HomeRunningJubilee Paige and Aravaipa Operating – iRunFar

Jubilee Paige and Aravaipa Operating – iRunFar

Jubilee Paige and Aravaipa Operating – iRunFar

AJW's Taproom[Author’s Note: This is the sixth of a 10-part series in AJW’s Taproom called Race Director Chronicles, where we profile the unsung heroes who make our sport’s racing possible.]

Anybody who has run, crewed, paced, volunteered, or spectated on the Javelina Jundred Mile or the Black Canyon Ultras in Arizona has crossed paths with Jubilee Paige. One of the ebullient and fun-loving race administrators on the market, Paige is understood for her in depth wardrobe of inventive costumes, impeccable race group, and a spirit of pleasure that’s embedded into each of her high-volume occasions. I sat down with Paige just lately as she was making ready to direct the Javelina Jundred later this month.

Jubilee Paige - Aravaipa Running

Race director Jubilee Paige. Photograph: Aravaipa Operating

Andy Jones-Wilkins: How lengthy have you ever been directing extremely/path operating occasions in Arizona?

Jubilee Paige: I joined Aravaipa Operating within the spring of 2016 as an workplace supervisor and common administrator, and inside a yr was promoted to race director. This will likely be my seventh yr because the race director for Javelina and Black Canyon.

AJW: What’s the most satisfying side of your work as a race director?

Paige: As a common event-planner, I like seeing all of the items come collectively race week. It’s like engaged on a puzzle and having a common concept of the image, however because the items fall into place, I get to see in actual time months of planning come into focus, and it genuinely brings a smile to my face on race day. Greater than that, nonetheless, I believe the very best side of being a race director is figuring out that all the planning and coordination creates an surroundings the place athletes can embrace chance — nonetheless they outline that for themselves. The opportunity of operating 100 miles, or the potential of operating the farthest or the quickest, the potential of qualifying for Western States 100 — no matter their “why,” the likelihood is there for them at the beginning line. And having the ability to facilitate that’s extraordinarily satisfying.

AJW: What makes operating within the desert southwest so distinctive and particular?

Paige: The Sonoran Desert is the world’s most biodiverse desert. In all of its extremes, there may be an abundance of life. In fact, the southwest panorama is beautiful — and I hardly need to promote it, with the Grand Canyon and pink rocks of Sedona — however anybody operating via a desert forest of towering saguaros for the primary time will discover a surreal expertise. There’s no different place prefer it.

Patrick Reagan, on his way to winning the 2017 Javelina Jundred

Patrick Reagan, operating via the distinctive Sonoran Desert, on his approach to profitable the 2017 Javelina Jundred. Photograph: Aravaipa Operating

AJW: What are the largest challenges you face as a race director?

Paige: I believe it varies for every race. The logistical and security challenges for Black Canyon range from the environmental influence and participation challenges of Javelina. Guaranteeing the protection of every participant is paramount. For logistics-heavy races like Black Canyon, the climate will be unpredictable, inflicting rivers to rise and trails to change into impassible inside 24 hours. I’ve discovered to have contingency plans in place as much as and together with on race day — which we’ve had to make use of! Black Canyon particularly is a good instance of desert extremes and retains the entire staff on their toes.

Javelina, however, is simply BIG! Area has been an ongoing problem as participation grows. The race outgrew its authentic venue in 2015, so we moved it in 2016, and at present we’re once more addressing the finite quantity of house, for each the bottom of operations and on path, with the rise in reputation. It’s a enjoyable problem for certain, however with elevated participation, I’m additionally cautious to handle the influence that 1,000-plus runners may have on a singletrack path and surrounding surroundings.

I additionally need to create an general optimistic expertise for individuals. With the expansion of each occasions, I discover a problem in assembly the expectations of a various group of runners. From elites to first-time runners, entrance of the pack to the again — I would like these races to be distinctive relating to help, support, and expertise.

AJW: What modifications have you ever seen within the sport because you started directing occasions?

Paige: I’m excited to see the game develop. There’s an general rising consciousness of the game and its wonderful athletes, which has led to a rise in participation in various distances. The inclusion and development of livestreams at our occasions has elevated visibility and hopefully impressed others to step onto the paths and discover the pure world round them. Over time, probably the most inspiring and optimistic traits I’ve witnessed as a race director is the numerous enhance in girls’s participation in ultrarunning occasions. After I first began as a race director, the ratio of participation was staggering, and lately I’m excited to see these numbers shift, as extra girls enter the game.

I believe one of many issues that considerations me with the general development of the game, nonetheless, is the pressure on pure environments and the influence that the recognition of the game can have on the distant locations we love. I got here to ultrarunning due to a love of the outside, and the genuine spirit of group, and I believe preserving each is necessary as we navigate this development. As ultrarunners, we’ve got a possibility to be stewards of the paths each time we come to a race — to observe “go away no hint,” to take part in cupless races, and to encourage others to take care of the pure landscapes that we love. As race administrators, we might want to discover a stability between offering entry to those stunning and distant locations, whereas additionally discovering methods to reduce the ecological footprint of the occasions.

AJW: What are you wanting ahead to most within the 2023 to ‘24 occasion season?

Paige: Truthfully, I don’t look too far forward of the race I’m at the moment directing! Javelina and Black Canyon are pretty shut to 1 one other every season, so my focus narrows throughout this time. However each season is an journey — I all the time sit up for the rising elite subject at Black Canyon, and showcasing upcoming expertise. And Javelina will all the time be a bunch of surprises annually, so I sit up for seeing what I can study from the earlier yr to make that occasion higher for the following.

Bottoms up!

2023 Black Canyon 100k start

The beginning of the 2023 Black Canyon 100k. Photograph: Jesse Ellis/@letswanderphotography

AJW’s Beer of the Week

Uncle Bear's Brewery logoThis week’s beer of the week comes from Uncle Bear’s Brewery in Gilbert, Arizona. Located just some miles from the Javelina Jundred course, Uncle Bear’s produces a various vary of beers for each palate. Bear’s Seaside Bum Tropical IPA is a balanced, fruity IPA, which efficiently blends the normal West Coast type with the newer New England Fashion. An IPA that goes down clean and is nicely suited to its beachy roots, Seaside Bum is a good beer for any event.

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