Ultraman Story: Jack Nosco

Ultraman 2000

It was 1989 that I participated in my first of 3 Ultraman races. I returned in 1990 for my second time. That year was very special. I married my wife on Thanksgiving day morning, Nov 22nd. It was such a wonderful experience for me. One that will last a lifetime. I had planned the wedding with then race director Curtis Tyler. We were married by a true Hawaiian minister. It was on the beach across from the swim start. The sun was just starting to rise (my favorite time of the day) and a lot of fellow participants attended the ceremony. It was the start of a great life for me!

It was a dream of mine to someday bring my children to this spot we were married. I wanted them to see this beautiful place. I wanted them to swim in this great ocean and fill what I did 10 years ago. It was a dream come true when we all got to experience this place as a family (my crew: my wife Teri, my daughter Rachel (8yr) and my son Russell (5yr) ).

Having competed in the Fogdog 24hr Adventure Race the previous weekend (finishing time 31hrs, 10th place), I was having serious doubts about even being able to start this race. As the week progressed and I was able to recover, I was now confident that I would at least be able to start this race.

I was fortunate to have a local paddler, Beth, that Jane had arranged for me. She did an outstanding job in the fact that she was able to get to the end of the swim leg before the cutoff (4:49hrs, compared to 1990 time of 2:55hrs). I had to smile as I heard my time announced. I could not believe such a time. My family was anxiously awaiting my arrival to the transition. I was very excited to see them, but not very excited to get on my bike. After about 15 minutes in the transition I headed up the hill.

I felt very sick and nauseous. I threw up several times and was forced to get off and walk ( a first for me ever to have had to walk my bike ). My wife did a wonderful job in convincing me to continue on. I did. It was very difficult, but very rewarding to reach the finish of day one.

After a nice meal and good sleep, plus a very good friend Randy Burdick and his wife Lynne, flew in from California that afternoon to take over crewing. This worked out nicely as it gave my family a break. They were able to enjoy the Hilo side of the Island without being stuck in a car with two kids all day. By having Randy take over really motivated me to do better. I had a great second day. 8:33hrs and I really felt great.

Day three was wonderful. The start was very special to me. The blowing of the conch shell to start the race, knowing that this was the end of an era, the last time that I would probably ever race around this Island. It was both exciting and sad for me. The run was great. All of the crews along the course were great too. I really enjoyed the day. I had a low spot at the half way, but I gradually worked through it and went on to run a strong finish. By now my whole family had joined in the crewing and this really got me feeling good. My friend Randy was able to run with me for about 30 miles that day. As we were running together, I was reflecting on things and thought that I am a very fortunate man. I am on this beautiful Island with my dear family and my best friends doing what I absolutely love to do. It doesn’t get much better than that. Maholo

Thanks to Jane and her staff, my paddler Ruth, all of the other participants and especially my family and friends who encouraged me to continue when the going got tough!

– Jack Nosco