Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pacing at the Javalina Jundred 100 Miler

The Javelina Jundred 100 mile race is staged out of the Pemberton Trailhead at McDowell Mountain Regional Park north of Fountain Hills, Arizona. The 100 Mile distance is comprised of six full loops on the popular Pemberton Trail with an additional half-a-loop on the Pemberton and Tonto Tank Trails. Runners reverse directions each lap of the race and are supported by four on course aid stations per loop (Javelina Jeadquarters, Coyote Camp, Jackass Junction & Rattlesnake Ranch). 

I recently had the opportunity to pace my friend at the Javalina Jundred 100 miler at the beginning of November. I have always had a fascination with this race, but the distance has always scared me away. Thankfully, my friend Kathryn decided she wanted to give it a go, and thus I became a pacer. :)

She created a schedule of all the laps and who would accompany her on each lap. I would accompany her on a nighttime lap, from 8pm-about 11PM. I didn't start driving out to Phoenix until about 5pm, so I was cutting it really close. I finally made it to McDowell Mountain Park and took the shuttle to the start line up the road. I literally made it within minutes!! And we were off!

Kathryn is getting ready to run another
night loop! 
Before our 15 mile
night loop together. 
I tried to keep her entertained and focused. We ran some, and walked some. She got through the aid stations so fast. I mainly drank Coke and munched on salted potatoes (both are my favorites during ultras!) Near the end of the 15 mile loop, we both started to tire, so I tried hard to keep the pace up so we could get to the finish in the time she estimated.





After we got back to Javalina Jeadquarters, I decided to take a shower, get changed in some warm, dry clothes and go to sleep. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my bag with my shower stuff and clothes with me. No problem, I thought, I'll just take the shuttle back to my car. BAD CHOICE. I waited for an hour and a half, sweaty from the run and shivering. There were so many people that wanted to go back and they only had ONE SHUTTLE at this time. I can't remember why (the other one broke down or the other driver was allowed to go home??) but I hope this is something they change in the coming years. I get it, it's late. And I'm sure the crew and pacers are not the top priority for the race (totally understandable), but I don't want to invite my crew out to the race when I run this in the future, only to have them wait and have a bad experience getting back to their cars. Just saying.

However, that was the ONLY tiny tiny issue I saw with this race. Everything else was SO WONDERFUL and SO EXCITING and I CAN'T WAIT TO RUN THIS ONE DAY!! Every race will have it's problems, and I understand that. And I hope you do too. There are other races with way worse problems, and I still plan on going back again.

After I finally got my stuff, I went back to Javelina Jeadquarters and took a shower. Ahhh, so refreshing. McDowell Mountain Park has GREAT showers. You get a shower room all to yourself. :)

After a shower, I went back to the tent (one of the ones you can rent from the race, and it comes with 2 cots!) and took a nap. I woke up to see Sara come in and Clint head out with Kathryn on her FINAL loop (Loop 7)! She also got to put on her red glow necklace to show she was on her final loop. The sun was starting to come up, and she was getting close to becoming a 100 mile finisher!!!

Finally, we saw her round the corner with Clint! She had just missed the 24 hour cutoff for a special buckle, but she still made it within the 30 hour time limit. She came in at 25:30:06. Impressive for her first 100 miler!!

She did it! 100 miles! 

Didn't quite capture the jump of joy! At least she looks happy!


The crew. As you can see, I got super comfy really fast.
Yup, socks and Chacos, that's right. :)

The map of the Course. 
This was a FANTASTIC RACE! Sure, it's hard mentally to run the same loop 7 times, but that also means there are LOTS of stops at the Aid Stations and you can always come back and change clothes every 15 miles. So you don't need to carry everything with you. In my opinion, I think this is great race for trying to accomplish your first 100 mile (this is the race I'm choosing for my 1st 100!) or even if it's not your first rodeo. 

Happy Running! 

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