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Rogerio Perez

This entry and related commentary from readers made me reflect on how fortunate we are to belong to a community not limited to membership in an organized group but the overall body of people who love, respect and enjoy the islands. All of us at one time in our lives, have been "newbies" to this or that activity ... but with caring, patient and knowledgeable mentors we have advanced beyond the "newbie" stage and embraced the next stage ... becoming "mentors" to those who like us share our love for the outdoors. As pointed out here, "Personal Responsibility" and self-examination are important not just for our safety but for those who we share the trails with. I'm grateful to know that the HURT Ohana is full of Aloha for it's members and those seeking to learn from them ... sharing IS caring.

Jeff Huff

Mike,

WOW! That was simply incredible! I can't begin to tell you how much money I have spent to purchase books for my IPAD to read about matters with such significance and impact that your piece had. I am truly moved by this post. While I may not always agree with your every post, you have hit a home run here in my books with this post. As a fringe player with the HURT group, I am honored to say that it is a group that I am proud to be associated with. As John says"it's all about the family", and I for one am happy to know that through the most difficult of circumstance you folks, the folks of HURT will always have my back. And recall there are no dues for HURT, either you belong or don't, however even if you don't belong we will be always be there.

Great job.

Huff

Wendy

Mike,
Your reflections are very well expressed....and a good pause for all of us to think about. As I followed the day-to-day search from here on the Big Island, I was so proud to tell people over here "the other side of the story" about the HURT group, and how HURT trail running "really" works, unlike how it was being portrayed in the media. It was so heart-warming to see all of you not leave Are, altho' a newbie, up on the hill, and to bring him home even though everyone clearly knew the outcome was not going to be good. I thank all of you for your efforts, and am proud to be a part of the HURT family. Aloha,
Wendy

Houseofecc

i am not a member of the HURT ohana but i was lucky enough to go on the Run With a View training run and the Run With a View race and meet lots of HURT runners: Fish, Sue, Angela, Robert, and others, and of course Are. I had to go to the mainland the day before Are disappeared, and so I'm just now coming back to and starting to understand the nightmare you were all living for a week. I know that following the search from 1000s of miles away is nothing compared to living it 14 hours a day for 7 days straight, and i can only guess at the incredibly strain that must have been on all of you. i thank you and honor your efforts.

As a lot of people have expressed, Are was such a vibrant person that it's difficult to believe he's gone. One thing i told Are was that when i got back from the mainland I'd do the Puu pia to Waahila trail with him. i thought it would be a useful trail for him to know because he was at the university.
Please don't feel obligated, but if anyone would like to do it with me I'd love the company. I'm hoping to do the run in the early morning either this week or next week.
my email address is houseofecc@mac.com
huge aloha to the HURT ohana, Sara

John

I think Mike most eloquently stated the history of the past couple of weeks, along with our "family" coming together and perhaps the need to rethink trail safety.

When we started HURT 30 years ago, we envisioned a group of nice trail runners loosely coupled together with few specific parameters. We tried hard to keep out those who really wouldn't fit by not selling HURT shirts and other devious methods.

30 years later we have a wonderful, caring family with a lot of very humble leaders.

We couldn't be prouder.............thank you!

janM

well written, well said, well done Mikey. you covered so many important points and a wide range of things to think about. i think we all learned a lot this past week. Are has certainly touched many lives and this event for some, has been a big wake up call. thanks, i really enjoyed reading it.

cheryl

Thank you Mike,,,we had to bring Are home to his family, and we did it the best way we could.

Paul

Since my wife doesn't read this, I'm safe in talking. I have and always place myself in a tested situation. Running solo at night on the trails during flash floods, hiking across a desert with minimal gear, ice climbing, and more. However, I do these things with the same intense safety planning as the actual challenge undertaken. Even my simple night runs include full survival gear, communication on where I'm going and returning, never change my route, carry phone, and so much more weight. I just grew up this way hunting along at the age of 7 in the woods all day/night, camping alone in the frost at 10 tracking a mountain lion all weekend and just reading natures signs of danger from snakes to tornadoes. Adventure has and will always be part of me with risks managed to my ability - and I do turn around. I do stop with signs of heat stroke, deadly weather and such. But, it doesn't always work out as I have rescued many people and friends from accidents around the world. This event reminds me of the hazards and will hopefully keep me smart enough to make the correct decisions - I hope!

Bob Mc.

A nice viewpoint or reflection as Mike calls it of the last week or so. I agree with what is said here, however I don't think I could or am ready to put it down so succinctly. I have read the comments by outsiders in regards to this tragedy and it is very clear some just don't get it. As Mike says, many of us have been there before--there is a fine line we walk or in our case run at times. I wouldn't want it any other way. It is all about personal responsibility and the decisions we make. This was a very hard way for all of us to be reminded of this. Are's love for life and his infectious smile will remind me that living on the edge is what keeps us alive. I know something about this edge and I am not just talking in a physical sense. Thank you Mike for writing this. Thank you Are and thank you to all those involved this past week.

Matt Stevens

Mike: Thank you for your outstanding reflection on this past week and a half in the HURT community. I thoroughly agree with your comment that we all inevitably have had close calls where our own judgement was not perfect, and thus our hearts when out for Are. When I was in my young 20's and trying to get ready for my first HURT 100, I turned my ankle pretty hard @10:30 PM up near Pauoa Flats when I was running WAY too fast for being out there at night and alone. I had a very, very long, slow and painful walk back to Jackass and I learned a ton that night about responsibility. As a married man with two small children now, I very consciously make different decisions now.

It seems paradoxical to me that we cherish the meaning that comes with taking on this responsibility (your Big Island traverse esp. demonstrates this, in my opinion), and yet we are united and tied together as a true ohana when the chips are down. I am humbled to think that my HURT brothers and sisters would put in the risk, time, emotions and energy into helping me if the chips were down, just as we (others much more so than myself) collectively did this past week.
I wrote this to Cheryl already, but amidst the uncertainty and grief, I realized how very blessed I am to call HURT my family.

aloha, Matt

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