zach bitter

Javelina Jundred 2016 Recap

Melia Coury Race Report 0 Comments

Jalloween Party

It’s a running community reunion like no other. A sea of over 300 tents popped up at the Javelina Jeadquarters by Friday afternoon. The temporary city was alive with excitement for a weekend filled with running and cheer. Not to be forgotten are the costumes that could make you laugh and not intended to cause fear; for this ultra marathon race celebrates Jalloween.

Who Wore It Best

Since Javelina Jundred is always the weekend around Jalloween most runners engage in the fun. And even if they don’t dress up we have plenty of decorations around our aid stations to keep the spirit alive. Also, in some cases, the crew members, aid station volunteers and vendors even dress up!


The pacer dressed up as bacon and his wife was eggs.


“Run Forest, Run!” -Jenny


The Beer Fairy ran in his costume for the whole 100 miles.

trail running

A nod to Jim Walmsley’s Western States outfit.

ultra running

Best Male Costume Award: The Big Bad Wolf in Grandma’s Nightgown.

The Heat

October in Phoenix is still hot. While temperatures stay below 100 degrees the dry heat from the summer has not yet been cast away. This year was hotter than most with a high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and no cloud coverage. At each aid station runners for looking for any method to stay cool including completely dousing themselves in water. There were pitchers of water dedicated just to pour over runners. Most found that they would get completely soaked at an aid station and would be dry by the time they made it the 3-5 miles to the next one. Still others found heat training before the race through the use of saunas.

The Race

Javelina Jundred is one big party. However, this race is not to be trifled with as it has a history of a lower finishing rate. This year only 52% of the 574 runners who began the race on Saturday morning would make it to the finish 100 miles later. The heat is a huge factor but what else makes Javelina difficult? Maybe it’s the weather or rolling hill course or the loops or a thousand other things. No matter the individual journey taken by runners the atmosphere remains supportive.

100 Miles

Leading from the gate Zach Bitter would dominate the whole day. He took the first lap out the fastest because it would be the coolest temperatures of his whole race. He mentioned in a post race interview that he planned on a fast first lap since he would slow down as the heat and miles climbed. Bitter didn’t want to push the pace the first lap but if he felt good then he wouldn’t hold back.

Bitter as well as Bret Sanborn (second) and Ryan Kaiser (third) all used some of the heat coping methods mentioned above like getting wet at each aid station and carrying an extra bottle to stay cool between them. Sanborn hung back earlier in the race but then pulled ahead of Kaiser during the last 20 miles.

Official Finishes:
Zach Bitter 13:30:28
Brett Sanborn 15:15:04
Ryan Kaiser 16:40:54

javelina jundred

Zach Bitter just after his record breaking run. Photo: SweetM Images

It was an exciting race for the women! Janessa Taylor held the lead for the first 61.2 miles of the race with a gap starting at 40 minutes and increasing up to two hours before she unfortunately had to drop at mile 80.6. At this time Dana Anderson and Adela Salt were 5 minutes apart! Anderson would race for 30 minutes ahead of Salt for the win. And Amy Rasor would round out the podium 40 minutes behind Salt.

Official Finishes:
Dana Anderson 21:03:13
Adela Salt 21:32:56
Amy Rasor 22:17:48


It was a hot day but Courtney Dauwalter handled it like a beast. She was just eight minutes back from Nico Barazza at mile 22.3 and by mile 41.8 she pulled into the lead. Dauwalter would retain this lead and formed a sizable gap from the remaining runners. When she finished in 8:48:25 Dauwalter shattered the women’s course record by an hour (Susan Barrows 9:42:45 in 2015) and the men’s 100K course record by 20 minutes (Jay Smithberger 9:08:58 in 2010)!

Neela D’Souza finished second for the women and fourth overall, hanging with the front of the pack most of the day. Meredith Edwards finished off the podium after running most of the day with D’Souza.

Official Finishes:
Courtney Dauwalter 8:48:25
Neela D’Souza 10:33:40
Meredith Edwards 10:52:00

trail running

Courtney Dauwalter on trail during her record setting 100K run! Photo: SweetM Images

Nico Barraza lead the race for the men all day. In a post race interview he mentioned before he picked up his pacer, Jim Walmsley, he was going through a rough patch. With some company and the sun starting to set he had renewed energy and was able to make an exciting finish. Another epic finish was by Michael Arnstein who sprinted into the finish leaping across the timing mat. His goal was to run sub 10 hours and he did it. Michael Halovatch finished third to compete the 100K podium for the men.

Official Finishes:
Nico Barazza 9:57:47
Michael Arnstein 9:58:15
Michael Halovatch 10:40:06

The Study

This year at Javelina Jundred we had an opportunity for runners to participate in a research study conducted by two professors and four students of Azusa Pasific University (APU). The title of the project is: An Ultrasonographic Assessment of Femoral Cartilage Thickness in Ultramarathon Runners. The purpose of this was to measure the thickness of knee cartilage in ultra runners using an ultrasound machine. They did ultrasounds before the race and after each of the five laps of the 100 miles. This allowed them to see how it changed over the course of the run. Their study had 27 runners who started the race. When asked why they chose to study the knee professor Robert Dudley had this to say, “It is the most common site of injury in runners and most common arthritis spot. Out of a pool of recreation 30 million runners up to 75% will get injured in a year.”

Thank you professors Robert Dudley, Kelly Franks and your students for all of your hard work. We can’t wait to see the results.

knee injury

Ultrasound machine being used to analyze the runner’s knees.


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