Early results are in! There were 12 runners: 3 women, 8 men, and 1 dog.
Trail Monsters “Fat Ass” 50k

Whoever decided to coin the motto, “No Fees, No Awards, No Wimps” for the “Fat Ass” races wasn’t kidding. The group got together at around 7:00 this morning to run between 1 and 3 loops of a 10.6 mile course. The “50k” part is just a general guideline. The course began at Bradbury Mountain’s parking lot, running up route 9 to Minot Rd. When the road ended, there was some mostly virgin trail for about a half mile before reaching a dirt road at the other end. After following those roads to the power lines, the trail was followed until reaching the Bradbury Connector, which then led back to the park.

At the end of each loop the runners were able to check in at the “aid station” and record their times on the sign in sheet. The aid station was the back of a pickup truck, and consisted of all the goodies that each runner brought to share. There were muffins, cookies, a few batches of home made protein bars, pretzels, and as much Hammer Nutrition mix as anyone could want.

The roads were not in too bad condition, but the first stretch of trails was rough going. The snowmobiles had never been out on it, and while a few of the runners had been out throughout the week to snowshoe and pack the snow down a little they were facing an uphill battle given the extra foot or two of snow that fell during that time. Running along the trail wasn’t horribly bad, even when you post-holed, unless you stepped even a little bit off of the “path” – then there was nothing to stop your foot from going straight through 5 or 6 feet of snow other than a river underneath it all.

The first trip down the power lines was pretty easy, as the snow was a bit frozen and well packed down. The wind began picking up at this point, but it was at our back until we reached the woods. This was going to be a great boon during the subsequent laps, and was about the only thing to help you along.

As the day got on, the temperatures went up and the snow got really soft. Even walking on some of the hills, it was impossible to keep from slipping and sliding. The trails under the power lines were pretty rough, and in the woods was much harder.

My watch battery died before the run even began, but I was at least able to record numbers from the stop watch left at the aid station that had the “official” time. I brought a sandwich bag full of gummy bears to fortify myself with along the run and wore a water bladder on my back to keep hydrated. I stopped along the trail the first time down the power lines to make a snow angel off to the side. I came in for the first lap around an hour and 46 minutes, and stuck around the aid station for about 12 minutes before starting lap number 2.

Maury, the dog in the picture above, scratched one of his legs early in the run but seemed to be enjoying himself anyway. As I was beginning the 2nd lap, we had to turn him around because he wanted to start his 2nd lap without waiting for his owner. He did complete 2 laps, so he must be in pretty good shape for a puppy.

I am not sure how many times that I fell going through that early stretch of deep snow on the 2nd lap, but it was probably 5 or 6 times. I don’t remember my foot going into the water, but I assume that it must have since when I got onto the road I realized that my foot and sock were soaked. Oh well.

Thankfully I had somebody to run with on that lap, because trying to get through the snow after it had gotten soft was tough work and misery loves company. Once reaching the link trail, I sprinted the last 1/3 of a mile in to finish my run. It took me a little over an hour and 50 minutes to run the 2nd lap, which didn’t have any of the 5 to 10 minute stops that the 1st lap had to allow people to regroup.

All in all, there were 3 people to run 1 lap (Mindy, Randy and Scott), 5 people + Maury to run 2 laps (Myself, Chuck, James, Jamie, Natasha) and 3 people that gutted it out and ran all 3 laps (Ian, Emma and Erik.) Here’s the 3 that gutted out the whole thing:

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(more to follow as I find them)