Local and out-of-town multi-sport athletes are gearing up to once again go big.
The annual Big Hurt weekend makes its return on Sept. 23 and 24, with competitors challenging themselves across a range of disciplines from running and cycling to kayaking and mountain biking.
The Big Hurt, held Saturday, Sept. 23, consists of four legs: 15 miles of mountain biking, 2.6 miles of kayaking/paddle boarding, 30 miles of cycling, and a 10-kilometer run.
“This is more than just a race — it’s a multi-sport experience that celebrates perseverance, competition and camaraderie,” race director Lorrie Mittmann said.
“Big Hurt is unique in multi-leg events because it has all of the leg transitions in one location. This makes for a fun all-day party atmosphere at the transition zone, with team members cheering each other on, as well as cheering for the other teams and Iron Division competitors.”
Participants can choose from a variety of race options tailored to their interests and abilities: compete solo in the Iron Division or on relay teams for two, three or four. There is a Masters division for participants older than 50, including in the team division.
Registration is open until Sept. 22 at bighurtpa.com.
At least 300 athletes and their guests are expected visit Port Angeles from the Pacific Northwest Region, event organizers note, as well as from further afield, including Wisconsin, Texas, Utah, Montana, California and Colorado.
“This is also the first year since we brought Big Hurt back in 2015 that we’ve had more than one Canadian,” Mittmann said. “So far we have five Iron Division competitors from B.C. [British Columbia] and Alberta, as well as a number of teams, mostly tandem teams, such as team Hurtin4Certain from Surrey and Operation Pina Colada from Vancouver.
“We know our local athletes will show our Canadian neighbors a really warm welcome and fun time at the race.”
The transition zone, which is also the finish line and race hub, is located at Pebble Beach park in downtown Port Angeles, right next to the newly-opened Field Arts and Events Hall.
“While we will have an area of the park dedicated just to the athletes and their gear, we will also have plenty of space and fun for spectators,” said transition zone coordinator Tom Michowski of Bike Garage in Port Angeles.
“We will have a beer garden hosted by and benefiting 4PA, as well as a band in the afternoon called Substantially Fly,” Michowski said.
This year’s event will feature ActiveTrack live streaming on the course that everyone will have access to view.
Sound Bikes & Kayaks is the title sponsor again this year, and a portion of proceeds from The Big Hurt will go back into the community to support the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Registered participants get 15 percent off at Sound Bikes and Kayak, free entry to FallFest at Extreme Sports Park (happening the same weekend) and special rates at Olympic Lodge.
The Little Hurt
The Big Hurt weekend is also family-friendly, organizers note: On Sunday, Sept. 24, youths in grades 1-8 are invited to compete in The Little Hurt, a multi-sport event designed to expose youth to competitions that include multiple sports, and to encourage participation in healthy activities that take advantage of the infrastructure and organizations available in the community.
Supported and organized via a partnership between Peninsula Adventure Sports (producers of the Big Hurt), Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association, and sponsors Bike Garage and Phoenix Dragon Martial Arts, The Little Hurt hosted at Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles.
The competition includes three legs: Cycling around the Peninsula College campus, rowing on rowing machines provided by the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association, and trail running in the woods just south of the main campus. Each participant does all of the legs. Note: There is not a relay option for Little Hurt.
Race legs are divided by grades so that kids the closest age to each other are together.
All Little Hurt racers receive a T-shirt, finisher medal and sticker.