Tag Archive | "Jonathan Harrison"

2013 Jackass Shirt Front Art

Jackson Jackass 50K Results (2013)

Below are the results for the 2013 Jackson Jackass 50K that took place on February 9, 2013 at Kam-Dam Falls in Jackson, Tennessee.

Jackass 2 Results

  1. Arthur Priddy (Jackson, TN) – 4:39:14 (1st Male)
  2. Brad Box (Jackson, TN) – 4:48:22 (2nd Male)
  3. Ashley Hook (Memphis, TN) – 5:10:10 (3rd Male)
  4. Billy Cannon (Milan, TN) – 5:11:30
  5. Anthony Ohrey (Henderson, TN) – 5:11:31
  6. Jonathan Harrison (Henderson, TN) – 5:17:40
  7. Joshua Holmes (Los Angeles, CA) –  5:22:20
  8. Rob Philip (Saltillo, MS) – 5:31:31
  9. Kenneth Mescall (Jackson, TN) – 5:40:11
  10. Steven Reagan (Brownsville, TN) – 5:44:00
  11. Nathan Judd (Finger, TN) – 5:51:30
  12. Emily Conley (Lakeland, TN) – 5:53:03 (1st Female)
  13. Wade Anderson (Readyville, TN) – 5:53:05
  14. Nathan Bass (Madison, MS) – 5:54:54
  15. Wayne McComb (Columbus, GA) – 5:55:30
  16. Robin Robbins (Milan, TN) – 5:58:16
  17. Julie Montgomery (Jackson, TN) – 6:08:49 (2nd Female)
  18. Jeff Fugate (Jackson, TN) – 6:21:27
  19. Jonathan Bobbitt (Jackson, TN) – 6:22:57
  20. Terry Bishop (Jackson, TN) – 6:23:20
  21. Mark Watson (Medina, TN) – 6:29:12
  22. Leah Harrison (Henderson, TN) – 6:29:54 (3rd Female)
  23. Jennifer Whitley (Murfreesboro, TN) – 6:35:24
  24. Gene Pierce (Amory, MS) – 6:35:58
  25. Melanie Kayal (Jackson, TN) – 6:37:14
  26. Kevin Brandon (Dickson, TN) – 6:55:47
  27. David Oglesby (Jackson, TN) – 7:26:46
  • Chris Estes (Murfreesboro, TN) – DNF
  • Kevin Leathers (Germantown, TN) – DNF
  • Kam Otey (Amory, MS) – DNF
  • Daniel Escue (Dickson, TN) – DNF

Big thanks to Clark Bilbrey for doing all of the timekeeping and scoring as well as to Richard Sparks (Sparks Timing Services) for the use of his race clock.

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Trail Of Fears Medals 2012

Trail Of Fears Medal (2012)

This is the medal for the Trail of Fears: The Day After the End of  the World Elimination Race that was held on December 22, 2012 in Jackson, Tennessee.

Love, love, love this medal. The detail is awesome and the “ribbon” is perfect for it!

Congratulations to RIF #65 Jonathan Harrison who was the Last Man Standing and won the Trail of Fears by completing 16 loops for a total of 68.8 miles! He received the beautiful buckle at the top for his first place finish.

Jonathan’s Trail of Fears Race Report

Inaugural Trail of FearsElimination Race Results

MORE PHOTOS OF MARATHON/ULTRA MEDALS AND BUCKLES

[Medal photo submitted by RIF #65 Jonathan Harrison – follow him on Twitter @jdharrison37]

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Jonathan Harrison Last Man Standing on the Trail of Fears Elimination Board

Last Man Standing: Trail of Fears Race Report (2012)


Last Man Standing

This story actually begins a few weeks before the race.  When the race details for the Trail of Fears were announced on the Run It Fast Facebook page I got really excited…buuut then I saw the date.  NOOO!!!  My wife, Leah Harrison (RIF #64), and I planned to be in the Smoky Mountains to celebrate our 10 year anniversary that weekend, sooo I tried to not pay attention to the details and conversations about the race as they unfolded.  I really did try.  A week later I was texting with RD Joshua Holmes (RIF #1) about why I couldn’t make the race and I jokingly said, “I wonder if Leah would stay with me another 10 years if I cut our trip short?”  We had a good laugh about it and Josh later said, “If you had been able to run this one you would’ve been 1 of only 3 or 4 people to run all the RIF races this year (Jackass 50k, Jackal Trail Marathon, Black Diamond 40 Miler, Trail of Fears).  Talk about a dagger to the heart.

The next morning while getting ready for work I was recounting the conversation to Leah (not trying to change her mind about anything btw) and when I mentioned the part about being 1 of only 3 or 4 people to run all of the RIF races her face changed and said, “Maybe you can call the hotel and move the reservations up.  You have to run this race!”  BEST.  WIFE.  EVER.  It’s great being married to an ultrarunner who understands.

Obviously everything worked out, so fast forward to the race.  Having trained and run races on the Trail of Fears course was a definite advantage going in.  My strategy from the beginning was to complete each loop with 5-10 min. left before the start of the next loop.  I think the fastest I ever ran the loop was 39 min. in a training run, but I wanted to conserve my energy and not leave too much time between loops to get stiff.  I knew this would be important in the later stages of the race.  Another important component of this race was my crew chief/training partner, Nathan Judd (RIF #166).  Nathan drove me to the race, crewed for me every stop and was there to celebrate with me at the end.  We had discussed my fueling plan, strategy, etc.  He helped me stay the course and definitely played a big role in this victory.  Thanks bro!

The first loop was about finding a rhythm for my strategy.  It helped that on that first loop I fell in step with Kevin Leathers (RIF #12), an experienced, knowledgeable ultrarunner, who I had ran several loops with on the course back in February in the Jackass 50k.  Kevin and I had similar strategies and since we enjoy one other’s company we stuck together and went to work.  We found a good rhythm early on and after a few loops we started making mental time checkpoints along the trail.  It was like clockwork.  Leah showed up with our 2 boys after the 3rd loop with definitely lifted my spirits.

I felt a very minor pain on the outside of my left knee for the first 4 loops.  I wasn’t worried about it but I didn’t want it to come back and bite me in the later stages of the race so I changed out of my Brooks Cascadia 7s into my Saucony Peregrines (the original) thinking that landing differently would make it stop.  After Nathan gave my knee a quick massage (we’re very comfortable in our masculinity) while I ate some warm homemade chicken noodle soup (refer to above comment about BEST. WIFE. EVER.) I took off again and immediately the pain started to disappear.  I wore my Peregrines for 2 loops and then switched back into my Cascadias for the extra cushioning.  It had worked.

After 10 strong, consistent loops my running partner for the day, Kevin, came over to say he was done.  He had met his goal.  He could’ve kept going but for him this race was a fun training day.  Stud.  He told me to stay steady and keep doing what I was doing.  I gave him a quick hug and then got ready for the next loop.  I later heard that he told someone I was the one to watch out for.  Thanks man!

Even though the time to complete each loop had been reduced to 55 min. or less by this point I didn’t change my strategy.  My plan was to keep coming in after 52 or 53 min. like I had been all day because I didn’t see the reasoning in speeding up until I had to.  It was making Nathan nervous though.  He told me I should probably speed up a little bit to be safe, but I told him I was feeling good and was confident I could keep coming in at the same time.  Seven of us started the 11th loop and I just kept following my plan.  On this loop I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend from Freed-Hardeman University, CrossFit phenom Brett Beckham (RIF #85).  We ran together for about 10 min. and had a good conversation.  What a performance outta that guy.  47.3 miles when he hadn’t run more than a half marathon in over 2 years.  Incredible!

When I completed the 12th loop I had met my second to biggest goal of the day, passing the 50 mile mark.  My personal long before this race was 40.5 miles (Black Diamond 40 Miler) back on November 23rd just one month earlier, so it felt great to reach the 50 milestone.

Now to be completely honest I really hadn’t thought much about winning during the race.  I wasn’t even really paying attention to who was left.  However, the beginning of loop 13 was different.  Immediately after the 13th loop started, Jeff Fugate (RIF #17), who had passed his goal of 50 miles, took a few steps and said, “Good luck man.  I’m done.”  Now it was down to 3.  “Wow!” I thought to myself.  “I might actually win this thing.”  I still felt pretty strong.  I took note of who was left, Travis Redden and Rob Philip (RIF #212).  Both guys had run strong all day and were experienced ultrarunners.  If I’m not mistaken, I believe both had finished ahead of me every single previous loop at that point.  Nathan told me they had consistently come in near the front of the pack all day, finishing between 44 and 48 min., so I knew I had to stay focused.  Rob admitted to me that he was tired so I thought it was probably his last loop, but he still finished the loop a little ahead of me.  What a warrior!  Travis, on the other hand, was out of view ½ mile into the loop and continued pulling away the entire loop.  Nevertheless, I pushed that out of my mind and kept doing what I had been doing the all day.

The 3 of us started the 14th loop, with 52 minutes on the clock so it was finally time to speed up.  I was a little tired and a little sore (obviously) but I didn’t doubt for a second that I could make it.  I passed Rob a little over a mile and a half in and keep moving.  I think I finished with a minute something left, but Rob didn’t make it back in time.  The Trail of Fears had claimed another victim, but not without a fight.  Travis had finished several minutes ahead of me, which surprised me a little since we were that deep into the race.  So now it was down to me and Travis, Method vs. Madness, as it had been coined.  51 minutes on the clock.  Before taking off Nathan and Leah asked me what my plan was so they would know what to expect and not get too nervous.  I told them, “I’m gonna be honest.  I’m only going to speed up just a little.  Expect me to come in with 30 to 60 seconds left on the clock.”  Nathan nervously said, “Ok man.  You know what you’re doing.”  Travis took off and left me again but I tried not to think about it.  Anytime the trail folded back on itself I noticed his headlamp swiveling towards me to see where I was.  I just kept running.  Once again I hit my checkpoints like clockwork.  I completed loop 15 with 40 seconds left…just like I had planned.  Nathan was just laughing.  Travis had finished with 3:46 left I believe.  BEAST!

Loop 16: Josh rolled the clock back to 50 min., I was back at the starting line, still confident, and then I heard Travis tell Josh he was finished.  He had some old injuries starting to flare up and he was afraid if he ran another loop he would tear something.  Per the rules, since Travis finished loop 15 ahead of me I had to complete this loop alone for the win.  I had a rush of adrenaline that started the second I heard Travis say he was done.  “This is it!” I thought, “Either way this is the last time I have to run this loop.” So when Josh said “Go!” I took off faster than any previously loop.  I heard Nathan and Leah yelling, cheering me on as I left.  I honestly at that point wasn’t sure which loop it was and I didn’t know how many miles I was at.  I knew I was at 60-something but I forced that out of my mind and kept moving.  I ran moderate inclines and hills that I had walked all day.  I had been praying on and off for the past 6 or 7 loops, but I prayed almost constantly the entire last loop.  I was asking God to guide my steps and to keep me safe and strong.  I wasn’t pushing as hard as I could, but I was pushing enough to finish with some cushion this time.  Near the end I started calculating the loops and miles and realized that I was about to finish my 16th loop, 68.8 miles!  I finally saw Nathan standing on the path that was about 2 min. from the finish and I knew I had it.  I crossed the finish line with 1:05 making it my fastest loop of the day!  I couldn’t believe it!  It was finally over.  Nearly 11:00 p.m., 16 hours after the race started, I was the last man standing on the Trail of Fears.

With God’s help and an amazing crew I was able to accomplish my ultimate goal: Winning the Trail of Fears.  And to think I had only run my first marathon just over a year ago.  What made it even more special was that it was a race filled with so many great running friends I had made this year, fellow RIFers, just having fun in the coolest RIF race of the year.  The cherry on top was that Leah and Nathan were there to celebrate with me.

Jonathan Harrison RIF #65 (December 22, 2012)

Jonathan Harrison Wins Inaugural Trail of Fears Elimination Race (Results)

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Trail Of Fears Winner Jonathan Harrison with the Elimination Board

Jonathan Harrison Wins Inaugural Trail of Fears Elimination Race (Results)

Jonathan Harrison won the inaugural Trail of Fears: The Day After the End of the World Elimination Race late Saturday night after outdueling Illinois native Travis Redden in one of the most exciting race finishes of 2012.

Runners started with 60 minutes to finish the 4.3 mile trail loop. If runners didn’t make it back to the start/finish in that time then they were eliminated. The race restarted every hour. If runners tapped out or didn’t make it back to the start for the restart then they were eliminated as well.

After four hours, a minute was subtracted from the clock per hour until stabilizing at 55 min/loop. It remained at 55 min until lap 14 when it was reduced to 53 minutes then 51 minutes for lap 15 and 50 minutes for lap 16.

Third place went to Mississippi native Rob Philip after he was eliminated after 13 loops as he barely missed making it back to complete his 14th loop.

That left just Harrison and Redden for loop 15. Redden smoked the loop as he had done the last handful of loops coming in with 3:43 remaining on the 51-minute clock.  Harrison, perhaps the most cerebral runner of the day came in with just 40 seconds remaining.

It was then announced for lap 16 that the clock would be reduced by 1-minute down to just 50 minutes. As both runners headed back to the start line, Redden stated that he thought he was done and was going to call it after 15 amazing loops.  Since Travis had beat Jonathan on the prior lap then this meant that Jonathan had to complete the 16th loop in less than 50 minutes for the win while Travis waited at race headquarters along with everyone else.  If Jonathan failed to do it in less than 50 minutes then Travis would be the winner of the race and the coveted Mayan Calendar belt buckle.

So the clock started and Jonathan took off into the dark wilderness to try to win his first race of any distance ever. His personal long coming into the Trail of Fears was 40.5 miles a month before. If he finished loop 16 then he’d have run 68.8 miles for the day.

So everyone waited and made guesses on the outcome of the race as Jonathan ran with more adrenaline than he could probably harness. He controlled his own fate and the outcome of a very exciting day.

As you already know from the headline and intro, Jonathan Harrison dug deep and came across the finish line for the 16th time on the day with about 65 seconds remaning and the win.

His wife Leah and friend Nathan Judd were there to hug and congratulate him on his amazing day, personal long, and win.

Last Woman Standing went to Julie Montgomery with 8 loops (34.3 miles) which was a new personal long for her as well. Second place female was Jennifer Whitley (6 loops) and third place went to Alicia Eno (4 loops).


Place Name Hometown Loops Miles
1 Jonathan Harrison Henderson, TN 16 loops 68.8 miles
2 Travis Redden Troy, IL 15 loops 64.5 miles
3 Rob Philip Saltillo, MS 13 loops* 55.9 miles
4 Jeff Fugate Jackson, TN 12 loops 51.6 miles
5 Stewart Crouch Angleton, TX 11 loops* 47.3 miles
6 Brett Beckham Jackson, TN 11 loops 47.3 miles
7 James Donahue Bethalto, IL 11 loops 47.3 miles
8 Joshua Holmes Jackson, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
9 Kevin Leathers Cordova, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
10 Clark Bilbrey Dickson, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
11 Mark Watson Medina, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
12 Nathan Bass Madison, MS 8 loops 34.4 miles
13 Kenneth Mescall Jackson, TN 8 loops 34.4 miles
14 Julie Montgomery Jackson, TN 8 loops 34.4 miles
15 Anthony Ohrey Henderson, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
16 Rusty Butcher Jackson, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
17 Billy Cannon Milan, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
18 Danny Staggs Livingston, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
19 David Mickelsen Nashville, TN 6 loops 25.8 miles
20 Robin Robbins Milan, TN 6 loops 25.8 miles
21 Jennifer Whitley Murfreesboro, TN 6 loops 25.8 miles
22 Bob Beasley Jackson, TN 5 loops 21.5 miles
23 Kevin Brandon Dickson, TN 5 loops 21.5 miles
24 Jonathan Stewart Jackson, TN 4 loops 17.2 miles
25 Alicia Eno Marion, AR 4 loops 17.2 miles
26 Victor Mickelsen Nashville, TN 4 loops 17.2 miles
27 Michelle Trujillo Cookeville, TN 3 loops* 12.9 miles
28 Karl Studtmann Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
29 John Carraher Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
30 Bradford Box Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
31 Jonathan Bobbitt Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
32 David Greenway Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
33 Amanda Staggs Hermitage, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
34 Sandy Staggs Livingston, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
35 Marjorie Miitchell Henderson, TN 2 loops* 8.6 miles
DNS Todd Shadburn Jackson, TN
DNS Trent McDowell Franklin, TN
DNS Heather Shoemaker Alpharetta, GA
DNS Martha Floyd Jackson, TN

*= runners that completed 1 additional loop (4.3 miles) but not before the clock ran out, eliminating them from the race.

More info, photos, updates from the race can be found on the Trail Of Fears: The Day After the End of the World Facebook Page

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Lookout Mountain 50 Miler Finishers – Joshua Holmes, Nathan Judd, David Pharr, Jonathan Harrison-Pacer – Old Finish

Lookout Mountain 50 Miler Race Report (2012) – Nathan Judd

Lookout Mountain 50 Miler begins at Covenant College on the top of Lookout Mountain. I began the race with two Run It Fasters, David Pharr and Joshua Holmes. David and I have been friends for a long time and have done several races together here recently. He is definitely becoming a very strong ultra runner. I also had a great crew seeing me off, including my lovely wife Melissa (who was holding our precious baby daughter Brooklyn, Jonathan Harrison (who helped me out A TON) throughout the day, and Leah Harrison (Jonathan’s wife).

We ran through the parking lot of the college and then went into the woods on the west side of the mountain. We ran along a single track with some nice bluffs that could end one’s life directly to our left. We could see a beautiful view of a valley for about thirty minutes on our left. What a great way to start the day!  We continued to run north and then came to the stairs marking Point Park which was directly above us. The trail then turned around to the north side of the mountain, and we could see Chattanooga on our left. This was a very fast section of trail. I knew ahead of time that I had to be careful here. I love going fast on the downhill, but I didn’t want to expend myself 6 miles into the race.

After this section, we came to a gravel road that went back in roughly the same direction we had just come, only it was going downhill. We weren’t on this road long before getting to Craven’s House, the first aid station at mile 8. David had pulled a little ahead of me before getting to the station. I could tell he was on a mission, and I did the smart thing and just let him go. Jonathan refilled my gels, Enduralytes, and got me some food as well as a change of shirt (into my sweet Run It Fast shirt).

I looked up to start running with David again, but he was gone. I didn’t see him again the rest of the day. We continued downhill. There really wasn’t a lot going on for this section of the trail. I just made my way down to the Nature Center area. I knew there was another aid station there at about 14 miles, but I also knew I wouldn’t see anyone I knew at that station. I ended up getting to the bottom of the mountain and running along a creek to my right. This was a very moderate section of trail and very flat. I then came to the station, refilled, and started the next section.

I knew I had a monster climb ahead of me from looking at the course profile. Sure enough, the trail started going up, up, up. Before I knew it, I was about halfway up the mountain. I actually said to somebody, “This isn’t quite as bad as I thought it was going to be.” I passed several people during this stretch. My spirits really started to lift as I realized how well I was doing with what was described as the hardest section of the course. Then the trail started to go down. And it kept going down. The pump fake! I ended up at the bottom of the mountain again! The only time you don’t want to go downhill is when you know you have to go back up. This was definitely that case. When I started the real ascent, it was definitely a difficult stretch. It was near the top of this section that I started to get nauseous for the first time. I took a ginger capsule, some more gel, and some enduralytes. Somehow I was able to hold it all down.

I heard several people say they had the same thoughts I had at the top of that hill. “If my legs are already this tired, how am I going to make it thirty more miles?” It was definitely a mental/physical game at that point, especially considering the start/finish was right after that climb as the 22.5 mile aid station. My crew met me there again. They had a lawn chair for me, and I sat down for a minute. Jonathan refilled everything, and Leah got me some food from the table. I just took a minute to recuperate. Melissa gave me a kiss, which was definitely a boost to the spirits. I changed socks and mentally prepared for the next stretch.

A Rock/Creek guy told me that, if I made it through the first part, I could definitely make it the rest of the way. He said there were a lot of ATV trails, so it wasn’t nearly as difficult.  Let me say this, while the trails weren’t as technical and weren’t quite as hilly as the first section, they were VERY hilly. It was not easy.  Still, I got out of the chair and started the remaining 27.5 miles.

This section started on the ATV trails and then switched to another single track after winding through the campus woods a little bit. This single track was really narrow and had some uneven footing making it difficult to move quickly. However, I had received a second wind and even called a couple of buddies (Alex Walker and Mitch Zlatovich) to tell them I was confident I was going to finish. Mitch didn’t answer, and he later told me (after calling me back later) that he thought I had called him to tell him I had dropped.

I came out of the woods to a section of power lines that went to my left. I ran with the lines for a while and made a mental note that they would be a marker on the way back. (Boy were they a marker). I went into the woods again on the other side of the lines, and I began a pretty long downhill towards the Lula Land Trust property. There wasn’t a whole lot going on in this stretch either, except that there was one creek crossing. The good thing was that this trail was definitely a moderate trail making it easy on the feet.

I crossed a road and then began a downhill with a large bluff just to my right. The trail went down to some picnic tables, and we crossed a bridge over Rock Creek. We headed through the woods, went up and down some decent climbs, and then the next aid station appeared after I heard some water. It felt like a really long way to this station from the previous one. It turned out this station was at mile 30, right beside Lula Falls. Also of note, it was shortly before the aid station that the race leader passed me heading back to the S/F.)

I texted Jonathan to tell him I was lost… Then I texted him to tell him I was actually at mile 30. I continued down a gravel road for a short bit, saw the monster falls to my left, and then looked up to see… a rope!? Who puts a trail so tough you have to use a rope at mile 30? And what’s worse, I had to climb down the stupid thing right before mile 42.5.  What could I do, though? I climbed.

At the top, the trail became very wide and comfortable, and I was greeted with probably the best view to my left from the whole day. I took a picture, but, as in most cases, the picture doesn’t compare to what it actually looked like. There is something about covering a lot of ground and gaining a lot of elevation to be rewarded with a secluded gift from God. I became a little emotional (as most people do when they are completely drained in a race). The road kept going up a long, slight upgrade slope, which I welcomed. It was not steep, but it was steep enough that I got to walk for a while. 2nd and 3rd place started to come by me at that point. They were at least 3-4 miles behind the leader. That guy was flying.

I began a downhill stretch and was greeted with a nice view of a river below again. The footing was pretty uneven, although comfortable due to the soft dirt. I was forced to walk by the river for a bit because of the footing. I eventually came out of the woods and took a right to run along a road up to the next aid station which was marked mile 34.

I was feeling a little bit queasy, but I knew I needed to try to eat something. My crew had me some soup, and I drank some of the broth. Surprisingly, it tasted great. I changed my shoes because I knew I was going to cross a creek in the next section. I would shortly be back at this same point (miles 34-38 were a loop). I wanted to make sure to have dry trail shoes if I could keep it that way. Because the soup went down so well, I figured I would use the opportunity to try to get some food on my stomach.

I grabbed some oranges and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Jonathan jumped in with me and ran with me for the rest of the race. We waved bye to our crew before heading into the woods. Right before going into the woods, while looking back at the crew, I became very nauseous and started to dry heave, forcing the unswallowed sandwich out of my mouth onto the ground. Jonathan looked at me concerned. I said, “Don’t worry, it was just the peanut butter and jelly.” I immediately turned and hurled. Without missing a beat, I said, “Don’t worry, it was just the peanut butter and jelly. I feel great!” Then we headed into the woods.

After puking, I got a major second wind. I honestly think I maintained about a 12 minute mile average through the next section, which, at that point in the race and with some of the climbs in that section, was definitely moving. I passed five people through that section. Jonathan told me my spirits were definitely better than most of the people he had seen at that point.

We came out of the woods to the 38 mile station again. I changed back into my trail shoes, grabbed my headlamp, made sure I had everything I needed, and started the 12 (I heard it was actually 11.5 miles) back to the start finish. I was definitely glad to have company at that point because 12 miles after 38 miles is still a really long way.

I won’t rehash the views explained earlier because they’re just in reverse, but it definitely lifted my spirits to have someone to talk to for the rest of the race. I thought I was going to be completely coming apart at that point, but honestly, I still felt pretty good. I was definitely moving pretty slowly, but I had no doubt I would make it to the end.

When we got to the 42.5 mile station at the falls, I sat down by the fire for a few minutes, drank some Mountain Dew, ate some candy, and gave myself a short mental break. Then we headed back into the woods which was definitely not very runnable. After being in the woods for just a short time, we were forced to turn on the headlamps. I was able to keep my bearings for the most part somehow, but it’s hard to describe much that goes on when it is dark all around.

We passed the creek again and did a large climb away from the water. I was definitely getting tired, but Jonathan kept telling me how well I was hiking the uphills. We pressed through this connector trail, and I waited to find the power lines again.  Finally, I saw the lights of the power lines ahead of me. I knew they were close… They were not. I probably saw those stupid lights for about an hour.  What is worse, it was an uphill climb almost the whole way. That was the most mentally taxing part of the day. I kept saying, “We have go to get out of here.” Jonathan kept telling me to hang in there. That would last about five minutes, and those stupid lights never got any closer. Repeat cycle. He gave me just the right amount of encouragement without overdoing it because, honestly, at that point, I was really just ready to be done. I had gotten some feedback from people estimating distance and time, too. They told me that, if I averaged a 15 minute mile to the end, I would probably still make it in under 12 hours. Finally, I made it out of the woods and followed the power lines for a bit and then went back into the woods on the other side. I really tried to push myself to go for the 12 hour mark. We hit the last ATV trail, and I started moving. I don’t know how fast I was going, but Jonathan said the last half mile actually made him tired. My watch turned over the 12 hour mark, so I backed off a bit on the pace. I could see some Christmas lights ahead, which outlined the chute to the finish. They started announcing my name, and I saw my crew and family cheering me on. When I crossed the line, I spiked my water bottles and yelled. I was completely exhausted but completely pumped at the same time.

I did miss the 12 hour mark by 2 minutes. (Note here. That was just a hopeful goal. My goal was to finish and enjoy the race. I met both goals, and I took pictures throughout the way, took nice breaks at aid stations, and did exactly what I needed to do. Even though I didn’t get under 12 hours, I am not disappointed at all. I did it exactly how I wanted to do it, and I would not change a thing about my race strategy).

A big thanks goes out to everyone who helped and supported me throughout the day. Melissa was a major trouper, taking care of Brooklyn for 12 hours and then doing so much to take care of her over the weekend while I was too tired to do a whole lot. Jonathan was a major support throughout the entire race (crewing me for 34 miles and then running with me and crewing at the same time for 16 miles). Leah also helped crew, was a great support, and came a long way to watch me run. Thank goodness she wasn’t hungry. My parents also fought the cold to get out there to watch me at the finish.  I also want to thank David Pharr and Joshua Holmes for hanging out at the finish to see me at the end. They both killed it and finished in close to 10.5 hours. All in all, it was an awesome experience. I enjoyed every bit of 10 hours of this race.  10 out of 12 isn’t bad. Haha. Run It Fast!

Nathan Judd (RIF #166)

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LM50_RIF

Lookout Mountain 50 Mile Medal (2012)

This is the medal for the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile Trail Race that was held on December 15, 2012 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Congratulations to RIF #166 Nathan Judd, RIF #185 David Pharr, and RIF #83 Brad Box who all did their first 50 Miler there! Here’s a photo of Nathan and David before the race with RIF #1 Joshua Holmes (who shaved 2.5 hours off his previous time there) and RIF #65 Jonathan Harrison (who crewed).

RIF Club Members rocked it! Congratulations everyone!

MORE PHOTOS OF MARATHON/ULTRA MEDALS AND BUCKLES

[Medal photo submitted by RIF #166 Nathan Judd – follow him on Twitter @Beukdeup]

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Joshua Holmes and Jonathan Harrison – 1st and 2nd Place Black Diamond 40 Finishers – Run It Fast

Black Diamond 40 Miler Race Report: Back in Black

Back in Black

The Black Diamond 40 Miler was without a doubt the best race I’ve had in my short running career.  Not only did I set a marathon PR and 50K PR, but I ended up getting 2nd overall in my first race past the 50K mark.  An added bonus was that I got to do it in a hometown race with some of the best people I know.

I’ve titled this report Back in Black because this was really a comeback race for me…ok and because that’s one of my favorite pump-me-up songs of all time.  My last race was The Jackal Trail Marathon back on June 23rd.  After battling a nasty case of plantar fasciitis for several months I really started feeling good again in September so I decided to start training with my RIF brother, Nathan Judd, who was training for the Stump Jump 50K and Lookout Mountain 50.  In addition to rebuilding my mileage, I really stepped up my strength training and by the end of October I was craving a race.  The Black Diamond 40 was exactly what I was looking for, a RIF race, local, low key, awesome people and a new milestone for me to reach.

Now the morning of the race, despite a nasty head cold, I felt like a caged lion.  Five months is a loooong time to go without racing by the way.  Well after some good socializing, the race began and almost immediately I had to talk myself into sticking to my game plan.  For those who don’t know me I am notorious for allowing my angst to take over when a race starts which more often than not results in me starting out too fast.  Ask my wife, Leah, she has some great stories.  So in light of this struggle of mine I was prepared to run 10 minutes and walk 2 minutes, run 10 and walk 2 and so on.  I figured I would stick to this strategy as long as I could because I wanted to make sure I paced myself and left something for the final 15 miles.  It was also my goal to finish in 7.5 to 8 hours.  When the race started I found a groove pretty quick.  When I reached the 10 minute mark every cell in my body wanted me to keep running but I stuck to my plan and started walking.  Not long after I started running again I saw Leah for the first of many times throughout the day. Allow me a moment to say that Leah did an incredible job crewing for me all day in addition to checking on, encouraging, and taking pictures of the rest of the field.  Thank you Lord for my amazing wife!

By mile 5, I wasn’t too far behind Brad Box, who was in the lead at that point, so I started to stretch my running time out since he was picking up the pace a bit.  Between miles 7 and 8 I finally caught up to Brad and we chatted for a bit while walking up a long hill.  My shoes at this point weren’t feeling quite right so I let Leah know I wanted to change shoes the next time I saw her.  A few minutes later I watched as Leah went into NASCAR Pit Crew mode whipping the car around the shoulder on my side of the road, jump out of the car, grab a lounge chair out of the trunk and set it up on the shoulder with my shoes next to it.  I sped up until I reached her to make sure I didn’t lose any ground with Brad, I sat down and she untied one shoe while I got the other, yanked my shoe off and put the new one on me.  I think it literally only took about 20 seconds total.

Those first steps in those fresh shoes felt like I was running on air so I instantly got a burst of energy.  It’s amazing how little things like that make such a big difference in a long race.  That quick stop also allowed me to see that Joshua Holmes was only about a minute behind me.  For some reason I felt like I didn’t need to let him catch up to me, which makes sense considering I’ve only run past the marathon distance one time and Josh has run 40 or more miles oh I don’t know a million!  Yeah that makes total sense. HA!  Anyways, it’s at this point that I really start to entertain the idea that I could actually win this race.  Mile 10, the first relay exchange spot, came and went.  From miles 11 to 15 Brad and I ran together quite a bit and I had the chance to get to know him better.  Great guy by the way.  Being a father of 4 ranging from 5 years old to 13, Brad was kind enough to share some good parenting advice with me.  As we were nearing mile 15, although I was very much enjoying Brad’s company, I was in full-on race mode so I was looking for an opportunity to make a move and at mile 15 I did.  According to my Garmin, I ran mile 15 in 8:22.  At this point, I’m running on pure adrenaline.  Okay maybe Roctane and oranges too, but the point is I was feeling good so I let loose.  Once I felt I had built a substantial lead I reinstituted my run 10 min./walk 2 min. strategy.  Of course Leah continued be an unbelievable support and before I knew it I had reached mile 19.34, the second relay exchange, basically the halfway point.  It was one of the highlights of the race for me because my mom, dad, sister, and nephew were waiting for me with a sign to support and encourage me.  With a huge smile on my face, I gave them all a quick hug and said, “I gotta keep moving I’m in the lead.”  Seeing my family and having so many people encourage me was so energizing.  Before heading on I crossed the street to Regean’s Supreme Muffler, which used to be owned and operated by Charlie Reagan, a great guy and super fast runner who was tragically taken from us over a year ago.  After that I headed on towards Humboldt.

By mile 22 I asked Leah to stick with me every 1 to 1.5 miles.  Although I was still in the lead and feeling good I knew I was likely start slowing down due to not knowing how my body was going to react when I passed the marathon distance.  It also really started to dawn on me at this point that I was on the verge of setting a PR for my marathon, which I ended up doing by 20 minutes!  Not long after that I started to get a little queasy which started to slow me down.  Leah informed me that Josh was about a quarter of a mile back but gaining.  Unfortunately my stomach continued to feel more and more unsettled, which meant walking more.  Having to walk more really got me to thinking more about the miles for the first time all day.  By mile 29 Josh finally caught up to me in Humboldt. We talked for a few minutes and when I told him about my stomach issues he was gracious enough to offer me some ginger capsules to help.  I was hesitant to take them because I didn’t know how my stomach would react to them.  Well about 5 to 10 min. later I started feeling worse so I asked Leah to see if she could get the ginger from Josh since at this point he was a minute or two ahead.  His offer still stood so the next time I saw Leah she gave me the capsules and they started working almost immediately.  So I picked the pace back up a little.  By this time we had made it to the third and final relay exchange at around mile 30.

Now I’m gonna be honest people my top three goals the last 10 miles was to avoid cramping up, puking and pooping my pants.  The body begins to react in unpredictable ways when you push it to new limits.  I’m happy to report I ended up achieving all those goals.  The ginger helped the later to and in order to keep my quads from cramping up I ended up taking 23 Hammer Endurolytes over the course of the whole race 12 of which I probably took in the last 10 miles.  When Josh asked Leah how I was doing and she told him about me being on the verge of cramping up he once again went above and beyond the call of good sportsmanship and gave Leah 2 potassium tablets to give me at around mile 35, which helped calm my left quad down allowing me to keep running.  So what does taking all that stuff do to a man you ask?  I was so bloated I felt like a running Santa Claus those last 5 miles.

At mile 38, after getting me one last refill of water and spoiling me all day, I asked Leah to go on ahead to the finish line to wait for me.  I gave it one last push and ran in the rest of the way.  Roughly 20 minutes later I finally saw the church where the race had started almost 6.5 hours earlier.  I picked up the pace and crossed the “finish line” a.k.a. Josh’s truck at 6:31:27, just 9 minutes behind Joshua Holmes, a seasoned ultra veteran!

As I was celebrating with my family and friends it really started to sink in what I had done.  It was very surreal.  Four months earlier I was only able to ride my bicycle and here I had just averaged a 9:39min/mi. pace for 40.5 miles!  What a comeback!

– Jonathan Harrison

More Photos of Jonathan Harrison at the Black Diamond 40 Miler

Inaugural Black Diamond 40 Miler Official Results

Black Diamond 40 Miler Finisher’s Medal

[all photos submitted by J. Harrison]

Posted in Race Reports, Ultra MarathonComments (0)

Fast 2012 Run Jackson 5k – Pushing Boys 2

Run It Fast Club Member Profile – Jonathan Harrison #65

Jonathan Harrison RIF #65

This week’s RIF Club Member Profile is Jonathan Harrison #65. After reading Jonathan’s answers to our questions, I’ve come to the conclusion that RIFers just like to have fun! But honestly, it’s awesome to see everyone take their running seriously but not take themselves too seriously.

Check out what Jonathan had to say about running, the funniest thing he saw before a run, and his family:

INFO
Name:   Jonathan Harrison
RIF #:  65
Twitter:  @jdharrison37
Facebook:
  jonathan harrison

STATS
Years Running:  1.79
Favorite Race Distance:  Marathon
Favorite PR:  2012 Boston Marathon
Favorite Race:  2011 St. Jude Marathon (Memphis)
Favorite Bling:  2012 Boston Marathon & 2012 Jackson Jackass 50k (tie)

Next Race:  Marathon for Memories (September)
What Makes You FEEL Fast?:  Passing other runners in a race while pushing my boys in their double-stroller while they yell “Pass another one daddy!”

FUN RUNNING QUESTIONS

Who inspires your running and why?  Many people inspire my running.  Leah, my wife, inspires me daily with her amazing dedication to being the best runner she can be.  My running friends inspire me, especially when they run faster or farther than they ever have before.  People who “don’t have an athletic bone in their body” but still get out there and run anyway.

Probably the most inspiring moment I’ve experienced though was somewhere between miles 14 and 18 during the 2012 Boston Marathon.  It was blazing hot, I was feeling nauseous, I was starting up ANOTHER hill and started to complain in my mind about how terrible I felt while wondering if I could keep my pace.  At that moment I saw a guy in a wheelchair who only had 1 leg pushing himself up that hill…backwards.  I still recall that scene when I’m really struggling during a tough training run or in a race.

What is the strangest/funniest thing you’ve ever seen while running?  I actually have a picture of it.  It happened a few hours before the start of the 2012 Boston Marathon.  Not only was it strange and funny, but it was also…bizarre. LOL! (see picture)

With RIF #40 Scott Stader…striking a pose!

What’s the most beautiful place that you’ve run? Beside Leah (RIF #64). Behind her isn’t too bad either. ;-)

What is the thing you splurge on after a race?  To be completely honest, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.  I know there are much healthier things I could choose, but I love it!  Although I don’t feel as guilty as I use to since they came out with so many great Greek Frozen Yogurt flavors.  Hmmm….I all of sudden feel the urge to go buy a pint right now.

What running moment are you most proud of?  When my wife & I finished our first marathon together hand-in-hand.  A close second would be getting 2nd in my age group in a 5k on Father’s Day weekend while pushing my boys.

 ***

It’s very cool to see how much Jonathan loves running and how he shares that with his sons and Leah. He has the best of both worlds: fun and great running partners! I think a lot of us start out on a lonely road when we take up running. No one else can run for us but it sure is nicer when we have someone to share it with. My sister just started running a few months ago and I’m hoping I can convince her to do a race with me. She’s been to a few of my races so she knows how much fun they are and she said she would think about it but “no marathons”. I think I might be able to talk her into a 5K or 10K, maybe even a half marathon. I’m crossing my fingers. Hopefully you have friends and/or family to run with too. If not, maybe you can encourage one or more of them to start!

Thanks for sharing your memories and running with us, Jonathan. Good luck at Marathon for Memories and don’t forget to have fun and Run It Fast!

If you’d like to join Run It Fast – The Club or would like more information about it, please click this link:

Run It Fast – The Club (JOIN TODAY)

[All photos submitted by Jonathan Harrison]

 

Posted in Interviews, Running, THE CLUBComments (0)

Good Luck to all Run It Fast Members Running the Boston Marathon

Good Luck to all Run It Fast Members Running the Boston Marathon

We are pleased to have the following Run It Fast – The Club members running the 116th Boston Marathon on April 16, 2012.

Best of luck to RIF-Club members and readers of Run It Fast that are running the most prestigious marathon in the United States.

Run It Fast Club Members Running Boston:

Kenneth Williams – RIF #28

Scott Stader – RIF #40

Trent Rosenbloom – RIF #57

Jonathan Harrison – RIF #65

Nadia Gonzales – RIF #69

Marathonjunkie – RIF #70

Dallas Smith – RIF #79

Stewart Crouch – RIF #89

Ashley Hook – RIF #97

Kathy Shirley – RIF #105

JOIN Run It Fast – The Club – Details HERE

(These are the RIF-Club members we’ve heard mention they are running Boston. If you are in the club and we omitted you then please just leave a comment below with your name and we’ll edit the list above to include you.)

Posted in Marathon, RunningComments (0)

Jackson Jackass 50K – 2011

2012 Jackson Jackass 50K Results

Here are the results from the inaugural Jackson Jackass 50K that took place today in Jackson, Tennessee on a very wet and muddy trail.

The race was the first ultra ever to be held in Jackson.

2012 Jackson Jackass 50K Results

  1. Karl Studtmann (Jackson, TN) – 5:23:25
  2. Arthur Priddy (Jackson, TN) – 5:32:20
  3. Kevin Leathers (Cordova, TN) – 5:53:33
  4. Chris Estes (Murfreesboro, TN) – 5:55:23
  5. Jeff Fugate (Jackson, TN) – 5:58:12
  6. Cody Whitehead (Jackson, TN) – 6:01:35
  7. Brad Box (Jackson, TN) – 6:21:35
  8. Jonathan Bobbitt (Jackson, TN) – 6:26:40
  9. Joshua Holmes (Jackson, TN) – 6:29:29
  10. Emily Conley (Lakeland, TN) – 6:37:05 (1st Female)
  11. Jonathan Harrison (Henderson, TN) – 6:38:32
  12. Kam Otey (Amory, MS) – 7:33:22
  13. Gene Pierce (Amory, MS) – 7:33:25
  14. Jennifer Whitley (Murfreesboro, TN) – 7:45:00 (2nd Female)
  15. Sulaiman Seriki (La Vergne, TN) – 7:45:27
  16. Dallas Smith (Cookeville, TN) – 8:20:30
  17. Lisa Gonzales (Alta Loma, CA) – 8:43:22 (3rd Female)
  • Jonathan Stewart (Jackson, TN) – DNF 21.5 miles
  • Brad Sullivan (Bowling Green, KY) – DNF 17.2 miles
  • Trent Rosenbloom (Nashville, TN) – DNF 5.5 miles

Posted in Results, Running, Ultra MarathonComments (0)


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