At 19:45 on 26 Sep 2011
The HURT 100 is a very difficult 100-mile trail race in the Honolulu Mauka Trail System, on 99% single-track trails in a tropical rainforest, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. Known for being an extremely challenging race with 25,000 feet of both climbing and descending in a thick, root-covered trail system, the finisher rate has yet to achieve anything close to 50% â€“ meaning, significantly more than half of the people who attempt the HURT 100 each year fail to complete the 100 mile distance in the allotted 36 hours.
Profiling Hurt is a movie by filmmaker Barry Walton, and follows ultrarunners Mark Gilligan and Scott Guild through the stages of mental and physical preparation, race day logistics, and the overall experiences that come with a rugged, 100 mile trail race like the Hurt 100.
A window into what it takes
Sunrise at HURT 100
The movie begins with the ceremonial start to the 100-mile race, read in both English and traditional Hawaiian languages, giving an authenticity to the movie right off the bat; however, having lived in Hawaii and aware of the awesome nature of the trails, as the film progressed, I found myself yearning for even more visual examples of the HURT 100 race and cultural experience.
Being aware of both Mark and Scott, the athletes starring in the film, I really enjoyed getting to know them better through examples of their training methods, running philosophies and approach to the sport. At first, I thought the fact that Mark was injured throughout training, and participation in the race, detracted from the film leaving an almost expected outcome to his HURT experience; but after reviewing the movie a couple of times, I found myself relating to many of the obstacles he was working to overcome so as to make it to the starting line on race day.
The film bounces around a lot, with a lot of static interviewing, sometimes leaving a subject just as it was starting to get good. One example comes early as the film introduces runner Mike Muench, climbing a steep, root-covered section at mile 17. Mike is providing insight as to race strategy, combined with great visuals of the trail, and just as the viewer begins to connect with the runner, with the movie transitions back to static interviewing, where trail description is told from the comfort of a leather easy chair.
As a participant and fan of the sport, I find â€œin the trenchesâ€ interviewing and visuals far more compelling, exciting and interesting; and while I understand the need for static interviewing as a form of narration, I feel there was a bit too much in Profiling HURT.
Superstars and ultra-brain
Throughout the film, we meet some of Ultrarunningâ€™s greats like Cindy Goh, Dot Helling, and HURT legends such as Alex Papadopoulos. This was great, and adding these snippets of race strategy, approach and focus made for interesting additions to the film.
As the movie takes viewers into some of the later miles of the HURT 100 experience, we begin to see ultra-brain set in on the various runners being interviewed, and as always this is both inspiring, and entertaining.
But, then comes the ending.
Oh, the ending.
I pride myself on the honesty of my reviews, so I have to keep it real when I express that I strongly believe the film should have ended differently. How? I donâ€™t know. You watch it and see if you donâ€™t feel the same way.
It left me feeling flat and wanting more.
Summing it up in lists
People like lists. Itâ€™s easier to read and the information more succinct, so here ya go:
What I loved about Profiling HURT:
1. Learning more about the athletes starring in the film
2. Learning more about the HURT 100 race
3. As an ultraunner myself, experiencing someone elseâ€™s pre-race training and strategy
4. Itâ€™s ultrarunning! â€¦so, of course that alone is enough to like
5. The editing style, music, and unique transitions are nice
Where I see there could be improvement:
1. I would have liked to have seen more race coverage, more on-trail interviewing; and less static and aid station interviewing
2. I believe the film would benefit from a bit more coloring of Hawaiian culture and perhaps even some authentic Hawaiian music to bring the viewer closer to the experience of racing in Hawaii
3. The film is very short, and I felt it ended too soon and with little climax
I enjoyed watching Profiling HURT.
I love the sport of ultrarunning, and the film does a good job of showing audiences the mental and physical drama athletes go through during training, strategy development and on race day. At ~30 minutes long, the film is an easy, short watch, â€¦but, perhaps too short.
Viewers learn a lot about the HURT 100 trail race, some of its participants, and what it takes to show up on race day ready to tackle 100 miles of mud, roots, and hills in paradise.
To check out the movie trailer and order the DVD, visit http://profilinghurt.com/
And as usual, please come back and leave your comments about both the film, and this review, here at Run100Miles.com
At 19:46 on 26 Sep 2011
"Profiling HURT" ...A Documentary about the HURT 100 Mile Ultramarathon in Hawaii
The HURT 100 Mile Endurance Run takes place in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. It is know for being one of, if not the toughest 100 Miler out there. It's a 20 mile-loop-type-course through the rain forest that ascends and descends about 29,000' (each way). The top of the mountain, where the trail intersects is about 1450' and in one lap you reach the summit 3 times. The race is 5 laps around the course. Here's the trail map:
PROFILING HURT attempts to tell a story about 2 friends who set out to complete the HURT 100. One of the runner's is a veteran ultramarathoner and also the founder of Ultrasignup.com, Mark Gilligan. The other is Scott Guild who is new to Ultramarathoning. The movie does an excellent job of capturing the terrain of the course and what some of the runner's and people around the race are experiencing. The documentary has an up close and personal feel but almost to a fault. It lacks in capturing the solitude that is so familiar to every runner. I'm sure it would require a larger budget and significantly more effort by the filmmaker but throughout the documentary I was hoping for more candid scenes of runner's, race director's, volunteer's, supporters, and aid stations. However, my hat goes off to PROFILING HURT for capturing what it did of the race and of Mark and Scott's experience. I'm not sure how one would really go about documenting anything over the course of 100 miles!
Most of the Extra Features on the DVD are great and generously complimented the film. "The Course" section was excellent and really shows runners in the trenches working through elements. I also really enjoyed the John Solomon (race director) interview.
Profiling HURT would appeal to almost any runner. It is a MUST WATCH for runner's who are stepping up to the challenge of the HURT 100 or those just considering getting into long distance running (no matter your definition of "long distance"). It yields a great view into what training can be like and where it can take you.
GO HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF PROFILING HURT!
Be sure to check out the Hawaiin Ultra Running Team's website. John Solomon and the team are responsible for putting together the HURT 100. Also, click HERE for an excellent, in depth, re-cap of the race.
At 23:44 on 26 Sep 2011
One hundred miles through jungle, the collective elevation of Mt. Everest, a list of obstacles that would end a day hike, and you only have 36 hours to finish!
PROFILING HURT follows the path of ultra runner Mark Gilligan and his work to return to the race for a second year, to achieve what he couldn't in the first. Joining with Mark is friend and antagonist Scott Guild. We see the excitement, challenge, and heart of running. The two runners take us into the places of the race where only champions go, introducing the faces, the pain, and the deep-rooted drive that pushes each one of us to reach for the finish line.
Follow the countdown, meet the faces, hear the strategy, and go deep into the heart of the course, as we break down what it means to run the HURT 100.