Only Two Dozen Finish Hawaii Ultra Marathon

MAKIKI (KHNL)--Only a handful of runners from around the world even try an Oahu race so difficult that only a fraction finish. It's the Eighth Annual Hawaii One Hundred Mile Marathon.

Gordon Lau is the first local runner to finish.

"Well, for like this weekend because of rain and stuff, the course is really nasty. The routes are slippery, the rocks are slippery, the mud is deep, I mean, look, it's a really, really hard course," said Lau.

They started out early Saturday morning, running all day, all night and must finish by 6:00 Sunday evening.

"This is the hardest one of all of them. And it's the most difficult and we did it because we trained in these mountains for twenty five years, my club, the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team and um, we decided to make something very very difficult, " said race director John Salmonson.

The competitors had to deal with muddy terrain and wet conditions. One runner even suffered broken ribs in a fall. The route goes from Makiki to Nuuanu and back five times.

"The footing is the most difficult and the elevation gain is the most difficult. Each runner doing 100 miles gains, 27,000 feet so he runs the equivalent of running up to Mount Everest in one day or 36 hours," said Salmonson.

Of the 100 people who start on average, only about 23 finish. They get a belt buckle.

Fourth place, not bad for a 54-year-old.

"This is the ultimate right here. This is the ultimate. The ultimate trail race," said Lau.

To help the runners make it through the one-hundred-mile course there are five aid stations where they can fuel up.

Volunteer runners also stay in stride with them to keep them on pace.