2012 Javelina Jundred

Wow, what can I say. I returned to the Javelina Jundred this past weekend. Debbie ran it in 2008. At the time, I crewed it with our two-year old son and shot a lot of photos. I frequently travel to Horst Engineering de Mexico, and often pass through Phoenix. USAirways has some funky flight schedules, so I was forced to make an overnight layover on the way back from last week’s solo trip.

I figured this pacing thing out a couple of weeks before the trip when thinking about how I might pass the time in Phoenix. I thought about the October full moon, and Javelina popped into my head. I entered the URL into my browser and discovered it was the same weekend as my layover. I hopped on to Aravaipa Running’s Pacer Connection and made an entry. My plan was to avoid a hotel entirely, save the $125 and run all night!

In a matter of days, I hooked up with Brian Pilgrim via e-mail. Brian is an ultrarunner out of Albuquerque, New Mexico who was going for his fifth 100 mile finish of the year. His other four races, were the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (Western States, Vermont, Leadville, and Wasatch), so he was no slouch. I told him my flight from Guyamas, Sonora was arriving at 12:30 P.M. on Saturday. The race started at 6:00 A.M. I said that I could be at Javelina Jeadquarters in McDowell Mountain Regional Park around 3:00 P.M. and that I would pace him from either 39 miles to go or 25 miles to go. It was a plan, so we made a date!

Everything went splendidly, but I never ran with Brian. He stopped at the 65 mile mark (when I met him for the first time) with bad blisters on his feet. I had been hanging with his crew and was ready to go. We chatted for a while and I knew that I could hook up with another runner who lacked a pacer. Secretly, I was happy to not run 39 miles. 25 would be good enough. JJ is six 15+ mile loops and one 9 mile loop for a total of 101.4 miles. I had run a total of 16 miles in the past 30 days (not counting cyclo-cross run ups!), so my legs weren’t in the best shape.

It didn’t take me long to find a runner. Catra Corbett, the “DirtDiva” completed her fifth lap several minutes after Brian finished. She was in quite a “get up.” Javelina runners are encouraged to run in costume…the entire way. She is a past “Best Costume” winner, and her 2012 outfit didn’t disappoint! I didn’t know Catra, but I knew of her. Debbie calls her “The Queen of Ultrarunning.” She is from northern California and has made her mark on the ultra community over the past 13 years. I approached Catra in the Jeadquarters Aid Station and simply asked, “Hey Catra, do you need a pacer?” She said that a friend (Rachel Michelina) was pacing her. Bummer. She finished her aid station stop and started her sixth lap.

A few minutes later, she came running back. I asked her what she needed and she said she forgot her water bottle. Then, my day brightened. She headed past me again (with her bottle) and asked if I would pace her for the last 25. Michelina was only going to do one 15 mile lap. I jumped at the opportunity. “Good,” she said. “I’ll be back in 4 to 5 hours. I started my stopwatch, and she was off into the fading daylight.

My math said she would be back shortly after 11:00 P.M. I killed the time by eating, chatting with the runners, hanging out with the crews/pacers, taking photos, and posting race updates on Twitter and Facebook. I got to see Michael Arnstein finish in a blazing fast  14:38:26. Record holder and 2012 Hardrock winner, Hal Koerner, was second in 15:33:08, and Jared Scott was third in 16:44:51. I saw them all finish. When I got cold, I went over to the open-pit fire and warmed up.

The women had a competitive race. First place went to Katelyn Fischbeck in 19:59:45. She was followed closely by Lindsay Scheiwiller  in 20:05:26. Keila Merino was third in 21:02:18.

Right on schedule, Catra showed back up at Jeadquarters. I grabbed my pack and we hit the trail for a counterclockwise 15 mile loop of the Pemberton Trail. She was moving well with a kind of hike/run/shuffle after 76 miles. I led her most of the way throughout the night. We had fun and got to know each other. Like me, she is vegan, so we talked food. JJ was her 85th 100 miler!!! She was going for her 500 mile jacket at JJ and we joked that it was probably going to be black and size medium, when she was hoping for pink and extra small.

The moon was nearly full, so we didn’t even use our lights. It was fun seeing all of the other runners/pacers on the trail. The washing machine loops provide for a lot of entertainment. This race has such a different character from say, Laurel Highlands, which is point to point, or Grindstone, which is out and back. At one point, I was leading her and she let out a yell. I ran back and she was stopped dead in the trail with a chollo cactus stuck in her ankle. It had pierced her gaiter and sock and was latched on to her something fierce. I performed a little trail surgery, and we were on our way again.

We talked about all kinds of stuff and before you know it, after 4.5 hours, we were back at Jeadquarters. Fueled up, we headed back out in a clockwise direction for the final 9 mile loop. The moon went down and it got darker and cooler, so we used our headlamps/flashlights a bit. The trail wasn’t as busy, but with about four miles to go and a gorgeous sunrise on the horizon, we hooked up with Christopher Pulick, from GAC, a fellow New Englander. He was hurting, but in good spirits, so the three of us shuffled along on the sandy trail until we got close enough to the finish.

The two of them picked it up and finished strong. Race Directors Nick and Jamil Coury delighted Catra when they presented her with a gorgeous pink and extra small jacket to honor her 500 mile achievement. I was just as stoked as she was. 85 100 milers in the books! The Coury’s and their dedicated crew of volunteers do a fantastic job with race production. I noted that Javelina has really grown up since we were last there. The production is slicker, but the race still has a great feel. It isn’t overproduced and remains a top event especially for first time 100 mile attempts.

After a few photos, I headed for my rental car, grabbed some dry clothes, and washed up with a garden hose. I was in my car by 7:45 A.M. and back at Sky Harbor Airport by 9:00 A.M. with time to spare before my 10:55 A.M. flight. I was headed straight into Hurricane Sandy turbulence, with a brief stop in Philadelphia. I was lucky to get back to Hartford by 11:00 P.M. on Sunday night and was back at work on Monday morning.

What a trip!

Race Results

4 Responses to “2012 Javelina Jundred”

  1. 1 George Zack 5 November 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Holy awesome way to kill a layover. That is one of the best layover stories I have ever heard!

  1. 1 2012 Pinhoti 100 « Life Adventures Trackback on 8 November 2012 at 9:58 pm
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