Foothill Flyers Race Reviews
Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Trail Run
Last Saturday in October, McDowell Mountain Park, Arizona, 6:00 AM Start.
App and info: email Geri Kilgariff at email@example.com and click on their web site above.
Mark Ryne recounts finishing his first 100:
The Javelina, one of three species of the Peccary, is often mistaken for a pig. The Javelina Jundred is often thought of as an "easy" hundred mile race, which is an even bigger mistake. Javelina is an excellent "first" one hundred but still a very tough race. The course is a fifteen-mile loop run six times in alternating directions. An extra ten-mile loop at the end gives the race a total distance of 101 miles. Aid stations are located every 5 miles around the loop. This greatly simplifies the logistics of crew support and drop bags.
Javelina is located on a desert alluvial plain just northeast of Phoenix, Arizona. The Start/Finish area is at the lowest point of the race and the top is only 700 feet higher about half way around the loop. All of the well-marked course is on desert trails. There are no mountains to climb, trees to duck under, bears to outrun or cliffs to go off in the dark. But there are long stretches of rolling hills which about doubles the total elevation gain and loss. Did you know that Saguaro cactus needles are sharp and very hard to pull out because they have barbs in their tips?
Amenities include unique, artistic trophies and finisher novelties, colorful T-shirts, friendly camp ground managers and well stocked aid stations (think pizza, veggie burgers, Subway sandwiches, bean burritos and chicken soup). The race goodie bag even includes toilet paper! The nearby city of Fountain Hills features the world's tallest water fountain. The tip of the 560 foot jet could often be seen behind the hills on the horizon during much of the race. The generous 30 hour cutoff provides lots of margin to finish the race and still have time to moon the volunteer's at the Jackass Junction aid station.
Javelina Jundred two thumbs up!
My Halloween was a bit off the norm, I chose to run the 2nd Javelina Jundred 100 in Arizona this past October. The race takes place at McDowell State Park, in Fountain Hills, Arizona. The course is run with 15 mile reserving loops and a 9 mile dog leg at the end. The RD Geri Kilgarif puts on a very good race, her no nonsense manner, yet being approachable and in tune with the race and runners seems to work.
This race is as "Arizona" as it gets (exception being the Grand Canyon run). Breathtaking mountains in the foreground, huge towering Saguaro Cactus who looked liked giant people looking down upon us runners during the night. The course is mostly dirt roads, some narrow patches that are very rocky a bit of a nuisance after your spoiled with very runnable roads. Coyotes signing their tunes, almost a full moon, you're really running in the Arizona desert and Halloween night gives you that unique spooky feeling. Some runners have their costumes, from wild hair do's to hippy looking runners all in the spirit of Halloween.
Javelina is not AC, or Western States, you can run a good time and many runners come to Javelina to achieve their dream of finishing a first 100 miler. However, not so simple. There was the mentality of going too fast as many did (me included for 50km's) and we had a fair to good amount of DNF's, including some long time top gun and seasoned ultra runners who took "advantage" of the course. I soon realized my goals had to change and slow it down. Despite some leg pains, I managed a finish, no sleep breaks, no major problems. We had a good turn out of outstate runners. The aid stations were great. I mean perhaps the best I have seen. The runners are waited on hand and foot. The food was great, better than I eat at home as I told one aid volunteer. The laughed and like that comment.
My conclusions: 100 miles is 100 miles, whether you turn it upside down, on it's side, face down, you have 100 miles to push your body along. Those are the cold facts. How you approach it is up to you. Each 100 mile course offers challenges, whether you run AC 100, Western States, even Badwater. Javelina you must be smart and run smart, the rewards are great if you do.
Seeing runners complete their 1st 100 mile run is quite heart warming. For me this was the most enjoyable part of the race, watching the look on their exhausted faces as they crossed that finish line. How fortunate I feel we are able to run these distances and share the unique bonds you make with your fellow ultra runner. Perhaps this is worth all the pain, blisters, things that go "bump into the night".
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