Hokas Pokas!

photo(117)Just catching up on entries for the Hoka OneOne Running Story Competition that have piled up in the inbox while I was away running in the glorious Australian desert. If you think you’re entertaining and reckon you wouldn’t mind winning 2 sets of new Stinsons, then you’d better get your story to us ASAP. Be funny, or be disastrous, but you don’t have to mention – or even wear – Hoka OneOne for your chance at the big prize. Graham Jones and the boys do mention Hokas in their running stories, because, well…. Graham can tell you why…

My story is full of laughs, disaster and lots of running. Firstly put together a team of four to complete the 96km Kokoda Challenge with my wife and two mates. In two months lost Dave to a minor stroke and heart attack, Greg to bad knees and Julie to herniated discs in her back.  I was left to find a team-Found a team of fifty-sixty y.o.s, three guys all broken down with injury but keen to compete and aim to go under 20 hours. Stuart, fourteen ironmen and two Konas needed two knee replacements and had back surgery recently, Grant who had had a knee operation and was told he would never run again and Pete who was broken down with bad knees. They were all running in Hokas, hence our team name “Hokas-Pokas”. The shoes were the only piece of equipment that allowed them to run and compete, but I was skeptical of these “clown shoes”. In the meantime I went off and completed the TNF100. Got my buckle but left with severe knee pain and unable to train without pain. I took a break of a couple of days and then resumed but was always in pain. The boys then convinced me to get some Hokas, of which I saw many at TNF100. I had a break of a few days and then hit the road and trails. The recovery was instantaneous and I was hooked. I then trained every day averaging about 25ks per day and had no issues. I suppose now I could legitimately be part of the “Hokas-Pokas” with my new shoes.

photo(116)

We then moved to the 2013 Kokoda Challenge keen to get under 20 hours and maybe win our category. We set off very comfortably at 15-16 hour pace and tragedy hit. Grant, who had missed the last 4 weeks training because of an inflamed ITB (physio 3times per week), was in severe pain as we took a steep descent at 15ks. The decision was either withdraw Grant or continue at a slower pace. Only one option as our aim was to get the first timer over the line. Luckily we ran into a first aid vehicle and they taped his injured ITB. One problem he was unable to take any descents and we had more than 80ks ahead of us. His courage was unbelievable as Stu and I linked arms each side of him and Grant walked and jogged backwards down each descent-sometimes 3-4ks in length (not sure if this is the laughter or disaster component). Added to this Pete’s knees went at about 60ks and Grant suffered severe cramping from the tight taping of his ITB over the last 20ks. Despite this all four never gave up and we crossed the line together as a team of four in 20hours40minutes, coming second in the veteran’s category. In the back of all our minds were the real heroes – 18yo soldiers in 1942  who fought the Kokoda campaign and never gave up and maybe we were imparted  with a bit of their four principles-mateship,courage,sacrifice and endurance.

Post Script – Dave is now close to a full recovery, has just ordered Hokas and Julie and I have booked with him and his wife to trek to Everest base camp next year. I am also putting a team of three Kokoda Challenge Kids( one is Dave son)who I did the Kokoda Challenge and the Kokoda track with in 2012 and we are looking to run the team event under 16 hours in 2014.

The Hoka OneOne Running Story Competition. GET ON IT!!

The Hoka OneOne Running Story Competition. GET ON IT!! Barely 2 weeks left to enter.

About Roger Hanney
Ultramarathon runner. Wannabe adventurer. Writer. Australian HOKA ONE ONE guy. First Type 1 to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. www.runeatsleeprun.com www.type1ultra.com

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