Jeffreys Bay eXtreme [JBayX] 2-day / 3-stage Trail Run

Interview with 2015 JBayX Challenge winner Paul Hugo

In Events, Featured, J Bay X Trail Run, Latest News by Kev

The JBayX Trail Run Challenge is open to those runners who enter all three events.

Last year you won the event. What was the competition like?

There was not a big contingent of runners considering it was the first time the event was held. There were a couple of seasoned runners, however I do think this year it is going to be a much tougher challenge to take the crown.

Had you done many night trail runs before?

Prior to the JBayX night race I have only run one night trail run, so going into the night race I was a bit nervous but also confident because I new the course quite well.

What is the biggest challenge with running trail at night?

The obvious challenge is visibility – even with running with a headlamp, falling over rocks and roots is a constant danger. Another challenge is a perception of distance covered because you do not really have any point of reference to gauge pace or distance.

What are the five most important things that you have with you when running trail, night or day?

My five most important things I carry with me on a trail run would be:

  • Headlamp
  • Buff
  • Warm base-layer skin suite
  • Hydration pack
  • A willingness to take risks on the course

What gear do you wear to keep warm and etc during a cold night run?

I never go trail running without my buff day or night, it is the first thing I grab when I go running. I always wear a long sleeve thermal base layer to keep my upper body warm. In extreme weather I will also wear a windproof jacket because there is nothing worse than being cold.

What sort of training have you been doing for this year’s event?

I have completed my fourth full Ironman distance triathlon this year so I have just shifted my focus to running after the Ironman. I have being going to Impala Ranch and hitting the trails hard with a lot of long hill repeat sessions as well as joining the guys at ArkFit for a couple of CrossFit sessions to strengthen my legs.

What is the best thing about the JBayX trail run, apart from you winning it?

It is such a well-organized race right here in my backyard. I can train on the course and I really hope it grows in stature amongst the trail running fraternity.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating entering?

Ensure you know you have the ability and technical skill to cover the distance and know it is going to be one of the toughest races you ever do.

Who is your biggest challenge for the crown?

I have no idea who has entered the race. I will probably know within the first 2km of the race who to keep my eye on.

It’s a lot of distance over the three events. How did you feel at the end of last year’s event? Never again, or keen for another?

Bitterly cold and exhausted with a total conviction to do it again and defend my title with all that I have.