11th annual Hyner Run Challenge remains a success

KEVIN RAUCH/FOR THE EXPRESS Not only does the Hyner Challenge serve as a test for people of all ages, but many family members take on the course together every year. Here, cousins Alex Probert (913) from York and Kayla Probert (360) of Renovo take off near the start line.

Kevin Rauch

For The express

NORTH BEND –The English Channel, Catalina, Manhattan and the Hudson River, places that travelers and thrill seekers alike flock to from all over the world to visit. Even well seasoned endurance athletes and adventure seekers like Hugh and Louise Darlington still can’t help but marvel at the views Hyner and the annual hike and run Challenge has to offer.

And that was just from the bottom, before they even reached the areas peaks.

“Gorgeous” offered Louise of her first impression of Hyner, “stunning” added Hugh.

What impressed the couple the most about Hyner was that they live just a couple of hours away and never realized how picturesque the area is. “We’re really only a little over two hours away and we had no idea that something so beautiful was this close”.

And the couple would certainly know about scenery. Self described endurance athletes with a focus on swimming, this year alone will have seen them sandwich their Hyner trip with an ice swim completed earlier this year in Vermont to a six person relay team around the English Channel slated for later this summer. Louise’s main goal is to complete the English Channel herself next year.

Still, their inaugural trip to Hyner left quite an impression on the couple.

“Everything is so breathtaking to look at, but then when you combine that with how nice everybody is, they are all so friendly and take time to talk to you, this is just a great experience” said Hugh.

The couple showed up at Hyner knowing only that “it contains three hills” according to Hugh. Moments before the race started he was looking forward to the view itself.

“We we’re looking up at the rock as soon as we got it, so when we found out that was the view and what this place was built around, I’ve been excited to get there since” he said.

This was the 11th annual Hyner Challenge and yet again proved to show that runners never know what to expect on an early spring morning in April in central PA. A rain filled week saw the course get one more blast of rain minutes before the race began.

Those 50K participants began at 8:00AM with a misty drizzle coming to an end, while the majority of the group of 25K course never had to run in the rain, but still, the earlier entrants started to leave muddy conditions that only got worse as the day went on.

Through the years participants have encountered humidity, snow, mud and rain, but continue to migrate to Hyner every spring to accept the Challenge.