Monday, January 09, 2006

Fat Ass 50k McNabb, Illinois Version

Fat ass?? Yeah maybe, but so what. I can still run, ok maybe run/walk/shuffle a bit here and there.

The whole concept behind the Fat Ass races is a low key event during the winter season, I assume to burn off some of the holiday excess. Yesterday we decided to sample this no frills exercise in exercise. "No shirts, no aid, no wimps, run as much or as little as you would like" the race description reads. You probably won't find wimps in a 50k and typical January temps would keep even the slightly wimpy home, but yesterday was more like late March in Central Illinois. Conditions could not have been better, starting temps in the upper 30s, warming into the 50s by afternoon. The tiny burg of McNabb is the site of this race, starting at the jr. high and looping 1/2 mile out and back to get the first mile of the 50k in then down a more scenic 5 mile out and back course on 75% paved, 25% dirt road through a nice wooded, rural area with slightly rolling hills.

Our plan was to do a 10/2 run/walk strategy, taking it easy and going for 3 hours. There are aid stations at the start, an unmanned table at 2 miles and a manned station at the turnaround. Amazingly all the aid is paid for by the race director and a few donations. There is even the option of free beer after the race at a local joint down the road. How cool is that? I felt pretty good the whole way, with the exception of some slight hip soreness after about 2:20. We ended up doing 15 or so miles in 3:00, a good training run and one of the longest I've done off of trails in a long while, making it a beneficial mental exercise to break from the normal routine of long, slow single track running. The whole race had this sort of underground feel and a friendly atmosphere, not to mention the scenic beauty of rural Putnam County. This fat ass, for one, was content.

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