Jackalope Jam 24 Hour Race Report – Lydia Schrandt

Race: Jackalope Jam 24 Hours

Runner: Lydia Schrandt

Race Date: 02/18/2023

Location: Cat Spring, TX

Results: 66 miles

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/8586344654

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. The community. Everyone was super welcoming and supportive and cheered each runner’s accomplishments equally, whether a half marathon or 200 miles.
  2. Easy access to the aid station every 1.5 miles. This means you don’t have to wear a vest or carry much of anything, and you can test out different nutrition strategies.
  3. Organization. Trail Racing Over Texas puts on great events.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The course is pretty flat, which was hard on the body as the miles climbed.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

You’re running a 1.5-mile out-and-back around the “cone of death,” which is a beat up orange traffic cone wrapped in flashing Christmas lights. It’s a bit surreal when you’re approaching the cone at 4am, slightly delirious, with no other runners around.

The appropriately named, Cone of Death

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I managed to shave almost an hour off my 50k time, and I managed to pass the 50-mile and 100k marks for the first time.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Stick to your plan. The event has runners tackling times between 6 and 100 hours, so you’ll see other runners moving at a fast clip and others walking at a leisurely pace. This makes it extra important to run your race and not get distracted by what others are doing.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

I need to tinker with fueling after the 9-hour mark. At that point, nothing sounded appetizing, and at one point, even water made my stomach turn. Once I let nutrition get away from me, my performance (and ability to keep warm) began to erode.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

It’s a flat gravel road with zero shade or shelter from wind.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

It’s nice enough, but aesthetics aren’t really the point of this one.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

No, other than the fact that the flat path can get monotonous.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Very well organized.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

It’s a pretty small field – only 35 runners for the 24-hour event. Mostly local Texas runners.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The ranch that hosts the race offers free camping. You can set up a tent right alongside the first 400 meters or so of the course, so you have easy access to whatever you need. There are also RV sites available, and a few small hotels in nearby towns. You can usually register right up to when the race begins.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

The aid stations generally have water, Gatorade, Base Performance, and a few different types of sodas. There was a nice range of sweet and savory snacks (fruit, trail mix, cookies, chips, pretzels), and at nights, hot foods like ramen noodles and pierogis.

Weather and typical race conditions

It ranged between 40 and 58 degrees for the 24 hour race, but last year had freezing rain and sub-freezing temperatures. Other years have reached the 80s.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

Definitely a head or waist lamp at night.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes, lots of spectators and crews come and camp alongside the course.

How’s the Swag?

Everyone gets a wooden medal and a hoodie, plus buckles for 100k+ finishers.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?