Jarod Contreras 2015... A Year in review

2015 was my first full year of ultrarunning. It was a magnificent and beautiful year of growth, education, pain, and of course persistence. I learned so much and spent so many countless hours in adventure and in suffering. But, a good kind of suffering, one that makes you grow with every step. From the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the tops of the High Sierras and the finish line of a 50k race. I have loved the time I have spent with my dad and family through this year and the experiences that I have garnered from it. BE BETTER.


In the first month of the year I obtained the permit for the JMT and ran my dad's 10 mile loop. Getting the permit taught me patience, because it was extremely frustrating to get with all of the process and complications. Running the 10 miles with my dad was the hardest thing I had done to that point, 4 times harder than the first day of Philmont Scout Ranch (my previous hardest day), and that taught me pain and perseverance.


Barely a month later I jumped from a brutal 10 miles to killing it at running my first 20 miler. Just at my home trails I felt strong and confident on that run and so ecstatic in its completion!


On my March 1st birthday my father and I ran in the rain for a fun, hard endeavor. Then a week later for my dad's birthday we ran in Portland, OR on the Wildwood Trail. Which taught me patience in 25 miles of twisting, turning, almost endless woods. March was a fun month!


April was adventure in the Southwest. Running to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, then running around Sedona.

The adventure in the Canyon was so inspiring and beautiful, but of course brutal!

The beauty of Sedona was amazing, too.

April was capped with injury, but overall an amazing part of 2015.


May was highlighted by a climb up Mount Wilson. A true alpine climb in my opinion and a brutal one at that. Excitement and adventure with a lesson of persistence on that day.


An easy summary of June was= Tough Training.

We both, my father and I, were focused on preparations, mental & physical, for the John Muir Trail. So I enjoyed my summer vacation and trained hard and we got the gear, itinerary, and food together.

4th of July!


July was simple. We stayed in Camp Curry at Yosemite, then left for the JMT, and had the hardest day of my life. That day we realized that we are most definitely trail runners and not backpackers. We cut the trip short, did 60 miles of the JMT, and had fun as much we could. Then we stayed in Mammoth for a bit.

We both want to go back and do the JMT supported or at least in a lighter, more trail runner-my fashion. But, I did learn to persevere, to push, to endure, to be present, and to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the trail that motivated me to start running.



August was more tough training and fun!


I buckled down and focused on my first 50k, Whoo's in El Moro. We went up to Portland and had lots of fun there, training, pushing, and being present.


October was a buckle down for the race and when it came I was ready and nervous and excited.

The morning of.

Coming in hot.

7 hours and 37 minutes later I finished in my Luna sandals and long hair, at 16 years old. By far the youngest racer out there, a fact which impressed everyone. Including me, I was proud.

The race coincided with my "fat-iversary." Which is where on October 24, 2014 I ran my first run with my dad, then a year later on October 24, 2015 I'm running a 50k!


Winding down the season and the year.


The holidays and the last month of the year gave me time to reflect on the year, to be thankful for it, and to rest for 2016. I hope in 2016 I can be better, be stronger, more present, to remember more, and to experience even more.

Thank you, BE BETTER.

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Jarod Contreras

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