Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sweeping the Javelina course

Dallas and I headed up to Phoenix to help out at the Javelina Jundred, a 100 mile race held on the Pemberton trail. It is a 15.4 mile trail loop - so runners do 6 full laps and a shorter lap on a different trail. People dress up for this race in costumes, because it is near Halloween every year (they call it the 100 mile Jalloween party). For those of you non-Westerners, the 'J' is pronounced like an 'H'.

We volunteered to sweep the course, which means we'd be picking up trash and pulling the ribbons and signs that were marking the course.

We arrived around 8:30am, which meant that plenty of runners were already in (they started the day before at 6am). However, we were there in time to see our friends Mark and Wayne cross the finish line! We then got our free long sleeve race shirts from Jamil for volunteering - they were super nice tech North Face shirts and were awesome!

Then, I got to meet Catra, aka the 'Dirt Diva'.
I've read her blog for about 4 years - she was what motivated me to start trail running! Plus, I love her sense of fashion - all about the pink!! :)

We ate a little food and got started on the loop in a counter-clockwise fashion a little after 9am. We would see no runners as the race ended at noon, and some were starting their last short loop from the opposite direction. We carried small drawstring bags to drop trash/flagging in.

Dallas and I had so much fun!
Will sweep for free shirt
What a ham.
I've never been on the Pemberton trail when it was this quiet! The only people we saw were on mountain bikes - all the runners were in. It was very peaceful. We had to stop pretty often to pick up small pieces of trash (there wasn't much, just very small wrappers/gel tops runners accidentally dropped) and pull the ribbon flagging, but we really enjoyed being of service and being out on the trail.

We did have a tough time getting flagging off of the local fauna. One of the people who flagged the course tied quite a few of them around cactus!! Our hands were pretty torn up after it all. Jamil promised that he would talk to the flaggers next year about that!

We got back after about 4 hours and they were breaking down the tents and going home. We had parked a little over a mile from the start/finish line (where runners were shuttled to/from), so we headed back on foot to the vehicle and got cleaned up before our 2+ hour drive back to Tucson. The total distance was about 18 miles.

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

~ Mahatma Gandhi

1 comment:

Slomohusky said...

Thanks for your service!

I started following your blog at the recommendation of Happy Trails bloggers Steve and Kathleen. Mainly because I will be in Tucson next month to run the Marathon. I have never been to Tucson. I booked a stay at the Omni something resort. I was wandering if this an okay location to stay and have fairly decent access to the race? It seemed to be the best deal nearest Oro Valley.

Enjoy reading your postings. Thanks for sharing them.