Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jay Marathon

This past weekend I went up to Vermont with 2 friends, Tom and Steve, to run the Jay Marathon which is supposed to be 33 miles but they changed the course a bit in the week leading up to the race so the distance ended up being closer to 32 miles. This was everyone's first ultra so our goal was to have fun, stay together, and finish the race. We accomplished all of our goals and finished in 8:29:38 and are ready to go back next year for some more fun and to see how much faster we can go.
We knew it was going to be hard but we did think that the race director was exageratting about the terrain and difficulty in the newsletters we quickly found out that what he wrote was spot on. In some sections you would maybe go 2-3 miles in an hour. When he said running through brooks I was thinking some rocks with water trickling on them, not trying to go up a brook with water that came to my shins/knees. Thanks to rain the 7 days prior to the race there was a ton of mud everywhere and water levels were a bit higher than usual. I would recomend this race to anyone who wants to do a trail race and doesn't mind walking around in mud and really dirty water. Be warned they are strict on the cutoff of 5 hours at mile 19 and will pull you from the race, this year I am told they extended it to 5.5 hours due to the conditions but if you don't make it they will pull you from the race. In reading the forum after the race some people were pretty upset about this. If you are unsure about the cutoff no worries there is a half option which is 19 miles. Looks like someone videoed some of the course and will put that up later, but for now there is a video of the 2nd half of the race see link below but be warned there is a ring involved.

Stats: 400 registered runners, 92 did not show, 291 racers started the race, 10 had to drop out and 63 did not make the cutoff and were forced to DNF. So a total of 218 finished. We came in 137, 138, 139

At the finish someone had lost a front tooth, a branch hit them in the face in a way that a front tooth came out in it they didn't find it.

Our Pictures


An overview of the race you can see in the pics but here it is in words: run, use ropes to get up a steep hill, single track in the woods till the brook, run through the brook going through culverts (drainage pipes) to the base of Jay. Change socks and shoes. Walk up ski slopes to the top of Jay, run down ski slopes (quads feel this later in the race), run through shin high mud for a long time, get to mile 13 aid station, run on nice fire roads (dirt), then run on nice trails in the woods till then run down stream till mile 19. miles 19-24 was some slow going. Lots of strems with some places where you have to swim thru the water and cross through lots of fast moving water (rapids), then you get to the beaver swamp. You are in brown water up to about your waist but every now and then you would fall into a deeper section. Mile 24 we changed shoes and socks and headed on our way where Steve and Tom had some beer. From 24-end was pretty tame some long uphills in some fields, some dirt roads and eventually a sand dune. The last 2 miles were very muddy and seemed to take forever and then you come to the finish and get a great medal and some good food.


fbg said...

Why do I feel that, on this blog, it's a race to see who can post this first:

"Beaver swamp"?!?

RM said...


Reminds me of the time my friend called me, pretty late at night, just to let me know that Nickelodeon had a show called THE ANGRY BEAVERS.

Sounds like a bar, the Angry Beaver.

THE KRIS said...

i think what these two mean is "congrats claire". ok, that's not what they mean, but it should be.

Johnnie Cochran said...

Further proof that Vermont is "fun" and "really nice." When is the training camp? You guys should come up and we can go run over crazy mountains. I have vacation from Aug. 8-18, so that would be a great time.

Claire said...

It was a beaver dam that we were going thru but it more closely resembled a swamp so when combined you get Beaver Swamp

I kept waiting for Mr & Mrs Beaver from the Chronicles of Narnia to appear and start talking to me during this section but I guess I was not dehydrated enough for that to happen

fbg said...

Sorry, sometimes my sense of humor (or sense of... inappropriateness) takes precedence over my senses of politeness and fellow excitement. So:

CONGRATS CLAIRE!! (33 miles is SICK)

THE KRIS said...

now we just need ryan to apologize for not being the first to comment on "beaver damn".