“I love knowing what the weather will likely be like, it takes so much of the stress out of planning. It’s hot, but it’s consistent. Beautiful desert trails – and many opportunities to enjoy them, being a loop course. I’m generally a solo runner, but I like the fact that you see people all day and night going through the same experience. And one more – the organization is so great. Everything from the number pick up, to morning parking, to the aid stations, to the layout of the start/finish area is seamless and efficient. The volunteers at the aid stations are fantastic.”
Race: Javelina Jundred
Runner: Stephanie G
Location: Fountain Hills, Arizona
Results: 20:10:45 – 5th female, 29th overall
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1933350907/
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- I love knowing what the weather will likely be like, it takes so much of the stress out of planning. It’s hot, but it’s consistent.
- Beautiful desert trails – and many opportunities to enjoy them, being a loop course.
- I’m generally a solo runner, but I like the fact that you see people all day and night going through the same experience.
- And one more – the organization is so great. Everything from the number pick up, to morning parking, to the aid stations, to the layout of the start/finish area is seamless and efficient. The volunteers at the aid stations are fantastic.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
I’ve read a lot of post-race complaints about being blinded by headlamps from other runners. This didn’t bother me at all, but I guess this was a negative for some. Maybe something to be prepared for if signing up.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
The party atmosphere is probably the most unique thing. It’s around Halloween, so many people dress up (though still the minority), and it’s incredible what people choose to wear while running 100k or 100 miles. I can’t imagine keeping most of it on for more than 5 miles, yet you see them loop after loop carrying shields or wearing wigs or in full on princess dresses with crowns.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
This was my second 100 mile race and I really enjoyed not being as terrified about it as my first, which led to less anxious running. I feel like I went out reasonably, handled the heat well (lots of ice!), and made it through the daytime in decent shape. I loved how runnable the course was and that the miles flew by compared to races with more climbing, which was a nice mental boost.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
- You don’t need a headlamp at the beginning unless you’re up front (I would guess). Enough people have them and you’re moving slow enough that it’s not hard to see for the ~15 minutes it’s dark.
- Most runners have crews that set up canopies or tents around headquarters for their supplies, but the open drop bag area works well too.
- It gets hot! The last two years have been about 95 degrees. Use ice everywhere you can and take advantage of the ice sponges.
- And then, people say, it gets cold. I guess that depends on where you’re from, but it stayed in the 60s throughout the night and I never needed to put on a layer.
- If you’re like me, this will be the most you have ever actually run. Almost everything is gradual and runnable. Be prepared to use your running muscles a lot!
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
- I’m always learning what works best for me in terms of eating and drinking. It seems I don’t get tired of applesauce or sour patch kids (but that’s about it).
- I can do 100 miles without a pacer
- I need a better mental/physical plan for working through the inevitable low point(s). Working on this!
- Sitting really doesn’t feel any better than moving – and sometimes it feels worse. Just because you feel crappy sitting doesn’t mean you should keep doing it and hope your legs feel better. They probably won’t. Just get up and make progress.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
- 5 loops! It never felt boring because they were alternating directions and at different times of day. Once it’s dark you can’t see that you’ve run past a particular cactus 4 times already anyway.
- No real rolling – the course climbs for ~10 miles, descends for ~10 miles, climbs for ~10 miles, descends for ~10 miles the entire time.
- Because you’re going past the same aid stations the entire time, you can be sure of the distance between all of them and know that it never changes (even when you wish they were closer). There’s no worry about the next aid station being a mile past where you thought it was going to be.
- Even with so many runners out there it never felt crowded after the first 20 minutes.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Very pretty. You can see for miles, which was a nice change from being surrounded by trees all the time (not that trees aren’t lovely too).
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
I think 100 miles is tough no matter what. All about your strengths and how hard you push yourself.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Very well run.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
It seems strong most years.
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 race hotel booked up early. I don’t think the race itself sold out.
Four aid stations which were very well stocked with just about anything you could imagine (they even took requests in the weeks leading up to the race).
Weather and typical race conditions
Sunny! And warm.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
I really like arm sleeves so that I can fill them with ice. I also had a gallon ziplock in my pack that I filled halfway with ice a few times during the hottest part of the day. I think it helped keep my core cool, and melted down my back. I never wear hats – but I can’t imagine doing this race without one to keep the sun off my face.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
It’s very friendly if they want to hang out at headquarters and see you every ~20 miles.
How’s the Swag?
Great! This year a very nice Rabbit shirt, a soft sided cooler, and of course, a buckle for finishing.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
5 stars – definitely recommend it if you don’t mind the heat.