Jared Hazen took third place at the 2022 Canyons by UTMB 100k and earned his Western States 100 Golden Ticket. In the following interview, Jared talks about racing in this competitive men’s field, the course’s challenging conditions, and why he wants to run the Western States 100 again.
For more on what happened at the race, check out our Canyons 100k results article for the play-by-play and links to other post-race interviews.
Jared Hazen Post-2022 Canyons by UTMB 100k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar. I’m with Jared Hazen. It’s the day of the 2022 Canyons by UTMB 100k. You took a podium position. You got that Golden Ticket.
Jared Hazen: Yeah.
iRunFar: How are you feeling? Congratulations.
Jared Hazen: Thank you. Yeah, I’m a little sore and tired at the moment, but pretty happy to have a good race back on the Western States trail and to get my ticket back to States. So caught it at the last minute.
iRunFar: That was the primary goal of today?
Jared Hazen: Yeah. So, I previously attempted this year to get a Golden Ticket at the Black Canyon 100k and wasn’t quite ready yet, so I dropped out of that race. And so this was the last opportunity, and put in a little bit more training and I felt a lot better today and had a good one. So it was nice to get it done.
iRunFar: Awesome. Talk a little bit about the day. Like, the men’s race was really fun to watch in that it was a huge pack of guys basically together, and then just gently stringing out over 25 miles.
Jared Hazen: Yeah, it started pretty quick. And the first part of the course is pretty runnable, especially to Drivers Flat, it’s mile 16, and then a couple of miles downhill to the river. It’s through 18 pretty quick. And I was struggling a little bit on that part … I wanted to be up front because I knew what position I wanted to be in.
And then I tend to do better if I’m close to the competition, have an idea of what’s going on, I don’t like to be too far back. But it definitely made me a little worried. But as soon as we hit Cal Street and started climbing up to Foresthill, it really started to feel good.
I think the kind of grindier uphill, the pace slowing down a little helped me out. And so, I had a really strong climb up to Foresthill, and was feeling good about things.
And I ran most of that climb by myself. I ran a little bit with Dave Stevens … but yeah, a lot of it by myself, and then ended up at Foresthill, just a couple minutes back of the leaders, Adam [Peterman] and …
Jared Hazen: David Sinclair. That was cool. It was nice to independently run a similar time to them. Because I had taken a little break to use the restroom right before the climb. So they had … I was with them and then, they were kind of gone. So it was kind of cool, it was nice to just be like, 16 miles later or 15 miles later, we were still pretty close.
iRunFar: You didn’t lose any ground there.
Jared Hazen: From Foresthill to Michigan Bluff, I had one of my low points of the day, and was moving a little bit slower. So, they had gotten a few more minutes by the time we’d shown up at Michigan Bluff. And then we went to the canyons, at least the first one. And by the time we got to Deadwood they’d gotten a few more, it sounded like.
But I was still feeling good … And I was in third, and I knew we were running fast, and I kind of thought that there probably wasn’t a fourth guy that was that close. So I was … felt confident that I had a … was in a good position to get the Golden Ticket. And then …
iRunFar: You just felt like maybe you didn’t have contact with the guys in front of you, but you were thinking there’s got to be enough of a gap that you’re feeling safe.
Jared Hazen: Yeah. Because I had been getting updates that we were way under course record pace. I was like, there’s no way that there’s a fourth guy also under course record pace … Which ended up being true, but I had no like real data to back that up.
iRunFar: It was how your mind was thinking about things.
Jared Hazen: Yeah. But then, I was trying to be careful, I was getting a little crampy, and I didn’t want to like go crazy hard and blow up. But in the last 10 miles, I gave it a little gas and I think closed the gap on David a little bit. But then, it sounded like at the same time, Adam was pulling away. But I think Adam beat me by 15 minutes, and David by maybe six minutes or so. So it was fairly close.
iRunFar: It was a good race.
Jared Hazen: But I was always chasing, I wasn’t ever really racing them. But it felt like a good race, yeah.
iRunFar: It looked like all of you arrived to Deadwood the first time, so what is that mile 45? 15 or 16 miles to race. Everybody looked a little hot. Did it actually get hot for you for a bit there?
Jared Hazen: Maybe a little, kind of hot and humid a bit in the canyons, and nothing too bad. And then immediately after Deadwood, it was snowy. So that kind of went away.
iRunFar: Gone! You had another problem then.
Jared Hazen: Yeah, but we did a five-mile loop above Deadwood that was pretty runnable and quick. And then the last hard 10 miles, and even the bottom of that canyon was a little hot. But then again, by the top of the climb, it was snowy again, it was cold. So the heat wasn’t a huge factor for us.
iRunFar: Was there anything … I guess the way that I thought about the finish being like 10 miles, 3,000 feet, slightly reminiscent of Grand Canyon stuff, like ending a run with a hard uphill. Was there any familiarity to that, or were you just like, oh Lord?
Jared Hazen: I felt decent, so that was good. It would’ve really sucked if I got to the bottom of that canyon feeling bad, because it was a long eight miles of climbing to the finish. Because you do a couple of miles downhill from Deadwood, and then you start climbing up.
But that trail was really hard because it’s pretty steep, the first half of the climb, and the footing was not very good. There was a lot of like loose rock. So, I kind of thought, oh maybe I’m reeling him in a little bit on the descent. But then as soon as I started climbing, I was doing pretty slow. I was like, I don’t think I’d be catching anybody, moving this space.
But I was content to just kind of plug my way up the hill. And the last three miles were extra, extra hard with a ton of slushy snow and icy puddles that were kind of brutal.
iRunFar: It was slightly humorous, the scene. Of you guys trying to … I mean you proverbially, not you specifically … But just trying to get up the nonsense at the end.
Jared Hazen: Yeah, a lot of the climbing was done, which was kind of nice. It wasn’t very steep anymore, but it was gradually uphill. But it was so cold and slippery. It was just huge puddle after huge puddle that was all slush. And more than anything, my feet hurt so bad just being iced for a good 30 minutes. And at times I wanted to cry, but I was in a good mood as soon as I stepped on pavement, I was like, oh okay, it’s over.
iRunFar: I think I’m going to pursue road running.
Jared Hazen: Yeah.
iRunFar: Last question for you. The next time you’ll see this region, the temperature will most likely be quite a bit hotter. You’ve already had some pretty incredible runs at Western States over the years. What makes you … Why are you coming back? What do you have to do here?
Jared Hazen: Well, I’d love to win Western States. Certainly easier said than done … It’s been like a big part of my running career. It definitely launched me into new categories a couple of different times.
iRunFar: Twice, eh?
Jared Hazen: Yeah. Big step ups and stuff. And yeah, I really like it here. I like the course, I like it. I like that it’s runnable but it’s still challenging. There’s still some climbing, and it’s not crazy fast. The heat adds an extra element of difficulty.
So, I don’t know. I really like the hundred-mile distance, and Western States is kind of the biggest race we have. And now that I’ve done it a few times, it has some personal meaning for me too.
iRunFar: Awesome. Well, we look forward to seeing you again. We’ll turn snow to heat. We’ll turn around and go the other direction. It’ll be fun to chase you downhill. Congratulations on your third-place finish.
Jared Hazen: Thank you.
iRunFar: Awesome. Talk for … There was a mouse thing. I would like it to stay there. Just would be great.