Welcome to the Singletrack!
Oct. 21, 2022

Arlen Glick | 2022 Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview

Arlen Glick | 2022 Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview

Arlen Glick is a trail and ultra runner based in Massillon, OH lining up for the 2022 Javalina Jundred.


  • InsideTracker - go to (https://info.insidetracker.com/singletrack) to get 20% off your next order.
  • Kodiak Cakes - use code Singletrack15 at checkout on their website (https://kodiakcakes.com/)  to get 15% off your next order
  • Gnarly Nutrition - use code Singletrack20 at checkout on their website (https://gognarly.com/) to get 20% off your next order


  • (1:29) - no social media stance, shoe sponsor outlook
  • (8:07) - the opportunities and limitations of training in Ohio for Western US races
  • (9:33) - reasons for returning to Javalina this year with no need for a golden ticket to Western States
  • (13:36) - ultra runner of the year rankings considerations
  • (15:17) - shoes for race day


Additional Episodes You May Enjoy:

  • #146 - Dakota Jones | Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview
  • #145 - Patrick Reagan | Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview
  • #144 - Matt Daniels | 2022 Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview
  • #143 - Annie Hughes | 2022 Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview
  • #142 - Stefanie Flippin | 2022 Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview
  • #141 - Nick Coury | 2022 Javalina Jundred Pre-Race Interview

Support the show


Finn: Arlen Glick, it's great to be chatting on the Singletrack Podcast.

Arlen: Yes. Thank you. It's fun to be back.

Finn: There are a lot of things that I want to talk about in this episode that aren't even really Javelina 100-related, though we will get to that. I think the first thing to cover - there was a ecent article that came out. I think it was in the Ultrasignup feed, or maybe it was on Trail Runner. I can't remember, but it talks about how you have taken this sort of anti-social media stance, which I think regardless of whether you think that's a good idea or bad, it, it's very interesting and I think you talk in the article about how it's impacted your ability to get a shoe sponsor. There’s a lot there, but I'm wondering if you can talk about why you've taken the stance you've taken and, if there's a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of working with a brand in 2023.

Arlen: Yes. As you know, um, I don't have social media. I mean, I do have Strava for my own reasons. But yeah, I feel like if I were to point out all the negatives, there are plenty of positives out there too. And I know there's a lot of good content and there's a lot of good out there that social media could be. So I'm not bashing it all, all of it. But if you were to strictly look at the negative, I think it creates such a self-centered world. And I think like if you look at the people in general of today versus 10 years ago, I think we have a culture that is very self-centered because not only is there a lot of negative out there, but it doesn't matter how much positive content there is. I mean, if you look at an article that you just love dearly and then you look at comments and there are a hundred positive remarks and then there's one idiot that says something you hate. All you think about is that one idiot that you didn't like what he said. And so we're drawn to the negative, I think just by nature. And I think also one of the things that are so hurtful and geared around self-centeredness is when you look at, you know, these wonderful athletes that everybody adores and they have, you know, thousands or millions of followers, and like, you look at your own life and, and what you have going on. You can just become, you can think your life is so boring and so monotonous and like you're a nobody. And I think to the general public, it's a very negative thing for them. Even if there are some great people on it. When I looked at it, you know, from the side of a financial standpoint, yes, there's a lot of perks to jumping on there and trying to be somebody, especially when you can throw up some very good results. But I think that to be successful, you have to have followers. To have followers, you have to have a life that looks really cool. And a lot of times I think it just causes people to post things that are not reality. And so people, you know, try to make their life look really cool to get followers, to get sponsors, etc. And so we've propped up this huge scenario where fakeness is just the norm. And like for me personally, when I was on the outside looking at this, like, what are my options as an athlete, I felt like for me to jump on social media, knowing what I know about how it would be like taking fakeness to a whole new level, I decided for myself, I'm willing to work a full-time job, do whatever it takes and to actually sacrifice for this cause. And is there light at the end of the tunnel, you asked? Yes, I do believe there is. Almost immediately after the article by Ultrasignup, I got contacted by several companies. So yes, there are a lot of people that are seeing through this. But the sad thing is it took someone to go to the top of the sport, to make a difference. That to me, that's the sad part. I think I'm probably the only one in the sport that, at least that I'm aware of, that has really taken a stand on this, but I think it's gonna be worth it in the end.

Finn: Well, it's interesting and your scenario, it's not like a one-for-one comparison, but I have a really good friend here in the Wasatch. His name's Jimmy Elam, and I think if you asked anybody in our community who the most influential person is and who encourages them to make certain purchases when it comes to running gear and just thinking about the sport in general, a lot of people would place, him at the top of their ballot, but a lot of what he doesn’t translate neatly onto social media. Like you're not gonna see it in like impressions or likes or the posts that he makes. It's all sort of behind the scenes on runs and at hangouts and at dinners and stuff like that. And so I'm with you that there are a lot of ways to be an impactful athlete that I think brands either do recognize or they need to recognize it in the coming years that go beyond these platforms because it's not always the case that what athletes are doing out in that world, in the digital world translates in the physical world. So, I don't know. I know that we're supposed to be talking about Javelina here, but I think it's a very interesting discussion.

Arlen: Yeah, I enjoy looking into it because it seems like from, from my standpoint, you know, a few years ago, companies wouldn't have even talked to me. Like they wouldn't have even wasted their time. Because, you know, they would look at me and say, well, you're not influencing people. But, you know, when I finished Western States, Dylan Bowman, the first thing he said was, Your fans dominated the chat and to me that sounded so funny coming from a guy who has never done a mountain race, you know? But I think it really goes to show that the people, the fans that I do have - they know me personally, they've met me at a race, and I do a lot, you know, to impact the local community. And they are very loyal. I think that's what it really comes down to. They are very loyal and I think it just took a little time for like the public and also companies to appreciate that this platform they built everything on is very young and it's very untested.

Finn: Well, one other thread I want to touch on before we get to Javelina, and you're probably sick and tired of answering this, but, it's well-known at this point that you're based in Ohio. And I'm certainly not saying everyone thinks this, so don't take this as a blanket statement, but at least some folks are curious about how you manage to have success at these Western Mountain races being based where you are. So what is your playbook for success? And do you feel like you're at a disadvantage or do you feel like you have everything you need to be successful?

Arlen: I would say I have everything I need, but definitely not everything I want. It’s definitely challenging, but it's possible to prepare in the east for a race out west.  I definitely did not feel like I'm very happy with my season and the way things went, but I definitely did not feel like I had a normal day at the Western States or Run Rabbit Run - my first two mountain races. I mean, I still walked away with something that was definitely worth being celebrated, especially for, you know, stretching the outside of my comfort zone. I would say the big challenge for me this season having a full-time job and then trying to, you know, find time to train specifically for an event that I can't just run out my back door and go, you know, run up a mountain. So it is very challenging. It's not necessarily fun going out and doing a million hill repeats, but it can be.

Finn: You've had a great year so far - Jackpot, Western States, Run Rabbit. You already have a spot in Western next year. So where does Javelina fit into the mix this year? Like what's the purpose of being there this time around? What inspires you?

Arlen: Yeah, so ever since I ran it last year, I've wanted to come back. I guess my “A” goal is probably to be able to complete the hundred miles without getting caught into cactus like I did last year. So that's, that's an angle for me is that - can I get through it without having to pull a bunch of cactus needles outta me at 65 miles. But yeah, I've enjoyed the race. I think it really highlights my strengths where I do well, of course, at the hundred mile distance. A rolling course is definitely where I feel at home. And the heat is definitely another one of my strengths. So I am going back to have fun. It's nice to not feel like I'm racing. Last year I felt like it all went well and I was very happy with the results. But when there's a golden ticket on the line, I think like you tend to run a bit more conservative because you still have that window of top two that you're kind of shooting for where now that's not really an element. So, yeah, I had a phone conversation with Patrick Reagan yesterday and we were discussing, you know, what we're gonna do. And it was a lot of fun talking with him. I think we have the mentality that we're just gonna go have some fun and I think that will produce good results. But it's gonna be fun to go into it knowing that if I blow up and I ruin everything, like who cares whether I have a good performance there? People know what I can do. This time is just gonna be fun.

Finn: Well, you mentioned there that, given the circumstances last year, there was a golden ticket on the line. You wanted to get into Western. You had to make some sacrifices last year from like a pure “how well can I do on this course, time trialing standpoint”.  This time around, are you going out there with any mentality of like, I would love the time trial this, and maybe I'm aiming for a benchmark, like trying to run this in under 13 hours? Does any of that come to mind for you?

Arlen: It definitely does, but  I'm definitely not gonna be like paying much attention to my splits. I'm gonna still go out with the same like effort level, go out, try to run the same feel. If the day hands me good results, I think I could push a lot harder towards the end of the race than I did last year. I think I'm a lot more in fighting mode this year. I have typically in the past done much better racing my way into races, which is the case for Javelina this year. I think like if I look at a certain time, yeah. I mean, as you know, Patrick holds the fastest time at 13:01. That's a really cool number. It would be neat to be the first one to go under 13  and I think historically, it's usually super hot there. I am a little hesitant to even mention it because it's still, what are we, eight days out from race? But at this point they're saying like maybe high seventies, which would be a lot cooler than some years. So I think this is the year to go for it, and I think I'm going to go for it, but I have nothing specific in mind.

Finn: You have a lot of fans on Twitter as well. I know for example, Taggart Van Etten has been singing your praises. He's been championing you as an ultra runner of the year candidate. So I guess there, there is something riding on the line here in that maybe this race adds to your resume. Do you think about that at all? When you think about other purposes to draw on and to race for? Does any of that come to mind?

Arlen: Yeah, actually that weighs very heavily in this because, you know, I went into the season, went to Jackpot hoping to run a 100 mile PR, but got injured mid-race, you know, and just had a really rough day. I was just so relieved when I got to the finish line that I actually made it to the finish line before anything broke. I went to Western States after, you know, my longest down time ever and kind of felt stitched together for that race. Came away with a decent result, but not the way I liked to feel at the finish line. Like, I like to feel spent, and that's not the way I felt. And then went to Run Rabbit Run and very similarly, only for a different reason. Blew up early in the race and there again, got to the finish line and I was beat at the finish line of that, but I was wrecked way too early. And so when I look at my season like it's definitely good enough to be celebrated, but I have yet to pull off a performance like I like to do. Like last year I had four performances that I felt so good about. This year, I’m at zero. So, yes, as I was planning my fall, I'm like, you know what,  I've struck out three times here. I mean, they're all good performances, but I really want one where it's over the fence and that's, that was a big draw for me to come to Javelina.