Dam Good Run by Jack Shrader
The best thing(s) about the race:
• This is an incredibly underrated Aravaipa event. With no actual ultra distance the 40K being the furthest, it doesn’t get the hype that other races get. However I have run this twice and I am going to make it an annual event for many reasons. It is a perfect beginner course if you are wanting to see what trail running is all about or a great “long run” training race. There is one “big” climb around mile 17 that will teach you to stock up at the previous aid station and get ready for the grind, not to mention this is the exact time of day when the AZ sun will be beating down on your neck.
• Being in Arizona it is very rare to have an ice cold lake to jump into not 30 feet from the finish which is what you get here. Make no mistake it’s April but this race gets hot especially the longer you are on course. The best part about this race other than how fun the trail is, is that the aid stations are at the furthest 5 miles apart. This is also rare so use this to learn how to run in heat and hydrate if you are newer to the ultra scene.
• Lastly another underrated aspect of Dam Good Run is this is actually the award ceremony for the Desert trail series held by Aravaipa. A fun party all around between the lake and vendors.
What was less than ideal: No not at all, obviously one aspect of this race is well the dam itself, the first few miles become pavement for what might seem a while but it’s to cross the dam and get back to the trail where you remain the rest of the race. Not a complaint at all but we all know how trail runners feel about pavement.
What I didn't expect: The beauty of the course, this really is a trail that I have come to love and even like to run on my own time.
Race organization: Very well organized, Aravaipa is the best at what they do.
Fuel and aid stations: Perfect especially for newer trail runners, one of my rookie mistakes that I still make sometimes to this day is how to take care of myself at an aid station. In other races a mistake at an aid station with a 9 mile section and intense climb ahead can take you out of a race figuratively and literally. At Dam Good Run if you make a mistake you are never more than 5 or less miles away from another.
Overall grade: 5 stars