Monday, November 9, 2009

Jalloween Fun!

October 31, 2009 - Javelina Jundred 100-mile Endurance Run

Schools were closed for a long Halloween weekend so we decided to make this a family roadtrip. What a great weekend it was! My best 100-miler yet (okay, okay I've only ran 2!) with a finish time of 25:17:24. Fun for the entire family. Camping in the AZ desert with Shelli and her family. Hanging out with friends from So Cal Trail Headz. The crazy costumes. The fast runners. The slow runners. Running through the desert at night. Halloween crafts and trick-or-treating for the kids. The best Halloween party ever!

Javelina Jundred is six and a bit loops on the Pemberton Trail in McDowell Mountain Park, Fountain Hills, AZ. The neat thing about a loop course is that you are never really alone on the trail. The bad thing is that the fast guys pass you, then pass you again and again. It gets a little demoralizing at times... especially when you gain control of your over-heated brain sufficiently to figure out that Dave James is already 14 miles ahead of you and it's early days yet! The course is not as technical as some, nor does it have the elevation gain of most, but the unrelenting sun and no shade anywhere take their toll. Dehydration is a major issue, as is severe blistering caused by the gritty desert sand seeping through shoes, gaiters and socks to attack the feet.

I had a great race. I didn't really have a plan except that my pace needed to average between 15:00/mi (best case) and 17:30/mi (to meet cut-offs). Life, family and work had gotten in the way of my training and I simply hadn't gotten in the long training runs that I had going into SD100. I was relying on what I had in the bank and the shear guts and determination that my British heritage has bestowed on me. As I stood at the start line, I told Shelli that my plan was to be done in time for breakfast.

Shelli did not have a good race. The ankle injury she sustained in Costa Rica continues to plague her (because she simply will not take time off to let it heal) and it gave her problems right from the start. So nearing the end of lap 3 I made the tough decision to leave her and run my own race. I felt good the whole race, even on the last loop when a huge blister on the ball of my foot made it impossible to land on the ball of my foot. Eventually it burst and I suffered the usual red hot coal burning sensation. But at least I could run again! As Lorraine Gersitz once pointed out, you can only focus on one body part hurting at a time so I had no pain anywhere else.

Shelli paced me through the early hours on lap 5 and then again for my victory loop on lap 7 so she earned her 100K buckle.

I love this race. I didn't even mind running 101.4 miles in costume. It got hot, but not too hot; it got cold, but not too cold. The volunteers were terrific, the race organization outstanding. Fun for me, fun for the entire family.

And with two 100s under my belt, I can now enter Badwater 135....

Oh, the Angel wings - couldn't run with them, too much flapping. So if there's any costume designers reading this post, please bear that in mind. Yes, there is a whole subculture of crazy ultrarunners that like to run 100 miles in costume....

Many thanks to Will LaFollette and whoever else I stole pictures from....