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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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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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The Big Dalton Creek, in Glendora, Ca, is little known outside the local trail community, keeping it relatively quiet, even on holiday weekends. It consists of several short trails and a few longer ones of varying difficulty, making this trail park one of the best for workouts and consistent training. You can easily vary the length of your run from 1 to over 12+ miles with elevation and steepness variation to match!

The video above is taken from Big Dalton Trail, which runs alongside Big Dalton Creek. It is a gently undulating 3 mile out and back hike that I like to run as a warm-up to a long run, or to add mileage or cool down after a tough workout on the steeper climbs.

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The San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run takes place annually in the east county mountains of San Diego. We are so glad that Steven de la Cruz invited Emma @trail_lover_lira to pace him for about 30 miles of the race. We loved the atmosphere, the friends and family watching, and of course, the competition out on the trails!
The race start/finish venue is located at Lake Cuyamaca near the mountain community of Julian. This is about 50 miles east of San Diego.
The course covers 5 distinct areas to include Lake Cuyamaca, Rancho Cuyamaca/Anza Borrego State Parks, Noble Canyon, Mt Laguna Recreational Area, and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The course is 85% single track technical trails and includes just over 13,000 feet climb/descent each.

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Congrats to @anthonyfagundo and to @trail_lover_lira for winning the half marathon in last weekends Ramblas Run!
This beautiful trail race takes place in the San Juan Hills area that divides San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. The race starts and ends at the Las Ramblas Trailhead as it winds its way through the surrounding, lush coastal hillsides.
Race Director @runramblas puts on a great race and it’s become a local favorite, drawing people from all over Coastal Orange County, North San Diego and beyond. 
the half marathon course, while not overly technical, is still challenging due to terrain and weather. Even the well traveled fire road trails are lined with deep ruts, keeping you alert on the fast, steep downhills and the hot, dry weather can take a toll if you aren’t prepared for it! 

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The #SantaBarbara#NineTrails 35 Mile Endurance race was supposed to be all about the @coconinocowboys comin into town and destroying the course record.
And while that did happen, the most indelible images from that race for me seem to involve @catberad 🐐The grit and determination it took to finish on a bum knee and broken rib is beyond me. How she managed to smile and be thankful for the experience is even more amazing. 

But there were many other outstanding performances, just as you would expect from such a stacked field. Every one of the Coconino Cowboys finished in the top ten, but in the mix right with them were several local favorites and one particularly talented youngster. The women performed just as strongly, the visiting pros but up a challenge, and the local trail queens rose up to meet it. 

All in all, it was a great race to film and I hope you all enjoy the video!