Hawaii Spartan Beast
Hardkour athletes Tyler, Shon, and 5 year old HK kids runner Kennedy, made their way to Hawaii to compete in Hawaii Spartan Beast. Tyler not only took 8th in his 35 - 39 age group, he scored a fiance! Huge congrats to Tyler and his fiance Kindria on your engagement! Because I wasn’t in Hawaii for the race, I figured it would be far more enjoyable to hear from Shon so without further ado, I give you the words of the man, the myth, the legend, Shon Kornfeld:
I hadn’t done a race as long as the Beast before. My longest was the 8.7mi Super in Chino, CA earlier this year. I figured if I was going to do my most challenging race yet, I should do it in paradise!
Oahu was beautiful, everything was bright green and the water an amazing clear blue. Sure it was humid, but aren’t we always sweaty and sticky at races? That didn’t bother me too much. Luckily, we had some clouds on Saturday that kept the sun from continuously beating down on us. I started fairly early at 9:30am, and figured I would be out there a good 5-6 hours, based on my previous race times. What I wasn’t prepared for was a bottleneck of people in the “jungle section” of the race. A single file line of people going up a steep, slick, muddy hill, which at times got insanely steep. Most of us used trees to hold on to, as the supplied rope was so muddy and slick that it was practically useless. As someone who is fairly claustrophobic (stairs > elevators all day), I started to get some mild claustrophobic feelings as we stood “parked” in the jungle. Especially once we heard groups of people yelling “Medic! Medic! Medic!” I started to think “what would I do if I needed to get out of here right now?” I had to put those thoughts and feelings aside, and just slowly work my way up, down, and out.
Once I got out of the main jungle section, I chilled for a few minutes at a water station. I surprisingly had cell service, and found a social media post from my wife about my race which had a ton of positive comments for me. This was the perfect thing I needed to get my mind back in the race. Then, word started going around that we were at the 10 mile mark. Only 3 miles left? I was beat down and tired, but I knew I had 3 miles left in me. I was very happy to be out of the jungle and almost done. However, once I got back on the trail, I learned that info was incorrect. The 10 mile marker was for the Ultra race, and we were just over 8 miles in. That may not sound like much of a difference, but at the time, it was mentally defeating. 3 miles I could do.. but another 5? DAMN. OK, just remember what a friend told me… “you’ve got this, just keep putting one foot in front of the other”. So that’s what I did. I just kept it moving, ran my own race, and eventually finished in 7:05. I would’ve finished in my estimated 5-6 hour range had it not been for the jungle bottleneck, so I was content with my time.
Completing the Beast earned me my first Trifecta, which I was super happy about. My 5-year old daughter Kennedy ran the kids race, and earned her first Trifecta as well. I didn’t get to watch her run in person, but had the most proud dad moment when I discovered that she, on her own, helped another girl who was crying and struggling on the course. She held her hand and helped her with obstacles, and they crossed the finish line together. True definition of a Spartan right there!
Overall, we had an awesome family vacation, and a great (but brutal) Trifecta-earning race in paradise. People have asked if I would do it again, and at the moment it's tough to say. I came home with a case of pink eye and an ear infection (that I’m still dealing with as I write this), on top of the sore muscles and everything else. So currently, I’m focusing on getting 100% healthy, then getting back on my diet, cutting weight, etc. Lets see what 2020 brings. AROO!
Written by Annaliese Allen & Shon Kornfeld