Cameron Hanes told me to run a 10k at Mount Pisgah. And he got me to shoot a crossbow. I have absolutely no experience running for that long, and the last time I touched a bow was at a range back home in Tigard, when I was in middle school.
To say that I came into Cameron Hanes’ “Lift, Run, Shoot” event unprepared would be an understatement, but if Cameron Hanes tells you to run, you run.
Hanes is a professional bowhunter and endurance athlete sponsored by MTN OPS, Hoyt Archery, Black Rifle Coffee Company and Bass Pro Shops who put together this event so that he can share in his love for lifting, running and shooting bows. Lift Run Shoot is an event he organized with MTN OPS; tickets cost $2,500, which included food, a signed copy of Hanes’ book Endure, access to the 10k at Mt. Pisgah and more.
The bulk of the event took place July 28 through July 30 at Endicott Farms in Springfield, and hosted a plethora of different activities with participants coming from as far as from Houston, Salt Lake City and Sydney, Australia. There were four rotating classes: a nutrition seminar, an archery class, an arrow masterclass and a lecture on how to secure hunting tags. Participants also had lunch, dinner, snacks and an 80-pound dumbbell bench press competition, as well as a viewing of Hanes’ short film Bush Dragon.
At 10 am Saturday, the workout included running with an 80-pound sandbag across your back, burpees with 40-pound sandbags and weighted lunges. While doing pushups in the sun, Hanes and his nutritionist Eric McCorkmick yelled, “We get to do this!”
After that workout, we ran a relay while carrying 60-pound sandbags. Next, I attended a nutrition class with Hanes and McCormick, which ended with a discussion of a range of topics from diet, to hunting and life. The next seminar was hosted by Easton Archery’s representative Cody Griffin who gave us the rundown on everything there is to know about arrows.
The jargon used by Griffin and the participants was a different language to me: Arrow weight, draw length, draw weight, powerstroke — these are all things that influence how you shoot. As Griffin pointed out, “Have a sharp ass broadhead,” which are arrow points used for hunting.
Third was a lecture by Trail Kreitzer and Brady Miller, representatives from GoHunt.com. They went over how to acquire licensing for hunts, which units in Oregon have the most success and how to apply for a hunt. The last class was hosted by Wayne Endicott, owner of The Bow Rack in Springfield and owner of Endicott Farms. Endicott went over the best way to shoot a bow, the foot positions and even how having a goatee can make your aim significantly worse.
At 8 am the next day we met at Mount Pisgah to run that 10k. I had my pair of Nike Zoom Pegasus from my track and field days back in high school. Everyone else had cushioned trail shoes and holsters for their water bottles. Me? I dropped my water bottle a mile in and spilled half its contents.
The Pisgah ascent was brutal, but when I made it to the top, Hanes was waiting to give every runner a high five. The view made the whole run worth it, and as I descended the trails got extremely narrow. Many runners came out with abrasions to their knees and elbows. I came out with a sweat soaked T-shirt and a left knee that felt like it was hit by a hammer. At the start of the track, representatives from Speedland running shoes, who sponsor Hanes, were present and allowed participants to try on their signature Liam Lonsdale trail running shoe, which felt like more of a cloud than a shoe.
Bow hunting is an endeavor that is as old as time and is also extremely challenging. Hanes said in his nutrition seminar, “Killing an elk with an arrow is one of the hardest things to do. When you fail, it’s tough.”
According to Hanes’ manager Rihana Cory, we wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for bow hunters, and bow hunting gives you a deeper respect for the animal. After shooting the bow with Hanes and Endicott, I can see why Endicott said that bow hunting is in everybody’s DNA.
Hanes left me with a quote from Spanish philosopher and politician Jose Ortega y Gasset, from his work Meditations on Hunting: “One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary one kills in order to have hunted… If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal he would refuse it. What he is after is having to win it, to conquer the surly brute through his own effort and skill with all the extras that this carries with it: the immersion in the countryside, the healthfulness of the exercise, the distraction from his job.”
More information at CameronHanes.com.