Hunter Gatherer 2013 Post-Race Recap
The recent Hunter Gatherer Survival Run and Ultras were ridiculous, as usual. Nothing less than ridiculous, brutal, insane races would be expected from the Fuego y Agua Production Team. When we design a course, there is no shame in being broken by it. With over 14,000 of elevation gain/loss over 31.31 miles, this course was not playing around.
To be clear, the tagline for the Fuego y Agua Survival Run is "You Will Not Finish," so no one can say they weren't warned. However, with a tagline that is essentially a dare, you can bet the craziest of the craziest ultrarunners and adventure racers were lured out to the unforgiving, savage beauty of the Texas Hill Country to compete in the first annual Hunter Gatherer Ultras & Survival Runs. Racers from as far as Australia, Canada and as near as San Antonio and Austin toed the line at 4:30 am Saturday, October 5th. But instead of tearing off into the wilds, participants of the Survival Run first had to construct their own sandals to run in for the duration of the first 50km. As the minutes ticked by and one runner after another laced up their freshly carved sandals, the day was off to a strangely subdued but promising start. By the time that the Ultras (those runners participating in the run only version of the race) had started at 5:30am, the Survival Runners were off and headed to the first obstacle.
The day progressed with runners grunting, cursing, falling, and deliriously making their way through the course. 13 runners completed the 50k while many took a Fabulous Fail
or had an impromptu picnic
. A slew of detailed and extremely honest and humorous race reports have been shared in the past few day so we'll not waste time or cyber-space here recounting tales best told by the runners themselves. Be sure to read the excellent read race reports on the Fuego y Agua blog
and check out the outstanding pictures shot by SeeFar Photographic
Chief Brabon and Emily Hames of Australia dominated the brutal 50k course in 5:48 and 6:50, taking 1st and 2nd overall! In addition to being world-class athletes, Chief and Emily own and operate Original Bootcamp
, the #1 Fitness Bootcamp in Australia.
Canadian Shane McKay (53 years old) took the Survival Run with a 16:22 Finish and is the only one who completed the race with all 4 Amulets, reading I DID NOT FAIL. Only 12 others made it to the 50k Finish line with one, two or three amulets. No one went out on the 2nd loop for the 100km race option, so all racers were moved to 50km only. it is worth remarking that Shane McKay was well within the time cutoff for the second loop, and would have very likely completed 100k, but he graciously backed out, saying "I don't want the race staff to be waiting for me all night."
Special thanks and the Hero Award goes to John Taylor, a Survival Runner who dropped at 10 miles with a twisted ankle. John trained for over 6 months specifically for Hunter Gatherer, but he put it all on the line at 2:00am race morning to join a search party looking for a missing Race Staffer who had not returned from course marking. We found the missing person, they were ok, but John sustained an ankle injury that took him out 10 miles into the race.
Full Race Results can be found here