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Javelina Jundred Journey 2019

Showing the start/finish line of the Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Endurance Race

Overnight to the Desert

“Sally wants me to pace her”

This year’s Javelina Jundred wasn’t planned, but i’m so glad things came together just right and we got to experience this crazy race!

A surprise, last minute invitation to pace one of the premier runners in the field is what motivated us to make the trip and so, after a bit of juggling schedules, we decided to head out to Arizona.

Emma DeLira and Sally McRea after emma won the Ray Miller 50K

The “Sally” she was due to pace was Sally Mcrea, Nike athlete and all around bad-ass woman, and one of the primary reasons she had even gotten into trail running. Needless to say, I knew she would be fully concentrated and in her zone, making sure she was fully focused on letting Sally to run at peak performance. So I made plans to set out and scope out spots to set up and film once we arrived.

After hearing so much about the race and knowing the great racers that would be competing, I was excited to film this one of a kind event! I was so excited that I didn’t think twice about having to drive overnight to get there, or that I would have to turn back around to be back home by Sunday morning. Adrenaline and caffeine would keep me fueled up and awake, I told myself…

Soon after the call inviting us to go, I was gathering up our camping equipment and supplies, checking out the car, cleaning my cameras and gear, and printing out maps. We both had commitments that would prevent us from leaving any earlier than Friday evening. With the race set to start early Saturday morning, we had to get as much organized and set to as early as possible. I was glad we had taken the time to leave our gear in ready to go condition, so by the time she verified that we were heading out our gear was ready to go as well.

Javelina Party

Javelina had been on my radar for a while now as a race I would like to attend. It was in nearby AZ, always had great runners competing, Aravaipa Running is known for putting on amazing events, and Jubilee Paige & Jamil Coury had tremendous respect in the trail running community, so it was a no brainer to want to go.

The 17th Annual Javelina Jundred took place October 26-27, 2019 and is based out of McDowell Mountain Regional Park north of Fountain Hills, Arizona. This beautiful recreation area is just outside of Phoenix and is near a main road, making getting there and finding it a breeze, even in the dark. Soon after entering, though, you feel completely lost, enveloped by the desert, the open sky and views of the horizon flanked by hills and mountain silhouettes.

We arrived about an hour before start time

The last few miles before arriving had been a bit rough, sleep deprivation had finally sunk in its teeth, and I had downed an energy drink plus a double shot Red Eye from Starbucks to get me through it. 

Well, by the time we arrived I was still pretty wired, so instead of taking a nap and sleeping a bit, I decided to go out and start filming.

Even from the overflow parking lot about a quarter mile away, you could already hear the driving techno beat blasting, incongruous in the otherwise still landscape. The beat, and the caffeine still running through my system but a little speed in my step and I quickly arrived at party central in the desert!

There were rows and rows of cars, then motor homes, then tents, then canopies, then lots and lots of runners.

The crowd, milling around, chatting, greeting old friends was being hyped up at the start line by Race Director Jubilee Paige and the vibe was upbeat and excited, anticipating great racing from big names like Patrick Reagan and Kaci Lickteig.

The race is comprised of roughly 22 mile loops using the trails surrounding the park. There are other aid stations out in the desert, but as a spectator, you can spend your entire day watching runners come in to Javelina Headquarters. There is a food court area where you can get coffee in the morning or other drinks all day long and find plenty of food options as well. The pizza from Freak Brothers Pizza is not to be missed and I took home some Papago Orange Blossom Beer, it was too good to pass up!

Sponsors do a great job as well of setting up canopies, handing out samples and answering product questions, giving everyone plenty of options to kill a bit of time while you wait for your runner to come in. 

Hoka One One has to be given a special shout out for the area they decked out for everyone to hang. They set up a stage area with plenty of seating, lounging and shade space. 

Race Starts, Caffeine Fades

There was so much to see and film that I didn’t realize I was coming down from my caffeine high and was about to crash.

I had made the trip back and forth from Javalina Headquarters to the the overflow parking lot a few times to crash in the car for a bit and raid the cooler, each time feeling just a bit more tired until I realized I was close to running on empty.

Luckily, I had saved a beer and a slice of pizza for an energy boost and was able to fight off the fatigue for a bit longer.

Patrick Reagan Owns Javelina

Watch my Javalina Jundred Highlight Video

I made it back in time to see Patrick Reagan storm in to the finish line well ahead of his nearest competitor to claim his third straight Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Race victory. His winning time of 13:11:48 was just minutes off his course record pace, he’s got something figured out there in the desert.

After Patrick receive the great welcome he deserved and did a round of pictures and interviews, the crowd quieted a bit as they anticipated the next runner coming through. I had a huge burst of adrenaline filming Parick as he approached the finish line, making sure I was getting the right shots.

That adrenaline was now draining away taking the last bit of energy I had with it. I looked around to tell Emma that I was heading back to the car to take a quick nap. I knew I would possibly miss the next couple runners come in to finish, but I would sacrifice that to rest and be back in time to see the top female finisher come in to Javalina Jundred Headquarters.

And so I set off back to the car, figuring I would rest for about an hour, then make my way back to the finish line again.

I vaguely remember looking at my phone and considering setting an alarm before I closed my eyes.

Two plus hours later a car door slamming next to me startled me awake…for about ten seconds before I drifted back to sleep again. I missed Kaci Lickteig in her epic fourth place overall finish, I didn’t see Camelia Mayfield’s gutsty 6th place overall finish.

So maybe Javalina Jundred was not the pinnacle of my short videography career, but it was a great lesson in knowing your body’s limits.

Post Javelina Crash

I did, eventually wake back up. Sally and she had just made it across the finish line as I was crawling back out of the car, trying to gather up the energy to head back to Javelina Headquarters. She had made up some ground on her last two loops and finished a strong 5th Female, 13th overall!

I found her, tired but glowing with excitement over her night in the desert. I was upset and a little embarrassed of myself for not being able to stay awake to fully document the event, but in the end, standing there at 2am, watching a few runners come in, chatting with volunteers on the way out, bathing in the artificial lights and disco beats in the desert, I was also incredibly happy to have experienced this crazy party in the desert at all!

Be back next year, and I promise to stay awake next time!

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What’s the Difference between Road & Trail Running Shoes?


My trail runs often start at a campground/ trailhead popular with local hikers and next to a road with a loyal running crowd. While swapping stories and talking, their eyes struggle to make out the strange names on my shoes…Altra, Hoka, LA Sportiva…The question I most hear after that is: Do I really need special shoes for trail running?

And while my first instinct may be to answer, “no, unless you want to actually make it to the summit without sliding down the mountainside”,  a more helpful thing to do is to offer some real advice.

See why you really DO need Trail Running Shoes

The answer is an emphatic yes, go get yourself some good quality, durable and comfortable trail running shoes. 

What is the difference between trail running shoes and running shoes?

Road running shoes are designed to be, in general, lightweight, responsive and able to cushion your foot against the solid road surface. Trail running shoes are designed to be, again in general, more dense, grippier, and offer your feet and ankles support and protection from the uneven ground and rocks you will encounter. 

While the soles may be the most obvious visual difference, with many trail shoes featuring deep lugs and grooves for grip, the biggest difference is structural. A well designed trail running shoe will offer just the right amount of torsional rigidity to keep your ankles and arches well supported throughout your run. Many will also offer a “rock plate” that runs along the sole to guard against stepping on rocks. 

Don’t ruin your road shoes by torturing them through the trails, and don’t wait until you kick a rock before you realize you need a bit more protection.

While you can mostly get away with wearing your road shoes on the trails without suffering any serious consequences on your typical, casual trail run, you should really move into pair of good quality trail running shoes once you get out on the trails regularly.

Does Nike make trail running shoes?

Many popular mountain running brands are on the smaller side and may be unfamiliar to many of you. Altra, Hoka One One, and others may be well known inside the mountain running community, but are still relatively unknown outside of it. 

Really, the vast array of choices in footwear can be a bit intimidating. Terms like “zero-drop” and “rock-plate” can add to the confusion instead of helping you sift through it and many of the best brands can be hard to find at a brick and mortar shop, making the online buying option also a bit intimidating.

I think that may be the reason another question I often hear is “Does Nike make trail running shoes?”  We still rely on what is familiar when we are unsure of something new (no knock against Nike – anymore – their new Wildhorse is a pretty darn good shoe!) and will naturally gravitate towards a well known brand. 

Your best option is to take the time to visit an established running store near you. Even the most bare bones shop will have trail running models from big brands like Brooks, Saucony, Addidas, Nike and others that you can explore. Once you try a few at the shop, you may want to explore more niche brands not available nearby, online. Having tried or worn a pair or two will give you more confidence to evaluate shoes you come across online.

If you want to see an example of why you need sky running shoes, take a look at this vid: Western States 100 Endurance Run

Your Connection to the Trail

Our running shoes play an even more critical role out on the trail than when you are on the road.

Your road running shoes are there to provide the appropriate level of support & comfort while you run and train. As long as we are comfortable in them, we don’t really ask too much more out of them.

It is a different story while you are out on the trail. 

Trail running shoes must do everything a road shoe does, while also providing protection & grip. 

Protection is needed for the loose rocks you will inevitably end up kicking down the trail as you run and additional grip is needed to keep you from flying off the edge of the trail as you come around a blind corner, full speed!

The brands we are highlighting the best out there in building a better shoe for the trails. They all offer the comfort, grip, durability and protection you will need while running along your favorite single track. 


Some of the best brands in trail running are still relatively unknown to many of you out there. This is partly due to the fact that trail running is still a small, but growing sport with little media coverage or support. Also, many of the largest brands are based overseas, mainly in Europe, where trail running is far more popular.

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Tips by David Roche on dealing with disappointing races

Respected coach and author, David Roche breaks down how to best deal with the bad races we will inevitably encounter at some point. His five step process shows you how to re-frame that disappointing finish into an opportunity to become a stronger runner.

That bad race is another brick in your wall, and it’s a big, sturdy brick, the type that you can’t really get from normal training. Yeah, it might have some graffiti on it, but damn it can still make a strong wall. 


Here is the link to the complete article: So You Had A Crappy Race … Now What?

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Trail running race at sunrise in the Alabama hills near Lone Pine California

Half Marathon and 10K Trailruns

The inaugural John Wayne Grit Series Trail races took place in the ruggedly beautiful Alabama Hills. These wind shaped hills are stunning in person, and instantly familiar to many film buffs, due to the more than 400 movies having been filmed in the area.

The Alabama Hills are also at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. The stunning backdrop of the eastern sierras is ever present as you run through the hollowed out canyons and passes in the Hills.

The race includes many of the iconic sights, including the Mobius Arch. Check out the map on the right for details on that section of trail and other trails nearby. *Please note that this is not a race map.

The Alabama Hills and Lone Pine

The location and the trails would be reason enough for most to come out here to participate, but many come out here in support of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the work they do to fight against skin cancer. They are here as survivors and to support those still fighting, which all make this a very special race.

In fact, it is fitting that a race like this takes place where so many find inspiration, both to create and to overcome.

John Wayne Grit Series - Alabama Hills Half Marathon

Molly Kassouf is organizing a great new trail race with a great cause, the Alabama Hills Half Marathon & 10K benefits John Wayne Cancer Foundation, so every step you take helps advance the fight against cancer through pioneering cancer research and programs. Run or walk in honor of family and friends who have been affected by cancer. Your registration and fundraising efforts make it possible for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation to fund novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and save lives through research, education, awareness and support.

Run or hike dirt roads and winding trails with views of iconic Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous U.S.

John Wayne Grit Series - Alabama Hills Half Marathon

Be transported back in time to the historic wild west in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA. This area has breathtaking rugged western terrain including natural arches, blue skies and snow packed peaks. The course also passes through many John Wayne movie locations like How the West Was Won and more!

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Half Marathon / 30K

Monrovia Canyon Park @ Camp Trask

If you, like me, was looking for a new trail for running near me, the first place we head to is usually Google! The confusing bit, once you get there, is sifting through the mounds of information available.

That’s where we come in, we, along with all of you guys contributing, can build this website into a tool we can use to get the best, up to date info about Running in SoCal! Here in the San Gabriel Foothills, I am spoiled to so many great spots for trail running near me!

Mt. Baldy, Chantry Flats, Mt. Lowe, and so much more. One spot I had missed, until recently, was Monrovia Canyon. Just past Pasadena, heading east on the 210 freeway is the City of Monrovia, a charming foothill community with great spots to replenish yourself after a tough day in their beautiful trails. By far the best way to experience these trails is by signing up for the great new local race put on by one of the Southland’s premier Race Directors, Keira Henninger. The race features a Half Marathon and 30K distances and is run out an back on the Monrovia Truck Trail and the Red box Rincon Truck Trail if you do the 30K.


The race starts at Monrovia Canyon Park at Camp Trask, about four miles north of the freeway exit.

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Highlights from the Start Line on through to Chantry Flats!

The AC100 is one of the premier 100 mile endurance run races in the US. One of the few remaining point to point trail races, the Angeles Crest 100 takes runners along stretches of the Pacific Crest Trail as it winds it’s way through the interior peaks and canyons of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains. The race starts in the picturesque mountain town of Wrightwood and ends in the foothill suburb of Los Angeles, Altadena.

Because parts of this race are run on federal lands that are under protected status, this iconic race is under threat of being shut down. We urge all of you to click on the link for more information on what you can do to help save this great race: SaveAC100

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Jim Walmsley, Jared Hazen, Clare Gallagher, Kaci Lickteig & more!

I had so much great footage that I just had to put together another highlight video! Check out the action as the leaders come into Foresthill Road and then at the finish line in Auburn. Our first Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run experience was beyond epic!

Not only did we get to experience Jim Walmsley and Jared Hazen battling it out on their way to breaking the course record, Courtney Dauwalter pushing toward a course record before bowing out due to injury, and countless other stories on the trails, we got to experience the great fans, volunteers and organizers that make it all happen!

Music is by: Young the Giants, Awake and Little Quirks

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Jim Walmsley, Jared Hazen, Clare Gallagher, Kaci Lickteig & more!

Our first Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run experience was beyond epic! Not only did we get to experience Jim Walmsley and Jared Hazen battling it out on their way to breaking the course record, Courtney Dauwalter pushing toward a course record before bowing out due to injury, and countless other stories on the trails, we got to experience the great fans, volunteers and organizers that make it all happen!

We captured some of the action along Foresthill and the finish line, hope you enjoy!

Music is by: The Ben Miller Band – Hurry Up & Wait

Little Quirks – Crumbled