Jackson Jackass 50K Race Report – Jennifer Whitley

When I first got my invite to do Josh’s Jackson Jackass 50K I was very honored that he choose me along with some of the more well known runners this side of TN. Knowing what kind of runner Josh is, I knew this was not going to be an easy run and I was in for a sweet surprise.

Now I love running wooded trails that have rolling hills that make you feel like you are on a roller coaster on foot but I’ve never got to run one with the extra challenges that lay ahead. Since it had rained all morning it made the course super muddy and slippery, so when you came to a downhill you would end up sliding down, and the steep up hills kept making you slide down as muddy footholds gave way. I slipped and fell so many times that after 5 falls I stopped counting. Only one of those falls was painful enough that I felt my right hip go out of place… but the next fall set it right back! Lucky me!

There were many sharp turns that would make your feet skate sideways because the mud was so slushy. One of the many challenging areas had a rope “hand rail” that if you didn’t keep a firm grip you would plummet down into a ravine. I heard one runner actually did end up falling into it, but I think he avoided any great injury.

Funny thing… it was about the 3rd go around that I realized if I just run and stop trying to be so careful, it became much easier. So when going down some of the steeper areas I did so much better and I never fell again after that. I was plagued with stomach issues, and lost some time with that. My legs stayed strong but my bowels made me make far too many stops in the bushes! Without all those extra stops I’m sure I would have finished at least an hour sooner. Several things could have been the cause, so I’ll just have to do some experimenting with long runs.

Every time I completed a loop I was met by Naresh who jotted down times and gave you assistance with anything you needed. He also made sure to give me words of encouragement and motivation before I left to the next round. He is a very encouraging individual!

My last round was mentally the hardest but also the most satisfying knowing that I would finish. Later I would find out that our dear friend Dallas lost his sight during the last loop. This same thing happened to him a few years back during another ultra. He was still able to complete the run which is amazing to no ends. He is author of Falling Forward and his new book, Going Down Slow. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of his new book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first book Falling Forward and I heard that his second book promises to be just as interesting and I can’t to wait to start reading it.

Afterwards several of the runners met at this local restaurant named Coyote Blue and we had some of fanciest looking Mexican food I’ve ever seen. Of course we all looked a little different by then, all cleaned up.

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4 Responses to “Jackson Jackass 50K Race Report – Jennifer Whitley”

  1. Dallas Smith says:

    You did great Jennifer! It was wonderful to see you there – no pun on “see” intended! You were piling minutes on me on every lap. Thanks for writing up the story. I enjoyed it. I like that you included the slick section with the rope assist. BTW, I saw the gentleman that fell in the ravine. He simply scrambled back out with a hand up from some other runners.

    Thanks for mentioning my book. If you like it, tell everybody, but if you don’t, don’t tell nobody.

    See you next time!

  2. Lisa says:

    Great job Jennifer! I’m sorry to hear about your issues but way to tough it out! I enjoyed meeting you. Hope we can meet again.

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