challenge was the last of the 10 races in the series, ending what has been eight months of trail fun.

For some, this event was just another training run.  For others, this came as a challenge to up their distance.  Whatever your goal or motivation, congratulations on toeing the line and persevering under very hot and hard conditions. 

At 6 am on race day, 47 runners set out to cover the 55-mile distance. 26 finished the event in the allotted time.

An hour later some 63 runners started the 27.5-mile distance and all but 3 of them finished the event.

You are all winners in our book!

A special mention to our top finishers for both distances –

Top 3 men finishers (55 mile)
  1. Eric Wesolowski
  2. Alex Gauthier
  3. Takeshi Yamada
L-R: Alex Gauthier, Eric Wesolowski, Takeshi Yamada
Top 3 women finishers (55 mile)
  1. Annie Pentaleri
  2. Leah Stickels
  3. Brandi Payne
L-R: Annie Pentaleri, Leah Stickels, Brandi Payne

The two lucky recipients of a slot in the HURT 100 race (January 2024) were Brandi Payne and Chris Bassett.

Top 3 men finishers (27.5 mile)
  1. Cole Raven
  2. Wookie Kim
  3. Nathan Cogswell
L-R: Nathan Cogswell, Cole Raven, Wookie Kim
Top 3 women finishers (27.5 mile)
  1. Mary Edgmon
  2. Tracy Garneau
  3. Lory Peroff
L-R: Mary Edgmon, Tracy Garneau, Lory Peroff

As if running one loop was not enough, the 27.5 milers were issued with an extra challenge – bring back an empty 5 gallon water bottle and you will earn yourself a gift certificate.
And they did. The water bottle winners were –

Even the sweepers got in on the water bottle action – thanks to Joel and Nick, who escorted the last runner, Connor Nichols, to his first ultra finish. We appreciate you helping to clear up after the race!

And talking of clearing up…. Thank you to all our volunteers.

Whether you helped at Dillingham Airfield, Kaena Point Tracking Station, Three-Way or Long Road, your efforts are very much appreciated. There are too many of you to mention, but you are all an integral part of every trail series race. Race management values you and we hope that the runners realize just how important you are too.

Thank you to Marian for taking care of permitting and logistics. Thank you to Brent Wong for working on the logo and finisher plaques. Thanks to Justin Brackett from Uloha for taking care of the Three-Way aid station. Thanks to Steve Villiger, Judy and Jeff Fong for a bike and roving patrol.

Thank you to Kalani, Brent, and Augusto for making everybody look so good in your pictures.

If HURT 100 is the next big thing on your horizon, then all the best for your training.

The race weekend is January 13-14, 2024, and if you are not running the race, then we will be looking for volunteers to help with the HURT100.

Congratulations again to the runners and a big mahalo to the volunteers who made this another successful Peacock Challenge.

Freddy Halmes

PS. We received a letter of appreciation from one of our participants that we wanted to share with you.

Dear HURT ‘Ohana,

It was a late night, and I didn’t get a chance to thank all of you personally, so before too much time passes I just wanted to express my sincere appreciation to the HURT ‘Ohana for all the support you gave to Connor Nichols during Peacock yesterday. It was Connor’s first ultra, and he hadn’t trained extensively. But he was a 19 year old kid with a dream, and you all helped him to achieve that dream.

When Connor struggled into Long Road and made it out just before the 7:00 pm cutoff, we knew it was going to be a long night — but perhaps not just how long. For over two hours he was the only runner left on course, and the HURT crew sat on the grass looking up at Kealia for some sign of lights, as sweeps Joel and Nick worked to encourage Connor down. Everyone had been awake for nearly 24 hours and were no doubt anxious to get home. But we were all locked in the gates, needing to wait for Connor before we could exit. And yet rather than resentment or annoyance, I felt an outpouring of support. Everyone there wanted to see Connor finish. Everyone was rooting for him, staying there for him, sharing his dream. 

When I congratulated Connor again on the drive home, his immediate response was: “it was a team effort”, and “I could never have done it without all the help.” I’ve only known Connor for a few days, and for some reason it hadn’t occurred to me that not only is Connor new to ultras, he is new to the ultra ‘Ohana. He was both amazed and grateful for all the support he received from the aid stations, the organizer, the sweeps, the volunteers, and the other runners. I fear it’s something I too often take for granted. Not that I don’t appreciate it — I very much do! — it’s just that it’s always there, so it somehow doesn’t always seem as remarkable or unusual to me anymore. But seeing the race and the HURT ‘Ohana through Connor’s eyes reminds me just how significant that spirit is. Perhaps most amazing of all,  Connor received one of the warmest finish line welcomes I have ever seen. Though he was a stranger who had just flown in for the race, he received the welcome of a veteran superstar. It was a beautiful thing to see. 

Thank you, not only for supporting Connor yesterday, but for reminding me of what the HURT ‘Ohana means. 

Me ke aloha,

Gary Holton

Connor at the finish