Thursday, November 20, 2008
We are going to try something a bit different with the race report for the Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Trail Run ("JJ100"). It will be primarily in video form. Some of the videos are a bit long (but none are longer than 2 minutes and 28 seconds - that one being the final race review that will sum up the race as a whole, including comments on the course) and may get corny/loopy/strange at times (but we will blame that on spending hours upon hours in the desert heat). There will also be a short picture slide-show at the very end of this post.
The very short and sweet version is that I finished in 26 hours 41 minutes 35 seconds, good enough for 46th place out of 147 starters. Only 48.9% of the runners who started the race finished, showing just how challenging JJ100 can be. I got to see so many old friends (including Bob Gentile, Leigh Corbin, George Velasco, Chris and Susan Pulick, Jamie and David Donaldson, Mark "the Naked Runner", etc..) and met and made some new ones (including Angie, PJ, JavaMom, Eric, Dusty, etc..). Then there is, of course, Rick Gaston. I can't thank him enough for pacing me through the final 40 or so miles, and dealing with the ups and downs that we experienced (Rick actually got hurt at some point during the night). I also have to thank that entire crew that Bob pieced together - what a tremendous help they were. Even David took time to make sure I had what I needed while Jamie was out crushing the course en route to another first place finish.
Before getting into the video report, a little background on JJ100 is necessary. Taking place in McDowell Mountain Park (Fountain Hills, Arizona), JJ100 consists of six washing machine (alternating directions - clockwise, counterclockwise, clock, counter, etc..) loops, plus a so-called "halfaloop", on the 15.4 mile Pemberton Trail, featuring gently rolling trail through the desert. The trail was a mix of sand, dirt, grit, and rocks. The "halfaloop" is actually a 9 mile loop, which means that runners actually cover 101.4 miles. There are aid stations approximately every 5 miles, at Coyote Camp, Jackass Junction and Javelina Jeadquarters. The weather during the day reached into the 80s, and got fairly chilly at night. Historically, this event has a low finisher rate.
Ok, so, here we go. Each video will be preceded by a brief intro. The first video was taken on Loop #2, about 17 miles into the race, when I was running with PJ, Chris and Susan.
This video was taken at the start of Loop #3, about 30.8 miles into the race. At this point I am running with PJ.
This next video was also taken on Loop #3. PJ had pulled away and I am now running with Susan. The heat of the day is starting to take its toll.
This video is at the start of Loop #4, about 42.6 miles into the race and a loop before runners are allowed to pick up pacers (unless darkness comes first). I am still hanging with Susan.
Still on Loop #4, perhaps 51 miles into the run. Darkness has arrived. Susan and I can hear packs of coyotes howling in the desert.
This video is taken on Loop #5, 70+ miles into the run. I am now with my pacer, Rick.
Now on Loop #6, about 89 miles into the race after leaving the last aid station on the loop. I talk a bit about falling asleep while running and hiking. It is still dark.
This next video is taken on the final half-loop, about 95 miles into the race. You can see the rocky section of the trail and can also listen to a funny story about stepping on Bob's foot.
This is the final video. It was taken after we ran a 2.7 mile down hill stretch at a nice clip. We are now above the 100 mile mark and less than a mile from finishing. The video serves as a review of the race. Overall I would certainly recommend running JJ100 if you have the opportunity to do so.
Finally, below is a slide-show of some of the pictures I took pre, during and post-race.