Javelina Jundred–The Aftermath & Photo Images

The Javelina Jundred was quite an adventure for all parties involved. McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona, USA, was an awesome venue for this past weekend’s ultra-marathon trail running race. 

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This was only the Livingston Family’s second experience with an 100 mile event and we enjoyed every minute of it. The volunteers hustled to fill bottles, prepare food, provide directions, deal with timing issues, take out the garbage, and offer support. The radio guys and gals had to help everyone stay connected. The medical staff had their hands full with cactus stabs, swollen ankles, dehydration, and a host of other minor issues. The crews had to rub down their runners, provide words of encouragement, and execute fast pit stops. The pacers had to run, though not as far as the runners. The runners had to deal with the heat, the darkness, and the desert during their 100 mile jaunt.

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Everyone had to deal with sleep deprivation, except Shepard. Despite all of the start/finish around-the-clock, line chaos, he was asleep in our tent by 6:30 P.M. on Saturday. I heard nary a peep from him throughout the night. The same couldn’t be said of the runners. Groans were heard constantly.  

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I had a ringside seat for this bout. Camped out at the start/finish line, Shepard and I experienced the whole race unfold. From the pre-race meeting at 5:00 P.M. on Friday, to the last runners straggling home close to noon on Sunday, we were there. The carnival-like atmosphere helped the time go by. There were little kids running around, there were dog fights, there was lots of food, there were campers, there were day visitors. There was so much going on. Some runners would come into the aid station and be on their 5th lap while sitting across the pavilion were runners who had just completed their 2nd lap. Having the elite runners and pack runners all mixed up was great fun.

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I got a chance to see much of the race from Debbie’s perspective. She had reflected on her failed experiment at the 100 mile distance last summer in Chamonix at the UTMB. She was back and ready to prove that with better conditions, she was up to the 100 mile distance challenge. For years she has been running the 50 kilometer and 50 mile distance on trails. Javelina was her 9th ultra distance race of the year. She was the first woman to complete the first lap, but Michelle Barton and Jamie Donaldson weren’t far behind. The top women marked each other and went out at a comfortable pace.

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Eventually, Jamie grabbed the lead and turned on her accelerators. She has road speed from her college days as a distance running track star. Over the past couple of years, she has made a big impact on the ultra running scene with her biggest win to date, the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon. She set a course record for the epic 135 mile event this past summer. I did my research, gathering much information from her husband, David. We had a fine time passing the hours by chatting and trading tales. It didn’t take long to realize that it would be a tough task for Debbie to overhaul Jamie. She may not have been up against Nikki Kimball, but Jamie’s talent is about as close as you can get to Nikki, who is the top female ultra-marathon trail runner in the country.

Jamie did go on to win the event and finish fourth overall. On the men’s side, Todd Braje, led after two laps, but faded due to injury. He eventually became a casualty of the race and was a DNF for the 100 mile distance. Overall, attrition was pretty high. Jeff Riley assumed the lead and finished strong for the win. 

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Full Results

Debbie had a really good time. She had some funny experiences. One such moment was when she was taking a “nature call” in the middle of the desert in the pitch black. She was taking care of business and then became startled when a she realized a wild horse was only five feet away. Horses weren’t the only wildlife encounters. Several folks saw coyotes and most of us at least heard their yapping during the long night. You had to be careful out there. 

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This was the 6th Javelina Jundred. It is always held around the full moon closest to Halloween. Next year, the race is actually on 10/31. That ought to be cool. Despite this year’s November date, there were still some really great costumes. The Javelina blog has all the award winners and good costume photos. 

We saw two great desert sunsets and two beautiful desert sunrises.

I captured as many photos as I could while tending to my crew and Daddy duties. My adventure wasn’t quite like Debbie’s, but it was still an adventure. 

It is worth noting again that this event had a wonderful vibe. The ultrarunning trail running community should really be proud of this event and the hard work contributed by Jamil Coury, his family, and his volunteers. There are many other people that could be named. Traveling from Connecticut to run in the Sonoran Desert takes a leap of faith. Our trip was made so much better because the hospitality and resources available at the race were top tier. 

Debbie has already recovered. She will probably run by this coming weekend and will certainly line up for the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day. Five miles should be a piece of cake. Her quadriceps suffered the most muscle damage and her right knee was quite stiff, but she will bounce back quickly. The look of pain on her face when she finished was enough to convince me that she had given it her all. The 100 mile distance was conquered. Don’t bother asking her when she will run 100 again. I’ve checked and there are no plans…yet.

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Race Photos

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