HB Logo

Jackpot Ultra 48 Hour

February 16, 2018

Chat your way to the finish

133 miles (138 miles on my watch, but who’s counting, apparently me)

I guess when in Vegas you should try to be lucky.  I lucked out with the weather on this race.  Last year it poured rain on the runners and they were telling us how miserable it was.  This year right after the race finished the wind kicked up to 50 mile gusts.  While we were running it was in the high sixties during the day and mid 40s overnight, perfect running weather.  Only in Vegas.

You know when you start a race report with the weather...what does this mean, something is up.  Scary, I think I like this race distance, scary.  It seems to suit me.  It is long enough that I can get lots of miles, challenging enough but not too bad.  I can usually stay up for 48 hours without sleep, unlike the 72 hour race.  But what really sucks is that I like such a long, long distance race.  Why couldn’t my favorite distance race be a bit shorter....arg.

The people who put on this race are wonderful and support the runners well.  They have an emotional story to tell about a multi organ transplant for Stephanie while Ken was doing an ultra.  The volunteers are special as they go out of their way to support runners with anything they need. One volunteer even gave me her mashed potatoes when I was at a low point and couldn’t find anything to eat that sounded appealing.  Thanks Jan.

On day one I had some issues early on with my arthritis in my big right toe.  It acted up early and often.  At one point I didn’t think I was going to even get a buckle but eventually I embraced the pain and it seemed to ease or go numb or I just got used to it.  The swelling in this joint has not gone down after ATY like it usually does after a race.  And usually it doesn’t hurt till after I run so this was new, hurting during the run.  Still I was able to get over 82 miles on day one.  I was comparing things to ATY where I got 86, so I thought that was good.  I ran with several different people during the day and enjoyed the conversations, after all that is what these loop courses allow so well, a chance to see the race while running it and the chance to meet new runners or catch up with friends.

On day two I really appreciate the sun coming up.  It really brings new life to us runners who suffer through the night.  As usual there were very few of us out there at night but I kind of like being out there picking up the miles.  It makes me feel tough when I am handling the wee hours so well.

I used a lot of liquid calories during the day so I became very hungry at night and started to eat and give myself a treat every five miles.  This worked well while I listened to my book on audible.  

The course for this race is mostly pavement with some crushed gravel path and a little nasty rocky section.  The race was also chosen for the 100 mile road championships.  How can a race be a road championship with that nasty little rocky single track?  If I ever come back again I hope they fix that little nasty rock section.  It would be an awesome course if not for that section.

Now when the sun came up on the second day it got immediately hot.  I stripped off clothes and got back down to a skort and short sleeve shirt.  It was only 8 am  and I was super hot.  Then the 24 hr and 100 mile and other assorted race people started.  Us runners who had been out there from yesterday were worried we were going get run over but everyone was kind as they flew past us.  On loop courses you really get to see the race unfold in front of you.  I enjoyed examining the front runners and how they were doing.  The top gal in the 48 hour with over a 100 miles on her feet looked fresh and was keeping up with some of the new legs.  People who run these events are impressive.

As it got hotter this second day I had to ice up, with ice in a bandana around my neck.  I also had to slow down as I wasn’t doing well with the heat.  I wanted to get to 100 before taking a bit longer break to get off my feet and out of the heat.  So about 1:30 PM I took a well deserved rest in the heated tent which was actually cool and there was a cot so I could lay flat with my feet up.  I tried to sleep but you know...that usually doesn’t work especially when a rock band is playing loud music right next to you.  I did get a rest which is what one needs.  My next few loops went well because my feet didn’t hurt for a while.  Getting off the feet is usually the best treat for me in a race like this.  I may need to start bringing an anti gravity chair to these events so that I can do this in comfort....but then again maybe I would spend to much time in the chair ...so no on the chair.

From this point I had about 18 hours left and thought yes I can get a big number of miles, maybe not what I had at ATY but still a good amount of mileage.  I knew I was close to third place but I also knew Karla Kent is a tough runner.  She and I would both be out all night duking it out if we wanted to.  So instead of going after a place I went after a big number and I wanted to enjoy talking with friends which is something I didn’t get to do as much at ATY.  So I would try to walk/run a loop or two with different people.  This was really quite fun as I got to catch up with a lot of people and hear their life stories.  

The gal in second place in the 48 hour was completing her first 48 hour race.  We chatted for a while and she commented on how amazing the crowd is at a race like this.  She appreciated the support and she was doing well.  This just proves once again what a great community we have in the ultra running world, especially the timed races.

When the sun went down I put on long pants and a puffy coat That I had the night before but it didn’t get quite as cold so I had to take stuff off and then back on and off, annoying.  It may be that regulating your temperature on the second night is difficult but it may also be that it was pretty warm.  

My audible book failed so after each loop I would sit with my feet up on a chair by the fire until someone came along to walk with (that was at my pace).  I would sit there and see who my next victim was as they walked by the timing mat and up the hill. This strategy worked well as I enjoyed the conversations and the pace, easy as it goes.  My feet were quite painful as they should be this late in the race so the brief rest every 2.5 miles was rejuvenating.  After a few laps I also allowed myself to go back to the cot for a more extended break.  This worked all night long, chatting, resting, and walking.

When the sun comes up after the second night you know the race is almost complete so you get an extra boost of energy.  

I usually start seeing what number might be good to shoot for as I like even numbers.  130 was definitely in the bag and I might of just stopped with that however I told myself that I was participating in a 48hour event and so I neeed to stay out there for all 48.  At the end when you likely could not complete a whole 2.5 mile loop they give you a wristband to drop in half mile buckets along the course.  I though I might have just enough time for one loop and another half mile.  This would get me to 133, sounded like a good number.  You think weird things with no sleep for so long, 133 is not a even number it just rhymes with wee, one thirty three, wee.  I forgot I would have to go back to the start, another half mile and all the other little walks to the good bathroom and the warming tent and my bag, ended up with 138 on my Garmin.  This is quite good after just having done 148 at ATY.  So I am glad I came back to Vegas for redemption, blingy buckle and a lot of greats chats with awesome and supportive runners.

Return to Race Reports

Go to HudsonBeeks Home Page