JAKE BRADLEY - 100 MILES OF FREEDOM
The Arkansas Traveller 100 is one of the oldest 100 miles races in the nation. Set in the beautiful Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas, 30 miles west of Little Rock. This race is for anyone looking to test themselves at the premier ultra distance. Over 150 trail runners started this race and only 86 finished. Jake Bradley placed 8th and sprinted across the finish line!
Congratulations Jake, amazing finish!
What made you want to run 100 Miles?
I’m driven to set new limits for myself and push my body past the point of previous limits, to find out what I’m capable of. Until you fall over dead, you have not reached your limit.
Tell us about the start of the race.
It was literally a shotgun start. Usually they count down 3-2-1 but they said “ after the gun goes off, we’ll start the race” then bang, the gun goes off and it felt like a dead sprint.
What were you thinking about during the race?
Goals, life, family. Those are the three main things. How to be a better person. Goals were huge. I went into this with the mindset of racing as fast as I could. I definitely never imagined finishing in the top 10.
What did your nutrition look like before the race?
I went in with a very dialed nutrition plan. I wanted to follow the example of a lot of the elites. Pre-race breakfast was two servings of seel cut oats with peanut butter and a banana and lots of coffee. Pre-race, 30 minutes prior was Perpetuem Endurance Fuel and Gu Energy Gel.
How did sleep deprivation affect your race?
I got three or four hours of sleep the night before the race. From mile 85 to mile 91 my mind was playing tricks on me. The crew offered caffeine and I turned it down which was probably a mistake.
How did it feel to complete 100 miles?
It’s nearly impossible to put into words. The emotion, the passion, there is so much heart that goes into it. It’s a feeling you have to experience rather than something you can explain.
How did you get into trail running?
In 2011 I lived on one of the Ozark Greenways Trails. I was already riding mountain bikes so I just decided to give it a try it. It was a blast! The rest is history.
What do you love about trail running?
Freedom. Being in the woods. You’re on your own in nature. It’s peaceful, just you and the earth.
Any training tips?
Don’t forget that hiking is an important part of training. Don’t just focus on running. Crosstrain and staying healthy. A training buddy of mine says “You are not training to be fast, you’re training to make your slow miles faster.”
What race goals do you have for the near future?
I’ve got one more I’d like to hit this year. The Back 40 Trail Race down in Bella Vista in December. Run 40 miles, bike 40 miles. I love mountain biking. I’ve been riding since age 14, so I think I could do well.
Any tips for new trail runners?
Have fun! Don’t be intimidated and stay positive. Trail running is different. Don’t be afraid to get dirty.