Preparing for the HURT 100 Mile Race with Justin Young
Justin Young of Pahoa, Hawai’i, is training for the legendary HURT 100 mile trail race on the tropical island of Oahu. As the name suggests, this ain’t no run in the park. The endurance race is famous for challenging even the most experienced and prepared ultrarunner: it features nearly 25,000 feet of elevation gain/loss, dozens of stream crossings, intense humidity and a range of tropical temperatures, and enough exposed ridges and narrow passageways to last a lifetime. The HURT 100 is made up of guts, glory, and some of the most grueling terrain in the world, side by side with the uniquely stunning views offered by the Hawaiian islands. It’s an exclusive competition by design, with entry limited to just 125 participants each year. In between training, Justin took a break to talk with Runnerclick.
Runnerclick: Hi Justin, thank you for taking the time to interview with Runnerclick today! So, what do you find to be most rewarding as a runner?
Justin Young: Going distances and lengths of time that I never thought possible. I love the idea of waking up and thinking, “All I have to do today is run.” And I love training for those moments.
RC: Can you tell us about your biggest running related challenge, and how you overcame/are overcoming it?
JY: Right now, I am registered for HURT 100, the famous 100 miles trail race on Oahu. Even though I have run a 100 mile race, it was on the road, and HURT is a completely different challenge. Most years, less than half the participants finish. And these are not beginner runners. These are experienced ultra marathoners. So, I’m training right now with a nervousness and fear of this race that I’ve never felt before. I’m trying to put in the work to get my body ready to just keep going. It has helped to be friends with triathlete Bree Brown and Pat Stover, who finished last year, and have been great to train with. I can’t wait to toe that line and see what I’m made of.
RC: What type of running would you say is your specialty (track and field, marathon, etc); and when and where is your next race (if relevant)?
JY: I like the longer stuff. And on trails. I’m not the fastest short distance guy, but I feel like I can just keep going in the long stuff. But I will race anything. For instance, I’m running the Honolulu Marathon next, and then the following weekend is the Jingle Bell 5K. Then in January, I have the HURT 100.
RC: In terms of beautiful scenery, which race or track is your favorite?
JY: Running to Waimanu valley. It’s awesome.
RC: Can you share the top three little things you do to prevent injuries?
JY: I’m not the best person to ask this question to. I don’t do much foam rolling or stretching or warming up. I just go out and run. I try to listen to my body, but I’ll run through things that maybe I shouldn’t have. It’s served me well so far. But three things would be to 1. Eat only plants 2. Eat only plants. And 3. Eat only plants.
RC: Do you incorporate any type of cross-training into your fitness regime?
JY: Yes, I enjoy surfing and swimming. I do a little weight work every once in a while too.
RC: Some days, it’s hard to just get out of bed, much less out the door and running. How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
JY: I get inside my head, and call myself out. My conscience almost always wins.
RC: What’s your favorite food before and after a run?
JY: Before a big effort day, I make sure to eat my oatmeal with my secret ingredients that propel me all day. After a run, I love a cold beer.
RC: For those who are interested in learning more about becoming a runner, what source of information would you point them to first?
JY: Any running publication or your local running store. But the most important thing is to get out and run. And then do it the next day. And the next day. And keep getting out that door. Especially when you don’t want to. I’ve never said, “I wish I didn’t go for that run.” No one has ever said that.
RC: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today, Justin. We wish you the best of luck in your upcoming races, especially the HURT 100!
If fans or fellow runners would like to contact you or keep up with your running career, where can they connect with you?
JY: You can find me as @louisdavid33 on Instagram, and as Justin Young on Facebook. You’re welcome, and aloha!