Really happy to finish the JJ100 in 26:04:14. I'll have a lot more to write later because I am still trying to recover. Put in the pace calculator and see that the pace of 15:26 was what I was able to keep over the entire 101.4 miles of JJ100. The first 62 I was able to "race", but the final 40 miles was all fast walking and just keeping from not dropping out of the race.
JJ100 15.4 mile loop splits; last loop was 9 miles:
I'm writing this part of the post several days after the big race. I've had time to think about the race and really think about what the race meant, as well as digest what was going on mile by mile.
I had to drive up from Sierra Vista right after work and made it to the packet pickup/pasta feed around 4:30 pm, and immediately got into the groove and felt excited to get the race on the road. I set up my cot and chair in order to save my spot for transitions, then took off for the reserve unit for some nice sleep in doors. Many runners chose to sleep in tents or in their cars, but I felt very thankful for having a place close by to sleep because I didn't have a tent and didn't want to deal with the temps that were expected to be in the high 50's or low 60's. So I got to sleep around 8pm and was up by 1:30 am to shower then get over to the race site before they stopped letting people park at the race start area. It was nice to park nearby and I even had about an hour to sleep before final race prep.
At about 0545 I made it out of my car and got ready for the start. I chose not to use a headlight due to about 265 starters that I could mooch light off and due to the sun coming up in just about thirty minutes. Like with all ultras the start is sureal! The gun went off and we took off out of the starting gates at a blazing pace that must have been around 10 minutes per mile. That may seem funny because it is so slow compared to road running, but when you are looking at up to 30 hours on the trail, that is plenty fast.
The first 15.4 mile loop went as planned and felt great. I came in at about 2:45 and spent just a few minutes grabbing some food and off for the next loop that took us in opposite directions. I had fun running with a couple beautiful female runners that chose great outfits. One was in a superwoman outfit, that was nothing more than a small bikini and she had the body to motivate all the guys around her. Another girl that I think is beautiful was a local Phoenix runner that I see all the time; Paullette. I usually find myself running her pace for a short time, but she always ends up putting hours on me and making me feel like a slow old man.
So besides the incredible costumes laps two and three went well and without much suffering. I hung out at the main aid station after lap three for about 15 minutes when one of my friends told me that I needed to get out of there. That was actually the voice of much wisdom. You can easily blow a race by spending too much time at the aide stations or worse yet chosing not to go on. So I took off and started my fourth loop which was my big goal of the day and what would assure me at least the wimp out belt buckle (100K).
I made it through 100k and had some thought off stopping, however, I got a lot of energy and support from a great friend Manoj, who had never ran further than 50K and who was with me at the end of the fourth lap. We ended up running much of lap six together (with a great guy Brian Soto, who was Manoj's pacer). I owe much of the race to those two gentlemen! By the end of lap six I had made it 92 miles in just under 24 hours and by then I knew I would make it. I did not let myself spend much time in the aid station and headed out for the last lap in the dark. I was thinking of waiting the short 30 minutes before the sun came up so I wouldn't have to carry my light, but the threat of something happening was hanging over my head and I wanted to finish the race, or at the very least have the maximum time to limp it in if anything went wrong. So with six hours left before the cut off time I took off for the final 9 mile journey. With a lot of luck, my legs held up and I was able to finish the 9 miles in about two and a half hours. It felt so great to come across the finish line and finally realize a goal that I had been working on for over two years!
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