Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beating Out My 15 Miles of Disappointment

I beat last year’s time at Javelina Jundred by 69 minutes with a first place win over top rated competition.  And yet I didn't train specifically for Javelina, a 100mile race, coming off of a summer race series of much shorter mountain races.  So how did I pull through?
Javelina Jundred 100M with Oswaldo Lopez and Miguel Lara Viniegras.
Photo: Chriss Furman Photography
Waves of disappointment swept over me repeatedly in the last 15 miles of my Javelina Jundred race. My pace was slowing down and I felt I wouldn't meet my goals. I was beating myself up mentally. With 9 miles left to go, my wife joined me as a pacer.  Despite all her encouragement I still struggled mentally.

Near the top of the last climb with 5 miles to go I literally spewed out my negative mental suggestions onto the side of the trail. Took a swig of water to flush my mouth and set off running with my pace quickly recovering.

Not sure how but I made it! ...and the 2014 season ended greater than I had imagined! Relief and gratitude swept over me.

I am truly grateful for all of the support along the way from family, God, old and new friends, race volunteers, competitors, and more. Tremendous support also came from the Run Steep Get High Mountain Running Team and CarboPro - many thanks!

Finishing Javelina Jundred in 1st!

Relieved to be done and ready to sit
down at Javelina Jundred.
The progress gained and confidence built this ultra trail running season was perfectly expressed in my Javelina Jundred 100mile final race of the season. 1st overall, 69 minutes quicker than the previous year, and I ran 99% of the race. I persisted and accomplished the goals I set out to achieve.

Expert race direction by Aravaipa Running and top runners including Miguel Lara Viniegras, Oswaldo Lopez, and Kaci Lickteig made it a truly memorable race. Miguel, a Tarahumara speedster, finished 2nd overall and strongly applied the pressure to keep me running. Oswaldo, a past winner of Badwater 135, may not have had his best day but stayed cheerful and positive. Kaci, finishing 3rd overall and 1st female at Javelina, set a new course record!

My post-race interview
Other post-race interviews

Reflecting back my primary goal stemming from previous years of over training injuries was to stay injury free - and I did! At several points throughout the season I thought I would have to take time off, DNF or DNS (did not finish/start), etc. Prayer and support from my wife led me through these trials. Working to stay mentally focused and spiritually minded paved the way for a strong, successful season.

Enjoying the day volunteering with
friends. Photo Kristi McCauley
At the moment I am truly enjoying some time off training and racing. Volunteering at the inagural Colossal Vail 50/50 near Tucson, AZ I had a blast supporting both friends who organized the race and friends who ran the race. Beautiful weather, rolling scenic vistas, and a down home feel made it a special event that should be on your racing plan for next year. My local trail training buddies swept the top podium places for both the 50K and 50M races.
I found that volunteering at a race is not only a gift to the runner competing but also a gift to the volunteer him/herself. After volunteering race day I left with deeper meaning friendships, new friends, and a heightened sense of place in this growing movement of trail runners.

Huffin' it up the mountain in
Flagstaff. Photo: Ian Sharman.
Looking forward I have begun mapping out my 2015 season. My focus will be on the Skyrunning Ultra series events again including 1 (maybe 2 if my funds allow) races abroad on the international stage (travel and fees covered thanks to my 1st place overall in the U.S. series this year). Anyone care to join me in Chamonix, France, June 27th for the Mont Blanc 80K?

I will continue to build on the great training and racing lessons learned this year to continue my forward progress as an elite mountain trail ultra runner through 2015!


  1. Congrats on the Skyrunning win, Catlow! Travelling abroad to race sounds amazing. Thanks for the race recognition. It was so nice to see you there when we were around!

  2. Great job, Catlow. You are rocking!