Five thousand runners.
Four thousand acres.
Three race distances.
Nestled in the valley of Kualoa Ranch the Hawaii Trifecta was the first attempt for Spartan to hold a trifecta in one weekend event. The ranch itself is known for its amazing views, as well as being the filming location for many major motion pictures such as LOST, and Jurassic Park. The race itself was nothing short of amazing to throw together. This Race was the brain child of Race director, as well as former Olympian, JJ Johnson. JJ has been helping Spartan and has seen tons of action on the field. Last year when the camera crews were low at the world championship Joe Descena called for JJ to pick up a camera and run with the elites to take footage on the course and help with the race in Killington Vermont. With his knowledge of races, as well as Spartan, JJ was able to take on the mammoth task of this race.
In an onsite interview the day before the race JJ explained all the thought processes of the race design. “We wanted to build energy around the festival area.” Explained JJ on Friday morning. The festival area was designed in such a way that it included the kids challenge, food vendor, as well as put the finish line right in the middle, but still allowed spectators to navigate well. JJ also gave us an in depth review on how the simple gate system worked to direct traffic on this race. “With a race this large and so much going on it’s easy to lose track of where you are at, so we designed a gate system to navigate people to the right portion of the race.” The system itself consisted of two gates to form rings on the course. Every race had the same start point, end point, as well as overlapped the obstacles of the previous course. When the first gate was reached you could turn for the sprint, or continue on to the super. Another 2 miles past the gate on the super course was a second gate that led to the additional “lollypop” loop that would serve as the beast course that included a summit that overlooked the previous two courses.
The sprint course saw the majority of the traditional Spartan Race obstacles. Two Barbed wire crawls, spear throw, as well as rope climb were among the obstacles you would encounter on the 4.6 mile run. The Super added four more miles, a bucket carry, amazing terrain, as well as a few other obstacles. While the beast covered near fifteen miles of terrain as well as over three thousand foot ascent and drop. This race alone showed off amazing views of Oahu Island in its natural beauty. While is lacked in Traditional Spartan Beast obstacles, it made up for it in natural terrain, sights, as well mile long runs up and down creek beds. Without a doubt this was one of the most scenic Spartan race courses in history.
Martin the Spartan took first place in the Saturday Beast Elite course with a total time of two hours and fifty one minutes. Also attending Saturday’s race were many of the Spartan Race Pro Team such as Alex Nicholas coming in second place in the Saturday Beast elite course with a time of three hours flat. Other favorites in attendance were Misty Diaz, The Painted Warrior, The Weeple army, as well as thousands of runners traveling far and wide to run. In total there were over five thousand in attendance at this event, with a little over one thousand completing the coveted trifecta status for Spartan.
At the close of events Saturday there were complaints of the one and a half mile hike back to the cars, as well as issues with hydration stations on the beast course with the intense heat. Prior to the race the directors had changed the rules on the hydrations packs from mandatory to recommend because of feedback from the runners. The Support staff and director quickly addressed this issue on Sunday adding more water stations, as well as support in the tropical climate. Both days all spectators that made the one and a half mile hike out to the festival are even had water available for free in the festival area. This was a welcome change for all spectators who also got free admission to the scenic location. Moves like this would be welcome at most Spartan events in the continental United States.[spartanracerate]
*Photos By: Jacob Bosecker and Spartan Race.
Jacob Bosecker is an adventure racer, OCR athlete, and snowboarder from Southern Indiana. Bosecker comes from a background in pole vault and doing parkour in his free time. He lives in Columbus, Indiana and is the captain of an elite OCR team Project Titan.