Ask the Goat: Javelina Jundred race report

As I entered 2014, I had few expectations as to my running goals.

Ask the Goat by Chris Knodel

Ask the Goat
by Chris Knodel

The end of 2013 was wrought with physical issues –from torn muscles to a mercurial T-3 count. I had a score to settle with Tejas Trail’s Rocky Raccoon 100-mile race (RR100), so I started the year with that. Upon completion, and now armed with self-confidence and a pseudo-regulated endocrine system, I began to map out some rudimentary goals. First, I’d make sure Rocky wasn’t a fluke. I signed up and completed the Graveyard 100 (GY100) four weeks later. Then I began to expand my horizons.

I registered for two more 100-mile races, each around 30 days apart. This would give me four “hundos” in four months. Jury Duty killed number three, but the May race was solid. I began a new dietary plan and training protocol, which made the Keys 100 very successful. After finishing the Florida race, though, I would be transitioning into the stage racing scene. I felt like hundred milers were adequately represented in my portfolio, and began pursuing my newest love with multiday point-to-point events.

Before diving into the VolState 500K, I paced a buddy at Western States (WSER). I never had shown much of an interest in this race, but after running sections of the course, I started to feel drawn to it. In conjunction with WSER, I also found myself being pulled toward the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB). Both are qualification and lottery races that may take you years to get acceptance. I had the qualifications for Western, but neither the GY100 nor the Keys100 counted for UTMB points. This meant I had to grab a fourth hundo in 2014, so I scanned the Western scene for something inspiring.

The Javelina Jundred immediately jumped out at me for several reasons. First, I love Arizona running. Secondly, the Race Direction Team is Nick and Jamil Coury, who put on legendary races like the Across the Years (ATY) 6-day New Year’s Event. Third, the buckle has a Javelina on it. I tend to gravitate towards buckles that feature animals (Bandera’s Rattlesnake, the Keys Parrot, WSER Cougar, Nanny Goat, Hardrock, Speed Goat, Chimera, Beast of Burden…. All completed or are on the list). So JJ100 dotted my fall calendar, after VolState 500K, TransRockies, Silverton and just before the Tarheel Ultra. It would be, if successful, the seventh of eight 100-mile or more race for the year.

A Chris Knodel photo

A Chris Knodel photo

JJ100 is logistically comparable to RR100, in that it is a smaller loop format; but the AZ race does “washing-machine” loops, meaning each time you complete a 16-mile circuit, you change direction. Then a short out-and-back at the end and you buckle up. As November approached, I saw throngs of running buddies announcing their entry into the JJ100. I would be surrounded by familiar faces from around 30 previous races.

Chris Knodel is a Mangum Track Club member and Sandhills Region native. He is the author of “More, Better Quicker – The Irish Goat: A Fat-Boy & His Path to Ultra-Distance.” His column will appear each Thursday on PeeDeePost.com.

Filed in: Outdoors, Sports

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