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An ‘epic bonk around mile 40’ – Heather Jackson on lessons learned at Black Canyon 100

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Published on
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Heather Jackson was keen to take as many positives as possible from a testing day out at the Black Canyon 100K race at the weekend.

The former triathlon star has made a huge impact in trail running circles, winning no fewer than six times since her debut second place at Black Canyon 12 months ago.

That meant she was one of the big favourites going into Saturday’s women’s race in Arizona, although unlike virtually all of her rivals she had already booked her spot at Western States this year.

‘It came back to bite me’

But a delayed start due to snow storms would prove to be her undoing, even though all appeared to be on track in the early stages when she opened up a clear lead in the women’s race.

Writing on Instagram a day later, she explained what happened: “Turns out we were racing 100km yesterday and the 60km was today😹😹😹.

“Came to @blackcanyonultras with no pressure, nothing to lose, and a plan to test my limits. 

“Unfortunately, I mismanaged my calories/caffiene race plan after the 2.5hr delayed start and it came back to bite me later in the day. An epic bonk around mile 40 left me shuffling the final 21 miles to the finish.

“The biggest thank you to everyone on course cheering, other runners offering fuel+hydration+anti diarrhoea 😹😹😹 the aid station volunteers for getting me all the snacks🙌🏻 The trail running community is amazing❤️”

Jackson was the 13th woman to cross the line in just under 10 hours, an hour behind winner Rachel Drake.

‘So many lessons learned’

And just as gracious in defeat as she has been in her multiple victories, Jackson was keen to pay tribute to both Drake and Hayden Hawks, who broke the men’s course record with a stunning display in his first race back after knee surgery.

She added: “The biggest thank you to my crew – love you guys. And a huge congrats to @rachelraedrake and the rest of our field for some incredible performances🙌🏻 

“A huge congrats to my @hoka teammie @hawks_hayden for such an inspiring comeback race!!!!

“So many lessons learned. Season is just getting started💃🏼.”

Heather Jackson at Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB
Heather Jackson claimed six wins in 2023. [Photo credit: UTMB]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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