Return to Javelina (2015)

I needed a good race to close out the 2015 season. After a strong start to the year with four 100mile finishes in four attempts, I had a bunch of DNFs at tougher mountain races. I was committed to getting a better result at Javelina and if possible, getting another sub-24hour buckle.

My training leading up to the race had been strong with a bunch of 70-90mile weeks including a good run at North Face 50mile with my friend Jennifer.

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I used the same anti-taper approach that I had in 2014 running the Marine Corps Marathon the Sunday prior to Javelina. I ran an ‘easy’ 3:51 marathon and felt terrific at the finish. More important, my boys also ran great races at the 10k making for a great running day for the family.

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With my experience from 2014, I had the logistics of Javelina nailed. I flew out to Phoenix on Thursday with my son Jacob, my parents, my friend Betty who would be making her first attempt at the 100mi distance and my friend Paulius who would be pacing me.

Upon arriving in Phoenix, my father and I geeked out a bit marvelling at how the Matyas family had taken over the Hertz status board.

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We took it easy for the balance of Thursday and Friday morning and then made it over to packet pickup and then the race headquarters Friday afternoon where we located our tent. We decorated our tent with a Chicago flag borrowed from our friend Matt and got to sleep quickly.

I won’t bore my three readers by a mile by mile summary of the run but will summarize it by the lap.

Lap 1 – mile 0 – 15.3. Time: 2:47:10 Pace:  0:10:56

Felt great. Started running with my friends Aaron and Lisa and enjoyed the entire loop. The costumes were terrific and we got some laughs in as well.

Lap 2 – mile 15.3 – 30.6. Time: 2:52:58 Pace: 0:11:18

Still felt great. I was still mostly running with Aaron and Lisa and the miles quickly passed.

Lap 3 – mile 30.6 – 45.9. Time: 3:31:40  Pace: 0:13:50

Started the loop with my friends but the sun got to me a bit and slowed considerably. My friend Chat was out on course with ice-cold popsicles which pretty much saved my day!

Lap 4 – mile 45.9 – 60.2. Time: 3:54:26 Pace: 0:15:19

I will still hot but felt much better this loop. Even though I had slowed, I was still definitely moving well and passing tons of people who had gone out too fast.

Lap 5 – mile 60.2 – 75.5. Time: 4:02:12  Pace: 0:15:50

I started running with Paulius and enjoyed the new company on the course. I was thrilled that we were moving so well in the dark and enjoyed giving Paulius a quick tour of the course (well – not that quick).

Lap 6 – mile 88.8 – 92.1. Time: 3:57:20 Pace: 0:15:31

We were back to running counter-clockwise which I think is the slower direction on the course. Even with that, we managed to move a bit faster and made it back to the start/finish with a reasonable shot at getting a sub-24 finish.

Lap 7 – mile 92.1 – 101.3. Time: 2:26:44 Pace: 0:15:17

My son Jacob was waiting and ready to pace me into the finish. This was my favorite loop as I was within reach of finishing and so enjoyed being out on course with him. He was encouraging to me and all the other runners and we had a blast!

I made it to the finish in  23:33:05 – the 94th finisher out of the 528 that had started the race.

Javelina continues to be one of my favorite races and i’m excited to keep heading back year after year.

I had a great time running with all my friends but especially Aaron, Lisa, Shelley and Alec. I also have to thank my friend Paulius for pacing me for 50k and Jacob for kicking my butt around the last ~10 miles. Finally, my parents were absolutely terrific support and were there for every loop cheering me and all the other runners on. They had made a terrific banner and really got into the spirit of Javelina!

Some additional pictures from the day:

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