YABRR: Javelina Jundred 2016 Edition
Updated: Feb 12, 2019
This year I took extreme measures to ensure that my fall race was not rained out; instead of racing Big Cedar 100, I headed to the desert. A bit of advice if you ever decide to race the Javelina Jundred: don't race Palo Duro Canyon 50 two weeks prior.
It wasn't tired legs from Palo Duro Canyon 50 that was the problem, but the mental aspect of "I just raced 50 miles in the Texas heat, it's going to be cooler here" that got me in a little trouble. The temperature at JJ was probably 5-10 degrees cooler than PDC (nobody had an exact temperature there), but at Palo Duro Canyon I could tell myself "Only 3 more miles to some tree lined trails", at JJ the race director could have put $1000s behind every tree and not spent a penny. The total lack of escape from the sun was just a beat down.
The course itself was beautiful, and this year they added a more technical section. In true Bryan-fashion I was able to stun the runners behind me with a perfectly executed shoulder roll. I got off lucky, only sand everywhere, one runner fell and landed in a cactus (he went another 60 miles before he DNF'd). My only complaint about the course would be the initial 2 miles past the starting alley. It was single track, with over 570 runners on it. I lucked out and only had to pass a few runners - most were going a good pace. The problem was, there were at least 3 folks walking this section (it wasn't hilly). If you know you are going to walk early, don't start in the front. There was one evil rocky section, that I don't think nobody really enjoyed.
The washing machine format made it possible to see almost every runner at one time or another, lots of "Good job", "Looking good", and "Keep it up"s were said. I really wanted to look at a racer (in good condition) and say "Dude, you look like crap". It did give my the privilege of seeing the race winner in the finishers chute, as I was starting my fourth lap.
With over 775 racers on the course (201 running the 100k, 574 running the 100 miles) the aid stations were extremely busy, and with the watching machine format could be a bit chaotic. Add in the record heat, they were very busy passing out ice to the point that they ran out multiple times. Also, they appeared to be understaffed for the size of the race - but that may be just due to the fact that I'm used to Damnation Alley.
I actually ran according to my standard race plan (go out too fast, hang on for dear life to the finish), While this doesn't get me the best results, it got me to the finish :-) The heat did get to me, but not as bad as it got to some folks (there was over a 50% DNF rate). I helped one runner who was hunkered down under some scrub, about a mile from an aid station (he was doing "ok", just needed to cool off, so I gave him my fresh ice sock - he was heading to the aid station I just left). There was at least one air-evac during the race (didn't see it, but I did see the Sheriff Copter looking for a spot to set down), and at least one runner I came in with decided to toss his cookies, right at the food table of the main aid station (not cool) and then took off running before they could send him to medical. I'm pretty sure that my stomach might forgive me for the abuse that I gave it; too much Gatorade.
By the end of my fourth loop, I was close to Robin, and spent the fifth loop with her, made the long walk in more enjoyable than being solo.
By the end of the race, I had a small blister on my heal (same spot as from Palo Duro Canyon - I really don't learn), small blisters on my big toes (never had one there before), and a very sour stomach.
For the number of runners, the event was very well organized, and other than ice there never appeared to be a supply problem at the aid stations (they used HAM operators to coordinate).
All in all, an event that I was glad I went to, and gladder that I buckled - so I don't have to go back again.