It’s hard to think of a time when patience wouldn’t be virtuous, but it’s equally difficult to imagine a much better time for patience than in the middle of a 100-mile race. People compare the experience of a 100-mile race to that of a lifetime, which makes even the less noteworthy parts of such a race feel like decades. Imperative to have some patience, indeed.
When it comes to patience, Patrick Reagan has it dialed in. Always wanting to run “the furthest distance possible in high school and college,” Patrick knows that one of his greatest virtues as a runner is (you guessed it) his patience. “I really dig the 100-mile distance,” he says fondly, having recently won the Javelina Jundred for the second year in a row. In 2017, Patrick dove head first into his first 100-miler, setting a course record at Javelina, and breaking the previous record by almost 30 minutes.
Patrick has grown to love the Javelina Jundred, mostly for the camaraderie and spirit of the race. He explains it as “a big party in the desert,” where there are 19-24 mile loops alternating directions, so “it feels like you’re running with people of all sorts of abilities.” It also happens to be sponsored by Hoka and Squirrel’s (us!), which offers him a sense of running to support his sponsors. Thankfully, living and training in Savannah, Georgia also gives him the capability (and even enjoyment, he claims) of racing in the heat.
Although he was amongst other runners on the course, Patrick was running alone, from about 11 or 12 miles into the race until 100k, when he could pick up his pacers. “It was very mentally taxing running all alone, not really knowing how far ahead I was, and it was getting hotter and hotter. I really looked forward to every aid station.” From the time he picked up his first pacer to about 80 miles, Patrick says he was in a low point. Finding the ability to keep moving, he eventually picked up his second pacer, and finished after sunset for the win. “The ambiance in general is so awesome, and so many great experiences of people coming in during the golden hour," or the last hour of the race before runners are cut off.
Patrick is on the phone with me as he drives with his team to Florida. He’s the head coach of Track and Cross Country at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he has been coaching since 2011. They are headed to their conference meet, and, luckily, Patrick is able to take it easy and focus on his team. “For every ten miles of racing I take a day off,” he says… “Eat good food, relax and drink beer, just spend time doing other things.” Sometimes those things are kayaking and biking. In this case, it’s spending time with his team.
He'll hit restart about ten days after Javelina, when he’ll start training again for Desert Solstice, his first 24-hour race. Desert Solstice will be another test of patience for all its participants, and Patrick will surely know how to keep his cool. We'll see you out there, Patrick, for some happy, hot, and chafe-free running!
Photos courtesy of Tim Tollefson & Zach Bitter