- Dr. Russ Reinbolt
The Perfect Race-Javelina Jundred 100 October 30, 2021
JAVELINA JUNDRED 2021
McDowell Mountain Ranch, Phoenix Arizona area.
October 30, 2021
“Something is not right. Because everything’s been perfect so far. When am I going to start having problems?”
I said these things around mile 60 as I wrapped up the third of five roughly 20 mile loops. This was my first race after having had removal of a bone spur on my calcaneus heel bone roughly six months ago. I couldn’t believe I was back in the game running a legitimate hundred miler so soon. I was so grateful to be there.
I had arrived the day before around four in the afternoon and set up my tent near the finish line. Most people set up a crew area for their supplies and stuff that they would pass every 20 miles. I had a stir fry veggie dish at a Thai restaurant. I then returned to the race parking area and slept in the car. It was lights out at 8 PM. I slept fairly well till 5 AM. At six, I was on the starting line and raring to go.
I told myself to run smart but keep my foot on the gas. I had a gut feeling that I could put up a really good time. My high-end fitness was there but I did not know if I had enough miles of training in me to achieve a good time. For every race, I set a bronze, silver and gold medal goal time. Gold for me would be 22 ½ hours or 4 ½ hours per loop. I went 23:40 a year ago when my goal was 24 hours. Silver would be 23 hours and bronze would just simply be beating last year’s time.
I know I say it all the time but the first loop was effortless. Temperature was about 65° and the sun was low in the horizon. I made sure to eat and drink early and often. I enjoyed some conversations with coincidentally, other doctors. One guy was a G.I. Doc from Oklahoma who was trying to break 24 hours in his first trail hundred miler. The other was a gynecologist from Canada who had a pretty accomplished running resume despite her work demands.
Loop one is around 23 miles and I did it in three hours and 50 minutes. Many of us talked about how we were going too fast but the miles passed easily so none of us worried about it. I was already basically 45 minutes ahead of my gold medal pace. I knew I would give some of that time back though in the later loops.
Loops two and three were much different. As the sun rose, so did the temperature. I was drinking every ten minutes and at the aid stations I made sure to put down at least a liter. Despite this, I wasn’t sweating, or at least I didn’t notice it. My pace surely had slowed because of the heat, approaching 90°. I finished this loop in four hours and 20 minutes. Much slower but still a solid pace. After this loop, I had my magic formula: A Coke and some Motrin. I call it “Coketrin.” It fixes almost everything.
During loop three, which I did in four hours and 40 minutes, I told myself to go ahead and walk the uphills considering it was the hottest time of day. I wanted to save some energy so I could really crank it on the last two laps. After mile 60 at my tent, I had some more “Coketrin.”
Now that the sun was down, my headlamp lit the way. It still felt pretty warm out but I was cruising along. I still was fairly conservative during the gradual climb up to mile 70. I ran as much of it as possible but didn’t worry about my pace knowing I was still way ahead of goal pace. At the mile 70 aid station, I really started to turn it on. It seemed like I was blowing past other runners which included the slower 100 milers and many 100 kilometer distance runners. I finished this loop in four hours and 40 minutes also. I was proud of my consistent and solid work. By the way, I ended up spending probably between 10 and 15 minutes at my tent in between each loop stretching, eating and drinking. I should have been much faster and more efficient with my down time. I “left a lot of time on the table.”
Coming into roughly mile 80, I decided to have some more Coke and Motrin for the last 20 miles. I had asked myself earlier when I would start having problems. At this point, I realized that I was having one of the best races of my life. Till now, everything had gone perfectly. I told myself to “empty the tank.” I had no reason to not run as fast as I possibly could. I was pretty tired between 80 and 90 during the climb. I ran well but had to power walk some brief stretches.
At mile 90, the race was effectively over for me, knowing that the last 10 miles are a nice gradual hardpacked trail that is virtually all downhill. I knew I could crank it. And I did. I truly was blowing past people. To be honest, I was very proud of how I had executed this race. I kept a positive mindset. I had my fluids and nutrition down perfectly. I didn’t have any mechanical or gastrointestinal issues. My surgically repaired heel caused no problems.
At about mile 98, my headlamp went dead but fortunately I had carried a backup. I switched it out for the fresh one, costing me a few minutes. I felt so surprisingly and amazingly strong. I really think I ran the last mile in eight minutes or so. My final time ended up being just under 22:08. I far surpassed my gold medal time.
How did this happen? Perhaps the forced down time as I recovered from my surgery was a big blessing. Certainly, all the high-intensity cross-training helped. My run training included a handful of 16 milers, two 31 milers and one 62 miler. I guess that’s all I needed for this 100 mile race.
Years ago, doing my first 100 Miler at Javelina, I really struggled. I made all the rookie mistakes—didn’t eat and drink enough, went out too fast, allowed myself to get cold, etc. This year, I executed to perfection.
This will be a great start to my “Comeback Season.” Next up is the GoBig 260 Miler on December 28th, followed by Yukon Arctic Ultra 300 In February, then Lapland Arctic Ultra 300 in Sweden in March.
I’m ready to get at it!!!