Scott “Fast Eddy” Jaime: Mr. Hardrock

AJWs TaproomScott Jaime ran his first Hardrock 100 in 2005. It was only his second 100 miler after qualifying at Wasatch in 2004. His time that year was an unspectacular 33:18, but the run and all that surrounds it got into his blood and he hasn’t looked back.

Last weekend, Scott finished Hardrock for the seventh time in a career best of 26:38, good enough for third place. In between his first run in 2005 and his run last week, Scott has written an incredible narrative in the San Juans. Some races have been better than others but in each one Scott has learned more about running and about life, and the Hardrock family has become part of his own.

Scott’s wife Nicole and his two sons Jaxon and Myles have also become part of that Hardrock family, often spending the two weeks leading up to the event in and around Silverton, most frequently camping at the South Mineral Campground where the family has befriended long-time campground hosts Johnny and Kathy Darnold, who now support the race and also have accompanied Scott to other races in Colorado and Arizona. So strong is the connection between the Jaime family and Hardrock that when Scott took a ‘year off’ to run Western States, Nicole and the boys didn’t know what to do with themselves. Once Scott got Western States ‘out of his system,’ they were right back to Silverton the next year.

Scott Jaime and Family - 2013 Hardrock 100

Scott Jaime and his family after this year’s Hardrock. Photo: Matt Trappe

In 2006, the year after his Hardrock debut, Scott was not selected in the lottery, but he showed up to crew and pace anyway. Then, in ’07, he ran a 32:53 which set the stage for the remarkable events of 2008. As most folks know, 2008 was the year that Kyle Skaggs scorched the course record becoming the first, and to this date, only runner to complete the course in under 24 hours. Scott had the distinct honor of finishing second to Kyle that year, a full six hours later! Kyle still cites Scott’s nipping at his heels as the reason for his course record. :)

My Scott Jaime story comes from the only time I ran Hardrock in 2009. After a long day and night of hunting him down, I finally got within range on the climb up Grant-Swamp Pass about 23 hours into the race. I saw Scott and his pacer Brian Fisher laboring up the pass and could feel him coming back to me. A couple times, Brian even quipped that they had been hearing me for hours. (I have no idea what that was all about.)

Anyway, as I closed the gap to within a couple switchbacks something must have happened to Scott’s energy because all of a sudden he was gone. By the time I topped out on the pass at the Joel Zucker Memorial, I couldn’t see him anywhere. I only found out later, after he beat me by about 20 minutes, that he told Brian on the climb, “AJW is a tough runner but he is NOT going to beat me at my race.”

This week, Scott shared with me a similar experience he had this year as he hunted down Diana Finkel. “I actually caught her at the base of Grant-Swamp and told Brendan [Trimboli] (his pacer) the story about you reeling me in at that very point. It gave me that killer instinct all over again. Thanks AJW!”

In 2010, Scott was gunning for the win and he ended up having his most trying race to date. After suffering mightily on the run into Grouse Gulch, he was ready to quit. Then, Hardrock magic reared its head. As Scott tells it,

I had made the decision long before the Grouse Gulch aid station that I was going to drop. I was really late, it was dark, and I had no headlamp. My crew was allowed to go up the road to try and find me. I got back to Grouse and my 11-year-old son Jaxon was weeping because he was scared that I was lost. But then he said something that changed me and my outlook on ultras. He said, ‘Dad you can’t quit! I look up to you so much, you inspire me! Do you know how many people wanted to do this race? Please don’t quit, Dad.’ My wife, my father-in-law, and the legendary David Horton all witnessed this moment and there was not a dry eye in the place. I committed to finishing that race but I needed a rest and curled up next to Karl Meltzer on a cot. What that moment taught me is that we as ultrarunners have such a positive influence on our families and may not even know it. Running is such a selfish sport and we thank our families for going along for the ride, but they are just as proud to support us and feel part of the journey that these events become bonding experiences.

After that 2010 experience, Scott took the year off to run Western States and then returned in 2012 with a great 28:37 in challenging conditions. That, of course, set the stage for this year which Scott says was his best race to date and the first time in a long and storied career that he had a race plan and stuck to it. As he says, this was the first time at Hardrock that he followed the classic ultrarunner’s creed to “Run.Your.Own.Race.” In contrast to past years, he let the leaders go off the front and enjoyed “hunting” from the back. His pacers, Rick Hessek, Nick Pedatella, and Brendan, kept him focused and didn’t let him get stupid. Then, at a critical moment, Nick Pedatella knew just what to do,

Leaving Ouray I picked up Nick Pedatella, and he has had such great success at 100s that I was bound and determined to listen to him. He filled up a bottle with chicken broth and told me I was going to drink it before the next aid station. First taste and I said no way. Nick said, ‘That’s not an option.’ So I drank it by the next aid and I really feel that was the turning point in my race.

And, broth wasn’t the only secret sauce in Scott’s race-day arsenal. Rolling up to Virginius Pass he notes,

I was eating and drinking regularly with no stomach problems. When I got to Kroger’s Canteen (on Virginius), I asked for a beer and, what do you know, Roch [Horton] had an O’Douls! I drank two little cups and bolted down to Telluride. There is something in beer that makes me happy. Maybe because I drink so much that my body needs it, almost like a vitamin.

As they say in this business, whatever works!

Reflecting back on his life at Hardrock, Scott admires many who have gone before him. Karl Meltzer, Kyle Skaggs and Roch Horton are three runners Scott, in particular, aspires to emulate and as he notes they are three guys who truly get it. Hard work, perseverance, and a love of the mountains bind these three together and Scott finds inspiration in that again and again.

And, what does the future hold for this grizzled veteran of the San Juans? “I’ll be back for sure. I’d like to get 10 Hardrock finishes and then turn my focus toward helping out the race organization. I don’t want to give up my Hardrock family but I know at some point my body is just not going to do it anymore.”

Until then, you can count on seeing Scott high in the mountains of southwestern Colorado every July, “AJW, c’mon, you of all people know how much this race means to me, just like you and Western States.”

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Fast Eddy’s Beer of the Week

Ironfire 51-50 IPAThis week’s Beer of the Week comes from Ironfire Brewery in Temecula, California. The guys at Ironfire learned the trade at Ballast Point so it’s no wonder that 51/50 IPA excites my palate. With a 6.5 ABV and 95 IBUs, this IPA has the perfect balance of malt and hops to provide a hint of sweetness and the piney/floral aroma that I have grown to love. In the end, you get a crisp and dry IPA that is thin enough to throw a few back with your buddies. Cheers to all you Hardrockers!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Okay, let’s roast Mr. Hardrock, shall we? Scott’s run the race seven times now, so there are no doubt endless stories that squeaked through the cracks of AJW’s tribute. When and where have you seen Scott in the highs and lows that the San Juans annually offer?
  • The rest of the Jaime family is equally involved in the Hardrock 100. Do you have a story about Nicole and the boys? If so, please share!

There are 23 comments

  1. James

    Even though I've never met Scott, he's without a doubt the person I'd most want to have a beer with, an IPA of course. Great to see a guy with a great attitude balance family, work and still manage to produce on the trail. Congrats man!!

  2. Ben

    I just met Scott when we both volunteered to help with the Dirty Thirty – what a great guy and a great racer! I was so happy to see how well he finished at Hardrock!

  3. Zak

    I think the adjective you meant is: "unspectacular-compared-to-subsequent-finishes-but-spectacular-for-finishing-Hardrock-as-your-second-hundred-or-really-just-finishing-Hardrock-period".

  4. Dom

    I've only had the pleasure of trading miles with Scott since Leona Divide in 2012, but I quickly learned that his competitive fire runs deep and he proves nice, sarcastic, family men can run with the best on the biggest stages.

    At Zane Gray this year he broke me and pushed the heck out of 50k/50mi specialist Chris Price until they got lost. The man is pure grit with a disarming smile that fools you until you realize, he doesn't slow down..

      1. FastED

        Gracious words Dom! I've had some great trips running races with you, let's keep it going. Just as long as the Foot Loose thing doesn't happen again… "Been workin so hard…"

      2. AJW

        There is absolutely nothing "disarming" about the smile. In fact, it's the opposite. Wait till I tell the Rocky Raccoon story:)

  5. BFish

    Great article AJW!

    I've shared many training, crewing & pacing "myles" and plenty of post run beers with Scott, even seen those rare moments when he wasn't smiling! Scott is a true class act and great guy. And it does not stop with Scott, if you look up "crew" in the dictionary you'll see a picture of Scott's wife, boys, parents and in-laws. They are all the nicest most giving people you'll ever meet. Their support is incredible(the main reason Scott is such a star).

    AJW, your voice and laughter are unmistakable, with it echoing around the San Juans for many miles, there was no doubt who was behind us that year at Hardrock.

  6. Tropical John

    Further proof – as if further proof were needed – that Jaime is The People's Choice. (And there's little proof to the rumor that Kyle Skaggs retired from competitive running once he had dusted Jaime at Hardrock. "What else is there left to accomplish?" Kyle was rumored to have said. "I might as well just quit here and now.")

  7. Steve Pero

    I met Scott the first time this year at the Jemez 50's Last Chance Saloon that I'm the captain of. There Scott (and several of his pacers at Hardrock) went off course and Scott was feeling a bit down. I sat beside him and offered him a beer, my homebrew that I serve the runners. He enjoyed it and continued on up the hill to the finish. I like to think that brew helped him ;-)

    See you in Silverton next year, Scott! Love seeing all of my Hardrock family every year!

  8. Jon Allen

    I've met and raced against him several times and consider it a privilege to be his teammate now. The thing I always remember about him is he infectious smile that never seems to disappear, even when he's feeling bad. And his chipotle eating contests. We sure were rooting for him at HR this year.

  9. james varner

    great article. great runner/human being. not so great title.

    i love scott. he and i have shared some tough times out on that course(we even swapped a gu for shot blocks in 2008 at mile 50ish as we both sat above grouse not feeling so hot– he went on to get second, i dropped) but in all due respect he is not "mr hardrock". AJW i think you need to re-visit the race, spend 2-3 weeks hanging out at "camp hardrock", spend a night at krogers canteen, spend some time in the silverton school gym before and after the race, spend some time at the rock(especially from about midnight saturday night to 6am sunday morning), walk in the parade on 4th of july, haul timbers up the twin peaks trail on the trail work days, spend some time in the kitchen of the american legion hall cooking soup and brisket for the aid stations, spend some time in charlie thorn's front yard or on the back porch of the avon, etc. If you were to do that you'd see there are lots and lots of Mr and Mrs Hardrock there and the race just wouldn't be hardrock with out them.

    all that said i'd love to see the day scott gets the win he's been so close to getting.

    also i'm sure candice and everyone else on the "never started" lottery list sure would appreciate that irunfar stop covering this little run in the san juans.

    1. AJW

      James, good points all! I guess the title is a little lame. But, I still think Scott epitomizes the event (as do countless others) so I that's what I meant, I suppose.

      And, congrats to you on a great finish!!!

  10. FastED

    James – very good points. These are things that make Hardrock what it is – one big family! So many people do so much for the race and even the town of Silverton. I can think of hundreds of other people who have come before and currently involved that all could be Mr or Mrs Hardrock.

    The great thing about all of this is that my two sons think of you as Uncle James. Can't wait to see you again next year, if not before.

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