I headed down to Arizona for a little sunshine and desert running. The Javelina Jundred is a fabulous race put on by Jamil Coury of Aravaipa Running, near Jalloween. JJ100 Website
It is looped course in the McDowel Mountain Regional Park located near Fountain Hills, Arizona.
4 Loops for the 100k and 6 loops + 10mile loop for the 100miler
The idea is to dress up, have fun, party, make friends, go fast or go slow. Most important enjoy the beauty of Arizona and be in the amazingly capable hands of Jamil and his crew of volunteers.
Volunteers are always great, but this bunch are truly dialled. I’d come in after each loop and refilled my bottle with carbopro/gatorade mix. I literally stood with my bag of powder and empty bottle and without saying a word the volunteer knew exactly what to do. She grabbed it from my hands put the powder in the bottle, filled it with water, shook and handed it back while I stood in appreciation and stuffed my face with the well stocked Aid Station. Now that is dialled.
The halfway point of Jackass Junction is another party stop. Music and fun going just like at jeadquaters. Only here you have a crazy guy on the microphone and tequila shots after dark.
Many like myself opt to camp at Jeadquaters the night before and during. The tents are spacious and cots are comfy. Mine did have a peep whole in it, which the guys patched up.
The day before the race there was a beer mile which I missed. Probably a good thing.
Also, all weekend Freak Brother’s pizza is baking pies. Huss beer is onsite. And a gourmet coffee truck. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, and outdoor trail movie night the night before.
After doing my first 100 miler last year (Oil Creek Race Report) I vowed I would never do another. I finished. But it was longer than expected and I didn’t see the point of suffering that long again. So when I signed up for JJ100 it was under the hope that I would make it under or close to 24hrs. If not I would call it at 100km.
I stuck to my plan. Had fun on course. Kept the pace reasonable. Heat was not excessive this year, despite seeing the sheriff helicopter arrive to check on a racer over heating.
I met and ran with great people along the way. Norm from Running Free found me on the first loop and filmed us running together a bit. Even met 2 runners from the old country, who now live in New Mexico. I love hearing a Czech or Slovak accent on the trail and talking to them. #smallworld.
Enjoyed seeing the usual javelina characters, fun costumes that made me laugh as I ran past them, some amazingly fast folks and ultrarunning legends and soaked in the scenery.
By the end of loop 3 my pace was slower then I would have liked, but still felt good. That changed by the end of the 4th loop. Every step was a struggle as feet felt mangled. Especially all my left toes. My usual philosophy is that if running hurts as much as walking then RUN. In this case running hurt waaaaayyyyy more. I just picked my way gingerly through the rock garden that lead out of Jackass Junction, thinking that for sure this was my last loop. It was dark at this point. My headlamp was on. It didn’t get much colder though which was good. I stopped to admire the fireworks off in the distance, when I looked down to see a coyote standing right beside me off the trail and starring at me. I was paralyzed for a moment. I started to move and it followed. Slowly I moved, breathing slow, long breaths. It finally stopped following and turned around. I breathed a sigh of relief, and thought what if I go out for another loop and see another one or the rattle snacks they all talk about or tarantulas. My mind was racing. Truly had I gotten a signal I would have called my mother. Haha!
Instead, I moved forward to the last aid station, fuelled up and jogged slowly into the finish.
I had been “running” now for 15hrs 47min and completed 100k. (Many of the top 100milers were finished an hour or 2 before this.) My toes were killing and it was clear a sub-24hr finish was unattainable, however didn’t want to call it just yet. So I asked the time keeping folks if I could decide a little later. They were very happy about that and gave me lots of advice as they are all accomplished ultra runners in their own right, one finishing a 500k trail run and showed me a video of his nasty toe from that run and said surely my toes weren’t as bad. He was correct.
Well, I ate and then headed to my tent to get out of my shoes and compression socks. All the toes on my left were full wrap around blisters starting from under the nail bed and all the way around. I stretched a bit and lay down, putting my alarm on for 1hr.
I didn’t fall asleep. My legs were too restless. But an hour passed and I had no urge to start running again. Another hour passed and pretty much called it a day, but didn’t get up to tell the time keepers yet. Next thing I knew I woke up and it was 2:33am. YUP. I’m done.
I got up and collected my 100k belt buckle and hung out at jeadquaters.
You can’t not have fun at this race, no matter the results.
Note: As of 3 years ago if you dropped from the 100miler to the 100k you not get a DNF in ultra signup, but a finish in the 100k and a 100k belt buckle. In the last 3 years you get a DNF in the 100miler if you registered for that but did not finish and got a 100k belt buckle as long as you finished 4 loops. As of next year, if you register for the 100miler and do not complete it, you will get a DNF on ultrasignup and no belt buckle even if you complete the 100k. I think this is fair. However, I am happy I squeezed it in this year. 🙂
Thanks Aravaipa Running and the crew, volunteers and fellow runners.