While some people think that the HURT 100 was named for the pain it inflicts on the runners, it actually is an acronym for the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team's Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run. The State of Hawaii runs the Nā Ala Hele program which has turned traces of pig trails through the rain forest into people-friendly, single-track paths. The HURT 100 is routed on these trails on the beautiful island of Oahu.
Trevor Fuchs is a Utah based ultrarunner with many top 3 finishes in races and typically finishes every race in the top 10. He has back-to-back wins of the Wasatch 100. Trevor placed 5th last year in the Hurt 100 and this year he took 2nd. The guy is a beast.
Masazumi Fujioak 3rd (left), Nate Jacqua 1st (center), Trevor Fuchs 2nd (right)
So when Trevor wrote up a Gear Review for the Hurt 100, we paid attention. And we think everyone should see what he has to say. Check it out.
By Trevor Fuchs
"At any race, the right gear is essential. At HURT 100, the wrong gear can mean a DNF and the right gear can only prolong the misery. I say that mostly in jest, but to a certain extent...it’s true. When it rains all day on an already ridiculously challenging course, you’re going to have a few problems. Last year, I had several issues and made correcting those a big part of this year’s strategy.
"Shoes: last year I went with one pair of Altra Running King MT and they worked fabulously. This year I decided to stick with the same shoe and the new 1.5 version seems to not only drain better, but performed flawlessly in this year’s muddy conditions. This is my favorite shoe for wet/muddy/slick conditions and I used it to train all winter on the icy Utah trails.
"Socks: this was problematic last year. I used Feetures trail socks in 2018 and suffered loads of foot issues. The moisture management was non-existent and by the end of the day my entire feet were two large blisters. I did 5 sock changes throughout the day trying to prevent sock and insole slippage. This year I used Drymax Socks trail socks and they were perfect for the job. Very little moisture, despite the constant heavy rain and 80% humidity, and no need to change out socks for entire race. (I did once just for the mental boost, but it wasn’t fully necessary). No blisters, no chafe, no trench foot, no problems. These have to be the best socks on the market for wet and humid conditions.
"Packs and Apparel: all Raidlight, all the time. Trail Raider shorts have the perfect pocket arrangement to stash calories or electrolytes while using handheld water bottles. (I don’t like to use a vest at this race to help keep my core temperature down a little.) I used a tech tee with the sleeves chopped off for most of the race and switched to an ultralight tee at night. The material and stitching used on the shorts and shirts allowed for no chafing despite being, literally, soaked for 23+ hours. At night, I used a Responsiv waist belt to utilize a mounted Kogalla light and stash the battery (more on this below). The Responsiv belt is super comfy and had very little bounce despite the weight of the battery pack. The pockets are well place and the closure system is quite smart, utilizing elastic Velcro. It has space for a 24 oz water bottle, but I was carrying mine.
"Lighting: I found out about 8 years ago that I have terrible night vision. Ask anyone on my company softball team how much fun that was to figure out during our first night game. I went from Willie Mays to Scotty Smalls in just a few bats. Because of this, headlamps almost impair my vision more than they allow me to see the trail. While I still use them because I like to have light that moves with my eyes, it has to be super bright and/or used in conjunction with a waist or handheld light. I like the Black Diamond Icon headlamp for its brightness and unbeatable battery life. Last year, I used a UltraSpire Lumen 600 waist belt and while it is very bright, I found that it seems to dim very quickly and the battery life (8 hours) is a little inconvenient when you will have nearly 12 hours in the dark. I remember it almost being ineffective after a couple hours on each battery last year and the terrain becoming hard to navigate with my poor night vision."This year, I was fortunate to get my hands on a Kogalla Ra light. I will be the first to admit that I was a little intimidated by the size/weight of the (XL) battery and multiple mounting options. I try to be as minimalist as possible so I like to be able to just strap a light on and go. I was able to have a friend stitch some elastic straps into a my waist belt so that the battery would be more snug inside, and used Velcro to attach the light to the front part of the belt.
"Fuel: last year, I had plans that went out the window quickly. Solid food while running fast in the heat is just a big no-no. This year the plan was super simple...100% liquid calories and a little food if my stomach was feeling it. I used UnTapped Lemon Tea MapleAid in both bottles from start to finish. Perfect ratios of calories/carbs and electrolytes to fuel for an entire 100 miler with no stomach issues. At aid stations, I supplemented with fruits, potatoes, and some locally crafted ginger beer. Because my stomach felt great all day, I was able to treat myself to some sun butter sandwiches and nut butter filled clif bars on a few of the climbs. I carried 4 UnTapped maple syrup packets (equivalent to a gel) with me all day, but I never had to tear in to one of them for extra energy. MapleAid has become my go to fuel for hot races and it’s 🔥🔥.
"Anti Cramp: this was a MAJOR problem for me in 2018. I didn’t know whether to attribute it to the heat/humidity, or just the muscle fatigue from the unrelenting technicality of the course. I had the worst cramps of my life in both legs from the waist down to the feet. The pain was almost unbearable and I would have dropped from the race if my wife hadn’t pep talked me into a finish. This year I did my best to make sure my electrolytes were in balance before the race, and to consume the proper amount during the race (mostly from the MapleAid). Still, I wanted to have a backup plan in case the cramps came anyway. They did, so I reached in my back pocket for the TeamHOTSHOT and one sip held in my mouth for a few seconds got my muscles to release. Each time I would trip on a root or something and feel a cramp begin, I would take another little swig. Each time it would stop the cramps immediately. I was unsure if this stuff would actually work and had no way of testing it in advance because during HURT is the only time I’ve ever cramped. Boy, did it work. This stuff likely saved my race from turning into a repeat of 2018.
"Anti Chafe: people chafe at HURT. A LOT. Seeing some of the pictures of people’s chafing after the race made me hurt sympathy pains all over my body. I did not chafe...at all. Squirrel's Nut Butter on my...ya know whats....and my armpits...along with great apparel from Raidlight and I had zero chafing. 20 hours of rain in 80% humidity...soaked head to toe for 23 hours and NO chafing. Seriously...NONE. I had 99 problems, but chafing wasn’t one. In addition to SNB, I used NipStrips on my nipples. Seriously, you guys, these things are awesome. They have this weirdly aggressive but gentle adhesive that allowed them to stay on soaking wet, sweaty skin for the entire race, and then come off easily when I remembered they were still on almost two days later. If you have ever had bloody, painful nipples during a race, forget the bandaids and check these things out. I found them on Amazon.
"Recovery: Gnarly Nutrition all the way. I had temp mix in a scoop of BCAAS to a few of my bottles during the race to keep my muscles primed for quick recovery, and then downed a few vegan protein shakes with performance greens in the 8 hours post race. I really utilized these products during the training block for this race and my recovery in between hard workouts was off the charts. It allowed me to put in more mileage and vertical gain then I ever have before. The recovery from the race itself has been no different. Last year I was wrecked for a couple weeks. This year I feel like I could be out fully training again, just a few days later. Amazing tasting products that really work.
"Thanks again to everyone who supported me and cheered me on throughout the training and the race. Huge thanks to Raidlight, UnTapped, Gnarly, and Altra for their amazing products and support as well as the other products mentioned whom I have no affiliation with, but are definitely worth giving the seal of approval to.
"Also, huge thanks to my most amazing wife, Tempest...who won’t see this because she is not on Facebook, who crewed me for 23 hours and made sure I had all this gear available. She is the most effective race strategy imaginable. Every runner looking to do a 100 miler such as HURT, needs to get a Tempest.
"*some of my descriptions are riddled with hyperbole. For example, the light is not actually equivalent to the power of the sun. I didn’t think I would need to disclaim this when I originally posted, but here it is."
Trevor at Nu'uanu Stream in Hurt 100
Trevor's description of running in the dark at the end of the race really underscores the importance of a good running light and power management. It's critical to match the battery life to the length of your night runs. Some runners do like Trevor and store a spare battery in their drop bag. Others carry a small backup battery. While still others carry a larger battery. Their philosophy is that the extra 4 ounces is the weight of a few gulps of water and they would rather not worry about running out of power and light. As Trevor explained, not having good lights for running in the dark will increase your pace time and put you at risk for falling.
Trevor at the Hurt 100 Finish Line
We love Trevor's exuberance in describing how bright RA is. It really is brighter than the brightest headlamp. And we're impressed that he knows that RA is the Egyptian God of the Sun. We named the light after RA because wearing our light is like carrying a piece of the sun with you on those night runs.
At Kogalla we appreciate Trevor's candid assessment of our RA running light. We're stoked that he referred to it as his secret weapon. It truly is the best light for running at night.
Comments will be approved before showing up.