Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guest blog: Boxing day Run Race Report by my friend Amy


by Amy Surrette on Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 6:19pm
To start off, for those of you who are not familiar with the ultra running lingo, “fat ass” is the type of run it is.  I am not cursing just for the sake of it.  I found a definition of them online that reads:  “These races are all based on the premise of the original fat ass concept. It's a long run, usually an ultra distance.  Finish times usually aren't recorded, that's not the point. The point is to run in a supportive environment, have fun, and challenge yourself. You'll also likely be reminded what you love about distance running, and meet some other very cool people.  Many "true" fat asses are trail runs organized by local runners and are a no-frills set-up. The slogan for Fat Ass races is "No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps." Most races follow this closely, so runners need to carry their own aid, and shouldn't sign up if they aren't sure they can complete the distance. Fat Asses aren't easy.” (see below for reference)

This is the info from Jim Plants event page regarding this run: (Jim’s words)

Kiwanas Park
Sanford, NC
Six hours to run as you please, 9am-3pm. Late or early starts are welcome.

Monday December 26th, Boxing Day for some -- and I am thinking it would be a holiday for most.

Stick with us for the full six hours, or run a loop and hang out or go home and of course anything in between. Escape the in-laws, work off your Christmas dinner and try out your fancy new running stuff that Santa got you all at the same time. If you feel like the in-laws can't be left alone, then they are welcome to come on down and get some fresh air and maybe jog or walk a few loops too.

The "loop" is about 0.91 miles according to my Garmin -- add to that a short out and back to the picnic shelter, and we will call it an even mile. It is not flat, there are a couple of hills. Think of it as a cross between Hinson Lake and Umstead as far as the surface and the hills go. I will have a board or a pad or something to record the number of laps - the Honor System will be in play.

If you don't know, a "Fat-Ass" style run is an unofficial gathering of runners, running for fun only. There are no prizes, no t-shirts, no bib numbers, no chip timing and any support will be pretty minimal -- don't be expecting someone to hand you a cup of water as you go past. As the saying goes, there will be no whining either :)

Ok - basics out of the way, here is how the race went.

My kids and I packed up and left for Sanford after 7am.  We picked up Ben Dillon and Charles West along the way.  It was nice to have a run that was a 9am start.  You didn’t have to get up well before dawn and since it was only an hour drive it was convenient.

The day started off cold - right at freezing, but it was dry and the sun was out.  We got all our gear moved to the shelter and prepared for the start.  I nearly missed the start - I didn’t hear a go, I just saw everyone take off running, and I was still in the shelter… I was ready, just not on the trail, so the day began.  I counted about 20 people who were on that first lap.

Each lap we came back to the shelter, marked on our cards a line for a lap, then went back out.  In my case I would make a line, count 3 kids heads, then go back out.  Andy was not there this race but there were plenty of other adults and children around so the kids were doing good.  I still needed to make sure they were ok each lap.

It was a great crushed gravel path with basically “just one hill” - go figure, a Jimbo race with just one hill.  You could run the loop either way.  I found that going clockwise that the ‘just one hill’ was a steeper incline and the rest was downhill, but the other way was a slow grind almost the whole way uphill, so opted for laps going clockwise.

Coming back in early on there were oranges on our lap sheets.  A gust of wind came and blew them all off the picnic tables and Jim put oranges on them to keep them from blowing away.  I drew a smile on my orange.  As the miles clicked off, it ended up having eyelashes and curly hair.  Other oranges had smiles too and one of them had the top ripped off…

Gene Meade started running with me early on and we kept the same pace going lap after lap.  He put up with my singing and he kept me laughing with his humor.   I told him he needed to pace me at U100 in the wee hours of the morning to keep me laughing (even though I will most likely feel like crying, but that will be another race report)….

I knew it was going to be tough for me from the start.  I had run 13.5 miles 2 days prior and 3 weeks prior had run my farthest ever of 83.2.  My legs were tired but I wanted to get at least a marathon in, if not a 50K before Weymouth in January.  A couple hours in I realized that the 50K was not going to happen.  My legs were feeling it, and I was also trying to keep an eye on my kids during the event which took up extra time between the shelter and the Jeep.  I was having fun though.  I was watching my kids interact with other kids who came with their parents.  I was also watching and running with parents on the trail.  It was a great kid friendly event.  I took a few loops with my kids who wanted to run or walk with me.

It’s funny how your mind works to endure the amount of time you will be out there.  About 5 hours in I was getting to the point where I was ready to be done.  I knew the finish was not long off so I started to pick it up a little.  Yep, as much as I can at that point in the run.  I knew that 50K was out of the question so I was pushing for that marathon +  so it would at least qualify for an ultra!

The last 10 minutes were on the ‘baby loop’  it was .15 miles long.  I found a good song, started singing, and started to really pick it up.  On the last lap I heard someone behind me say “come on Surrette, lets finish this up”  yep, it was Charles Akers.  I wish he would not have said that.  I kicked it into gear and literally sprinted the last .15 miles.  Of course I didn’t catch him.

Garmin read 26.7.  That’s my story and I’m stickin to it.  I think somewhere along the way I mis-lined my sheet and forgot to mark a lap.  Ehh, it doesn’t matter.  It was a great event with a lot of great people attending.  A big thank you to James Plant for putting it on.  It was a great location and well attended.  Nearly 50 people were there who filled out a card.  Rumor has it that there was a bandit on the course who ran without counting his laps, but, he is the Ultraman and can get away with those kind of things.

This FA event was great - everybody brought in lots of food.  There were T-shirts made, and prizes for the winners.  Thank you Jim - looking forward to the next event!

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