Focus on a race Interview

Running in the the pristine South Floriday with the JWCorbett 50M

28 Jun 2012 06:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux

§staticmap(11631,5,450,250)Hello, on September 22nd 2012, you’ll be organizing the JWCorbett 50M/50K. Can you tell us where it is located?

The race is located in Loxahatchee FL, in western Palm Beach County, South Florida.

This will be the inaugural race. What motivated you to create the race?

It’s John Pyle. He is currently running across the country in support of his charity, the Patriot Trust and the Wounded Warrior Project. He started out in San Francisco, is currently running thru Texas, and will finish up running the Key’s 100-mile race and finishing in Key West.

He has inspired me to do something special. I have always wanted to direct a race. My friend Salt and I have been running the trails out at JWCorbett for the last 6 months. We found the perfect trails for running a race. Everything really just came together very quickly in my mind. John Pyle is a special person, running for a great cause. We wanted to direct a race in his honor and for what he is doing selflessly for our Wounded Warriors.

Credit : JWCorbett 50M/50K
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route is 95% single-track trail winding thru ever changing pristine Florida wilderness. The runners will wind thru wet prairies, slash pines, palmetto scrub, hardwood hammocks, and cypress swamps/stands.

The 50K race is 15.5 miles out and back. The 50-mile runners will do the same 15.5 mile out and back, then turn around and do another 10 mile out and back to complete their 50 miles. Out and back courses are great for runner camaraderie.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We are hoping that the race fills up early and we have to apply for another permit for more runners. The limit is 60 runners right now and we expect it to fill up. This is the first year of the race. We did not want too many runners so we can do it right on a small scale. After this inaugural race, when we see what worked and what did not work, we can open up the race to more runners in the following years. We are going to attract runners with a very adventurous spirit. There will be no whiners or weenies allowed :-) This is going to be a difficult challenge over a difficult course.

Credit : JWCorbett 50M/50K
Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

This is my first race :-) I can’t tell you how excited I am about putting this event on!!!

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Late September in South Florida you can expect temperatures in the low to mid 80’s with humidity. With the rain we typically get in July and August and with the possibility of tropical systems coming thru that time of year, the course could be very wet on the wet prairies and cypress stands. Depending on the weather, the course can range from completely dry, to very wet.

Have you planned festivities around the race?

The festivities will be brought by the runners themselves. They are the highlight of the run and will bring whatever entertainment they desire. Many Florida Ultra Runners, or “FURbies” will be in attendance, and will bring plenty of entertainment! FURbies coordinate runs and have in depth discussions on Facebook, and are an integral part of the Florida Ultrarunning community.

Credit : JWCorbett 50M/50K
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Loxahatchee before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

They will get all the sightseeing they desire while running :) Loxahatchee is in a remote section of Palm Beach County. The 2 closest towns with restaurants are 15 miles away, West Palm Beach and Royal Palm Beach.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the JWCorbett 50M/50K?

This race is about having an adventure with a inspirational group of people, on exciting and diverse pristine trails, while raising money for a great cause. Seriously….what more could you ask for in a race??

Interview with Jeff Stephens, race director. Jeff has been a Physical Education teacher and basketball coach in Palm Beach County for 18 years. He has been an avid ultrarunner since 2002 when he ran the Mountain Masochist 50 mile race as his first run. He wants to thank John Pyle and all the great people on FUR for inspiring him to direct this race, and also inspiring him to be a better person.