We begin in Fountain Hills, Arizona, with the 7th annual Javelina Jundred 100 and Jalloween party. The course consists of six washing machine loops (reverse directions each loop) plus a half-loop on the 15.4 mile Pemberton Trail (the final, half-loop is 9 miles, making the total distance of this race 101.4 miles). The gently rolling single track and jeep trail through the desert, surrounded by beautiful mountain views, combines many aspects of desert running, including sandy washes, rocky trail, and thorny vegetation. JJ100 has an overall time limit of 30 hours, but runners must complete the first 6 loops in 27.5 hours. The course record is held by Karl Meltzer (15:25:10 in 2006). The women’s record is held by Stephanie Ehret (17:38:51 in 2003).
The 2009 edition of Javelina looks to be quite a battle with a slew of top notch runners on the entry list – Beverley Anderson-Abbs, Michelle Barton, Julie Berg, Josh Brimhall, Jonathan Gunderson, Paul DeWitt, Dave James, and Jorge Pacheco, to name a few. Lots of special awards are presented, including Best Costume (male and female), Congeniality, Geri K (Most Memorable), Best Ass, First Virgin, Oldest Finisher, Youngest Finisher, Best Team Finish, and Dead Last.
Another 100-miler kicking off on Halloween is Cactus Rose (100 and 50 mile options) in Bandera, Texas. This “nasty, rugged trail run” prohibits “Whiners, Wimps, or Wusses” and offers “bonus points for blood, cuts, scrapes and puke.” The event is designed to require the least amount of volunteers as possible – a sort of self-serve setup of aid stations and support systems. Like JJ100, Cactus Rose is an alternating direction course. The race starts in the clockwise direction, but runners change direction with each loop. The loops are 25 miles in length. Also like JJ100, there is a costume contest, but in this instance runners need not wear the costume for the entire run (only for one complete loop).
Cold and windy Chicago, Illinois plays host to the 10th Annual Chicago Lakefront 50/50 this weekend. The course is 4 out-and-back segments along the Lakefront running path, consisting mostly of asphalt with some concrete sections. This race is said to be one of the flattest 50k and 50 mile courses in North America. The current 50 mile world record was set on Chicago’s lakefront in 1984.
We finish this week with the Carkeek 12 Hour in Seattle, Washington. Dubbed the “hardest 12 hour race out there, period”, the course is a 1.93 mile loop with approximately 430 feet of elevation gain per loop. Of course, there is a costume contest (runners must wear the costume for at least one full loop).
That will wrap things up for this week. If you choose to run an event this weekend…..be careful out there…..strange things have been known to happen on All Hallows’ Eve.