Big Hurt originally took place in Port Angeles, Washington between the years of 1997-2004. It was organized by the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau. After a decade absence, local event organizers re-established the race in 2015, and have been hosting it ever since. In 2019, organizers decided to start honoring local citizens who have played a key role in the success of Big Hurt – Big Hurt Legends, so to speak. We have been honored to have these great folks and their support over the years:
Mike has been on the Big Hurt committee since the race was resurrected in 2015. He designed the road bike course, marks the course, and monitors the course and riders all day.
We recruited Mike because he is known as a bit of a road bike guru (shall we say a Legend?!), and has quite a history in the sport. His athletic life started with, interestingly, dog sledding. He also enjoyed running until one day, in his early 40’s, he entered a bike race wearing non-traditional garb of cutoffs and a tank top. He came in last but was hooked on cycling. He’s been passionate about it ever since. Mike was involved with the Pettit Cycling Team when they organized the first annual Dungeness stage race which continues to this day, now known as the Tour de Dung. He has volunteered every year. He still rides every day weather permitting unless his wife has other plans. At 80 years of age, we find him to be an inspiration!
Tom Wahl is a teacher at Port Angeles High School. After a battle with cancer in 2015, Tom worried that he might have to cut back on his endurance racing activities. As of 2015 he had 24 marathons by that time in his life, and had been a competitor in the original Big Hurt, among other things. According to a 2015 article about Tom in the Peninsula Daily News, Tom’s first thought was to offer to help out as a volunteer at the newly-resurrected Big Hurt. He even talked with one of the organizers, Lorrie Mittman, about assisting. “Then I went home and slept on it and thought, you know, I can do this,” he said. And he did it! And he’s been doing it every year since. From the PDN: But Wahl’s reasons for doing The Big Hurt go beyond his finishing time and place of finish. “It was about me, I guess, but also it was about people who have cancer or are struggling,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and give them some hope. I want to encourage them to get out and do as much as you can, and challenge yourself to do something.”
Legend Award 2021: Dave Lasorsa is an athlete’s athlete, starting in his youth and the roomful of trophies he had when he left his childhood home. Along with racing in the very first Big Hurt in 1997 (and many more after!), Dave is a nationally-ranked duathlete and is currently the Chair of the USA Triathlon Multisport Committee. But he gets way more fun than that! Mountain climbing and teaching survival skills to researchers in Antarctica are some of his previous endeavors. We are happy to have Dave back with us in the resurrected Big Hurt, and the recipient of the 2nd Big Hurt Legend award.
The first Legend Award went to Gay Hunter, who is an amazing local athlete, participating in countless marathons, Ironman events, and more, all over the country. Gay has raced in EVERY Big Hurt: 1997-2004, 2015-present. She also volunteers for ALL of our races in some way or another.
We love Gay so much, and we are so glad we could honor her for all that she contributes to us and her local community. She is our great friend as well, and feel lucky to have her at our sides, always with a smile and positive can-do attitude.
With each Peninsula Adventure Sports event, race directors aim to create healthy and fun events at reasonable prices that also benefit the community by creating partnerships, enhancing tourism and boosting the local economy.
A portion of race proceeds is donated to non-profit groups that support local recreational assets or outdoor recreation for youth.