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Canadians destroy at Hawaii’s Hurt 100-miler

Chilliwack's Ihor Verys and Andrea Tarras won the men's and women's divisions of the iconically tough Hawaiian ultra

Ihor Verys Andrea Tarras Hurt 100 Photo by: courtesy of Ihor Verys

Two Canadians dominated the ultra-trail scene last weekend, with Ihor Verys and Andrea Tarras (both of Chilliwack, B.C.) crushing the notoriously gruelling Hurt 100 race in Honolulu, Hawaii. 29-year-old Verys conquered the overall spot in a challenging field of competitors, finishing in 20 hours and 50 minutes, and Tarras, 40, won the women’s field in 26 hours (and placing seventh overall). Fellow B.C. runner Oskar Michalak of Squamish also cracked the top 10, taking ninth in 26:41.

Canadians and crew at Hurt 100 2024
Canadians and crew members at Hurt 100 2024 Photo courtesy of Ihor Verys

Hurt 100 is a famously tough (both to get into and to complete) race on rough, rooty trails in Hawaii’s semi-tropical rainforest, completed over five laps (with partial out-and-backs). Runners traverse 7,468 metres of cumulative elevation gain and loss over the course of the race. Participants are required to run a qualifying race and participate in a lottery, as well as complete trail work, in order to compete. 

Ihor Verys at Hurt 100 2024
Photo courtesy of Ihor Verys

Trail and ultra fans around the world know Verys from his record-breaking backyard ultra assist (to American runner Harvey Lewis) in October, when he ran more than 717 kilometres over five days at Big’s Backyard Ultra World Championships in Tennessee. With only three years of competitive ultrarunning under his belt, Verys (who moved to Canada from Ukraine in his early 20s) has already racked up a daunting list of accomplishments that include wins at B.C.’s gruelling Fat Dog 120 and Alberta’s Canadian Death Race (where he also faced off against Lewis, beating him by more than two hours).

Ihor Verys’s surprising secret weapon: nose breathing

Tarras (who, like Verys, makes her home in Chilliwack) can boast a remarkable win at Fat Dog 120 in 2023, an event where she won the 107K race and was second overall in 2022. Fat Dog 120 is a 120-mile race in the Cascade mountain range of B.C., traversing an elevation over 8,000 metres—similar to that of Mount Everest. In 2022 Verys won the 120-miler at Fat Dog, and in 2023 he paced Tarras through the final stretch of her win.

Tarras described the Hurt 100 experience to Canadian Running as “incredible,” expressing her love for the trail community.

“The course indeed lives up to its name,” Verys told Canadian Running. “It’s 100 miles of hopping, skipping and jumping while going either up or down. The best part of HURT is its incredible community that makes you want to come back for more HURT-ing time again.”

“I knew Andrea would win it,” Verys added. Both runners are must-watch Canadians, standouts in an international field against seasoned professionals.

Tarras, Verys and Michalak were joined by Erik Bird of Mission, B.C. (23rd, 30:17), Squamish’s Tricia McKeowan (6th woman, 33:42), Charlotte Vasarhelyi of Cambridge, Ont. (9th woman, 34:37) and Alberta’s Sabina Tolean, who was the 12th woman in 35:04. Hurt 100 reported 23 Canadians on their start list, but the race has a high DNF rate, with 57 participants out of 132 starters not completing.

For full results of the 2024 Hurt 100, head here.

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