Jackpot Ultra 24hr Feb 18-19, 2017


We arrived in Las Vegas Thursday night which gave us plenty time for some last minute shopping (rain gear, foot powder, food) and time to pick up a tent and chairs we rented from our kayak people at Desert Adventures.  We were able to pop out to the park on Friday afternoon to collect our race stuff after visiting The Cheesecake Factory which was perfect.  No stress.  


The forecast was set on the rains of Satan so we decided to use the car as base camp if we could park it close enough to the path Saturday morning.  All our stuff, and there was a lot of it, was already in there which would save moving shit across the park and messing about with a tent in the wind and rain. This was probably the best thing we could have done.


Saturday morning

The rain moved in during the night and everything was very soggy, including the 48 hr runners, by the time we arrived.  The lower pathway had flooded so we would be re-routed up and over (bonus hills) with the loop now 2.5 miles instead of 2.38.  Much easier math. 


It's Vegas, we're starting out in style with showgirls and Elvis.  Those poor girls were being blown around so much.



Miles 0-10

After a warming rendition of Viva Las Vegas from Elvis we set out around the lake.  My plan for the first 12 hours is roughly 4 laps per 3 hours, coming in as close as possible to 40 miles.  We're both wearing $8 CVS rain ponchos (the last 2 anywhere in Vegas I might add).  They're bulky and pretty much suck but it keeps the wet and wind out.

I'm absurdly happy to complete my first lap.


We are seeing our friends Robert and Karen quite a bit on the course (yay), and we're surrounded by RnR Marathon jackets.  It all makes me happy. I'm in ahead of schedule, there's a lot of mud and puddles.  I take about 15 mins to repowder my feet and head back out.


Miles 11-20

The rain is still coming down, though the forecast is implying it will stop by afternoon (all lies).  I'm running flats and downs and walking the ups and squishy bits. I'm eating something small at the end of every loop and refilling my handheld with nuun.  


Here's the setup with our little white rental car (chosen due to PA plates and comfy seats) and chairs.  Putting them out was ridiculous as they just filled with water.  Eventually I had to move the cooler back into the dry.  I'm standing on the race route to take this, we're parked super close.


I'm still ahead of schedule at mile 20, all the photos are taken inside the car during breaks - otherwise everything is bright red rain-poncho-tastic.  More foot powder and out.


Miles 21-30

Just before the loop turnaround point we pass these beautiful flowering trees, they smell amazing.


I decide it's stopped raining (because I believe the forecast) at mile 25 and ditch the poncho. Partway round the lap it comes down hard again and I'm miserable as sin.  The bloody wind has picked up too. Buggar off.  Soaked to the skin.


I have to change my entire top layer plus bra, in the car, spraining my thumb in the process.  I take off socks at this point and prop my feet up on the car heaters to dry them out. Kev has arrived with the car keys so we're able to get all kinds of heat going on.  It's a long break, maybe 45 mins.  We've been leaving the car unlocked so anyone can have breaks or grab stuff.  I forget my handheld on the next loop.

With perfect timing the aid station puts on soup - chicken noodle and lentil.


Miles 31-40

Back at 'er to close out the first half.  It's a case of move forward, eat, drink, powder feet and repeat.  At 12 hours I'm at exactly 39 miles.  It's dark now.  We bought 2 big turkey subs to package into little bits and I've been eating a lot of those plus cinnamon rolls from the aid station.  At first the soup was good but over this stretch it's not sitting well.  

Then something truly wonderful happens.  This pizza is warm and fresh.  I have a slice after each of my next 2 laps and it makes me feel so much better.


Miles 41-50

Night.  I've been having long breaks after each 10 mile section to fix my feet and regroup.  When I head out this time I know I'll be hitting my personal long distance (40.96 miles) and that's pretty exciting.  I'm not bored of this course at all, but avoiding the puddles in the dark is challenging. After I change into fresh Hokas I add my headlight to do better at puddle hopping.

I've taped both ankles as there seems to be grit down in my socks and that works really well, no more issues there.  I'm finding it cold overnight so I've added thick running trousers over my tights and put on a pullover.


I'm on my last pair of dry socks and shoes, it's still raining on and off so the poncho is a constant. We seem to be timing our car breaks well, it's nice to have company and encouragement to get back out there.  The brownies and chips we have in the car are magic.


Miles 51-62.5

Each lap including a bathroom and food break is taking over an hour right now, and by food I mean Coke.  I'm trying so hard to figure out if I have enough time to hit 100k but my brain isn't working.  I had a solid plan for day but 'just keep moving' at night.  At this stage I can feel large blisters on the balls and heels of both feet but it seems better to keep moving than stop and look at it.


5 laps, 4 laps, break, 3 laps.  Kev joins me for my last 3, I think we are doing a great job of keeping each other going and feeling good in this race.  It is disorienting at times running through the night so I appreciate the company.  On the downhills I can feel the skin sliding around on my feet, ew.

At 6:30 am it's getting light and I complete my 25th lap, taking me just over 100k.  I sit down to take off my shoes and try to sort out the blisters....I realize how tired and sore I am and I'm done (and this is why you don't sit).  I HIT MY GOAL!

I kept moving for 22.5 of 24 hours.  Kev kept going the entire time and hit his goal of 80 miles, then he had to get me a medal because I forgot about it.  Bless his heart.  He placed third male but we didn't notice until we were at the airport.

I took this on my final lap, even in the rain and grey there was always something beautiful.


25 laps
62.5 miles 100.5 km
4th female OA
9/29 runners 

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