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The Jaunt in the Joint HM (Read 973 times)


A Dance with Monkeys

    Today I ran the Jaunt in the Joint Half Marathon. The name for the event comes from the fact that the races take place inside a prison, and inmates run alongside "freeworlders". Yes, in prison. With inmates. The Jaunt in the Joint actually includes a series of races of differing lengths, including a 5k, a half marathon, and a marathon. The races are to support the prisoners learning life skills that they can use to keep physically and psychologically healthy both in and after prison. They are organized by the local running organization. This is no PR course. The races are all run in the prison yard. On an approximate 1/3rd mile loop. (Each full lap is actually 0.347 miles long.) On grass. With ruts and uneven footing. Without any trees to block the sun. Or any wind to cool you. And there are two 15 foot barbed wire fences and a gun tower surrounding the entire course. And there is a 14 foot hill in one corner. And around and around you go. If you run the 5k, you go around 9 times. For the half marathon, 37.8 times. For the Full marathon, 75.6 times. And with every lap a little hill in the corner just gets bigger and bigger... The cumulative effects of the grassy surface, the expanding hill and the numbing repetitiveness of lapping 38 times in 13 miles all slow you down by as much as 30-60 seconds per mile. Two years ago it was 88 degrees and humid, and I bonked hard and early, barely succeeding in eeking out a 2:19. Last year, I held it together and got a 1:52. This year, I just hoped to get more than a lap or two down. You know, since I was foolish enough to run 42 miles three days ago. My legs just had stopped killing me last night. There are real upsides for these races. First, they play music, good old classic rock tunes. You can hear every beat of the music the entire way. Second, not only do you pass the fluid station every 1/3 mile, but there are also two water fountains in the prison yard. That means you have opportunity to hydrate every 1/9th mile, if you choose. You also have access to the bathrooms every 1/3 mile. Third, and best of all, each runner has a dedicated prisoner logging their laps and lap splits. That's right, your own cheering squad and built in 1/3 mile splits. There is no entrance fee, and you get a nice medal, cap and post-race refreshments. So I ran the half marathon today. I was not sure if I was going to be able to complete a single lap. From the start, my legs were on fire, my quads shaking, my chest heaving. The weather was nice, mid 60s and sunny with a light breeze off the nearby river. But I had not come even close to recovering from my little stunt on Sunday. Every lap, I said to myself that this would be my last. Just get a couple done. Well, with a couple done, I figured I should at least complete 5k. My, that hurt. But 5k done, maybe I should shoot for another couple laps. And it went on like this. I kept psyching myself down, then just getting another lap. 12 laps done. 15 laps done for around 5 miles. 17, then 18, then 19 laps, halfway there. Then I had 10 miles in 29 laps and could not go another step...trying to decide whether to drop, I found I had gone 30 laps. Then 31. Suddenly there was less than a mile to go. Then 2 laps left. Then one left. Then I was done. The whole way, it looked like I was putting in an even effort, shooting to hit just under two hours. That fact kept me going. And there it was, 1:58:53! So, my laps: 1 - 3:22 2 - 3:16 3 - 3:18 ... 18 - 3:07 19 - 3:10 20 - 3:06 21 - 3:06 ... 36 - 3:09 37 - 3:10 38 - 2:28 (actually, just 0.8 lap) I finished feeling good but really tired and my legs really beat the heck up. I ran the laps consistently, most all in 3:00-3:07 after the first few (and with a good negative split). I had a few moments of weakness that slowed me, once around mile 8 and again around mile 10, but a few sips of water or gatorade and I was fine. In the end, only a few people finished the Half ahead of me. But my legs hurt again. But I am a bit dizzy... Wink The run: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/3999377
      You should see a doctor. Roll eyes You need help! Big grin (for your running addiction) That sounds very interesting. My curiosity would have me there! Was the race open for males and females? What a concept doing that distance over the course of the same little loop, over and over and over again. Funny how that little hill got bigger and bigger. Did you get to know your personal lap timer? Was he/she nice? How many inmates ran (a percentage to "freeworlders".)? Nice time, especially with your already in pain legs!! NOW will you take some time off and let your legs heal?

      Michelle

      Marathon Maniac # 3228



      va


        Trent, you are tough as nails! Real interesting race, thanks for the report! When you consider that it was in a prison on a short loop, the fact that it was on a Wednesday, doesn't seem so weird! Big grin


        All business

          Whoa that race is crazy! Did you talk with your prisoner at all? Was there no chance of you getting shanked every third of a mile too?

          "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." J. Handy


          A Dance with Monkeys

            I have done this several times. The prisoners are VERY nice and VERY supportive. I had a nice chat with my lap timer, nice fellow. The guy who timed me my first year was out running the 5k today and he did great. The fellow who organizes this on the inside is actually somebody I knew before he was incarcerated (decent guy, got into trouble), and that is a total coincidence. Males and females participate. All the inmates are males, but about half the freeworlders are women.
              Thanks for the report on a very interesting race, Trent. So was this run early in the morning or in the middle of the workday? Just asking because most races are evening or weekend variety so we don't have to ditch work.

              When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?


              A Dance with Monkeys

                Weds AM is the day that works best with the prison. It is early, but I still lost most of the morning. It was not early enough to give me time for the full marathon, or I would possibly have attempted it today. There is a pasta feed the evening before (dinner in prison) and an ice cream & awards ceremony some weekday evening after a few weeks. I have never done the pasta, but usually try and get to the ice cream.
                  I guess they let you out. Tongue They should have had a get out of prison free card. Cool How many folks did the marathon? 75.8 laps? Thanks for sharing!

                  Vim


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    Wow...just wow. 42 miles and now this. Wow. Smile k

                    I shoot pretty things! ~

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      Trent, you're crazy. Seriously. I can't believe you ran a half marathon 2 days after running 42 miles. But I do mean "crazy" in a good way. Big grin I wanna do this next year. Or is it more than once a year?

                       

                       


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        Hey, it was 3 days later! Wink They do a 5k in the spring and a 5k/HM/M in the late Summer. You have to be a Striders member or an inmate.
                          I AM a striders member. Peter loves me Big grin

                           

                           


                          A Dance with Monkeys

                            What's not to love! Yes
                              Trent, you're crazy. Seriously. I can't believe you ran a half marathon 2 days after running 42 miles. But I do mean "crazy" in a good way. Big grin
                              Uh huh, certifiably nuts in a good way. Eric will need to customize your RA shirt with a Superman logo before he ships it out.

                              E.J.
                              Greater Lowell Road Runners
                              Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

                              May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.