Ultra Jura 200 – The First Step To Badwater135

Photo taken by the best Jurassic Photo Team

To be able to sign for Badwater135 each runner has to finish at least 3 runs. Each of them has to be at least 100 miles. There is a list of recommended events because every 100 miles is different from others. Ultra Jura 200 sounds perfect as the first step to Badwater.

At the end of August, I decided it’s time to sign up for a 100 miles run. There wasn’t anything for 100 miles close to me but there was Ultra Jura 200 which is 128 miles or 206 km, so it’s the perfect distance.

This race is a part of the event called JURASSIC RUNNING FESTIVAL.

It was my first time running for long distances because the previous I ran only 100 km and now it was time to run something twice longer. The positive aspect of that long-distance is that there aren’t a lot of people at the start line, there were only 23 of us. Comparing it to CCC there were around 2000 of them.

The event was specific because there were many loops, one loop had 16 km, the second had 10 km, the third round 80 km, and another one maybe with 20 km. Of course, the organizer took care that we ran many times though the same steep mountain 🙂

The extreme advantage to run loops many times because I knew what I can expect running them next time. I knew where I can run faster and where I should save some energy.

The whole event was prepared very well. The track was marked with many badges and it was hard to get lost. However, I got lost once in the forest at night because I thought I saw badges that there wasn’t anything. Thanks to another runner I was back on track in a few minutes. And once in the desert, I wasn’t sure where to go because it was at night and during heavy rain. Even that dessert was small but it’s the best place to get lost.

At the checkpoint, there were extremely polite people willing to help as much as they could. Every place where the route was crossing the street there was someone helping to stop the car traffic and showing where to run.

If you have a chance to run Ultra Jura 200, I can recommend it, it’s worth considering it in the yearly calendar.

I finished it, it took me around 43 hours. The only 8 people of 23 finished the race.

View during Ultra Jura 200
View during Ultra Jura 200

The things I learned and I think are important in races that take more than one day.

The first one is sleep during the race, even a short nap like 30/40 minutes gives much more energy than any energy drink. I slept mostly on benches, there could be comfortable. I told about it to one guy who was running with me for a while and he was amazed at how effective it was. I was sleeping 4 times and after each of them, I felt full of energy. I spent around 3 hours on sleep.

The second thing is the preparation for the terrain. There was a lot of sand and it isn’t nice to run with shoes full of sand. I didn’t check it and of course, I had sand in shoes all the time. A few people had gaiters that saved them from the sand.

If you think you’re tough because you can run during the night when it’s cold, think about people that stay on the checkpoint through the whole night. I appreciate that they were able to do that. Especially a few of them in the tent in the desert.

Head is everything, in the ultra, if you can’t cope with sleep deprivation it’s impossible to run so long races. Of course, you can run 100km in 10h and you don’t need to sleep at all but I think even people running so fast need to have a strong head.

How to have a strong head? I think the best way is to build it with more and more challenging things, as I describe in the post about clear vision. For sure, this race put my mind to the next level.