AN INTERVIEW WITH MIRANDA OLDROYD

Fact: the Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run is a blast. Another fact: it attracts some of the best and fittest on earth, many of whom you know by name but maybe haven’t had the opportunity to learn what draws them to our beautiful island for a run that makes the Tough Mudder look like playtime.

This year we’re introducing an interview series with some of THE athletes joining us this year, NEXT UP: MIRANDA OLDROYD.

CrossFit athlete and Progenex team member Miranda Oldroyd is another one of the original UHTR runners, having joined us for the inaugural run in 2014. Last year, however, she was saddled with a knee injury after competing in the CrossFit Games that kept her from hitting the trail. But in a true testament to the spirit of the UHTR, Miranda still showed up and partook in as much as she could - from workouts with her fellow CrossFit champs at CrossFit Poipu to cheering runners on from the sidelines on race day.

This year, however, she’s back in action and gunning for the mud and the views. And the famous cliff at Shipwreck Beach, of course.

Q: How did you first hear about the Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run?

I have had the opportunity to be present at both years of the UHTR as an athlete and employee for Progenex.

Q: Last year you couldn't run due to injury. Are you running this year? If yes, what are you most looking forward to about the run?

I am absolutely running this year! I can't wait! It's my motivation to train running, since I typically hate it. This run is different though because it’s about enjoying the beautiful scenery and making unforgettable memories with some pretty amazing people.

Q: The UHTR has become a great example of what a CrossFit box can do for its community. What do you think other communities can learn from them?

Nothing brings a better sense of accomplishment than completing something hard, maybe even something you thought was a little scary.  Nothing brings a greater sense of closeness and camaraderie than shared suffering.  Nothing creates a greater sense of joy than helping others.  The UHTR does all of that for you in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Q: As an athlete, what advice would you give to any young boy or girl starting CrossFit?

My biggest piece of advice to anyone starting CrossFit at any age is two-fold. 1) ANYONE can do this. And no matter how long you've been doing it, you will still have so much you want to improve. So just get started. 2) It's supposed to be FUN! Stop stressing out about it and just have fun with it!

Q: Outside of the run, what are some other activities that you're looking forward to doing while on island?

I honestly can't wait to get out on a board again and attempt to surf. I am hoping to paddle board, too. I love the hikes we go on and of course jumping off of that cliff!!


AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS SPEALLER

When it comes to CrossFit, Chris Spealler has been at it longer than most have even known about the sport. With seven (seven!) CrossFit Games under his belt and countless seminars taught on behalf of CrossFit HQ, Speal has seen the growth of CrossFit like few others - and he knows firsthand the positive impact it can have as a sport and a community.

When Aaron assembled the first UHTR in 2014, Speal, on behalf of Progenex, saw the opportunity to help lift up another community and didn’t hesitate to sign up - and then he came back for more in 2015, and he’ll be back for even more in 2016. We love his positive vibe and easygoing personality and can’t wait to see him having fun with this year’s challenges.

Q: What was your favorite part about the Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run last year?

Hands-down, it was the community vibe. It's not about the competition but about the amazing experience and helping out the kids on the Island. It's refreshing to be around so many great athletes and see the common purpose of helping others.

Q: What are you looking forward to again this year?

Last year was a ton of fun with the "adventure" aspect to the run. Ups and downs, ropes to help get around the muddy sections, and small stream crossings. Can't wait to see what they come up with this year to keep us entertained.

Q: How do you think that the Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run and the kids program are impacting the kids on the island?

It's hard for me to say since I'm only there for a week, but seeing the growth from the first year the second one is evident in things like the development of the gym for the kids, and the continual pursuit to make the UHTR a great experience for all. I know kids are getting the opportunity to participate in after-school activities that otherwise would not be possible.

Q: Outside of the run what were some other activities that you liked doing while on island?

Everything from jumping off cliffs, to surfing, snorkeling, hikes, and boat rides. It's a great place to either unwind or get some adventure in.

Q: CrossFit teaches some valuable life lessons-- how do you think starting CrossFit as a kid can impact their future and development?

I think anything that teaches us how to work through difficult situations or scenarios is beneficial.  If we can experience these things with like-minded, supportive people in a fun and safe environment like a CrossFit class, I know it will apply to a number of other things in life. We can all benefit both in and outside the gym from the lessons learned about ourselves and others.