I rang in 2011 not with champagne, but with a 50k resolution run. If you consider anything more than a marathon to be an "ultramarathon", then it was my first "ultra". Let's call it "ultra light"!
I was untrained, unprepared and would be happy to finish my first 50k. Signing up was a bit of a lark actually, and it was really more about doing a long, slow, easy run with good company. And the Fat Ass 50k 2011 did not disappoint.
We were served up a crisp, glorious winter day - it was calm, sunny and spectacular! A tad bit chilly, but hey, you can't have it all, can you!? (No whining. See below.) Today was the kind of day that reminds me why I live in Vancouver and endure the sometimes seemingly endless winter rain. The North Shore mountains were crowned with gleaming snow and English Bay was like glass....perfect, perfect conditions!
At an average pace of 5:30/km, slow and steady was the name of the game. The company was great and everyone kept their pace in check....well, mostly :) Four hours and forty-seven minutes after we departed Brockton Oval, lots of potty stops and walking, 50k and eight gels later, we returned to the kiss the fire hydrant. Don't ask...apparently it is one of the rules!
Speaking of rules, the rules of Club Fat Ass are fairly simple aside from the not-so-obvious hydrant kissing. You pack yourself up, aim to be self-sufficient for the distance, respect mother nature and find enjoyment in running. If you don't enjoy it, you suck it up. It's not about winning, it's about the journey. And it was a great journey! The Fat Ass 50 course is an out and back from Stanley Park to Pacific Spirit Park, kind of a greatest hits collection of the spectacular seaside runs that Vancouver has to offer. Most of the course is on trails or soft gravel. The run is totally informal and very grassroots - the attitude amongst the other 100 or so runners was incredibly positive, inclusive and sometimes just silly.
Thanks to my running partner, Shane, and to the impromptu support crew that kept us energized and amused enough to actually run 50k and still be smiling at the end. We did it! New Year's Day, 50K! Now where are those tylenol and tums....
Happy New Year!