I came to know about this race during a runners meet organized by Jeff at Pizza Perfect. Met the RD for Fat Ass 50K - Dirk Hayes and thought it would be a kewl race to run since I didn’t run any race after my Bartram Forest 100 Miler. New year’s eve was so much fun with my friends from Church. Welcoming the New year with praise and thanksgiving at Church followed by some yummy Kerala style dinner. The food too tempting to avoid. Hit the bed at 3am only to get 4 hours of sleep.
It was pouring rain by the time I hit the road. I had some difficulty in getting to the race start. It was already 8am. The race must have started by now. Let’s just drive back home, you couldn’t run because you couldn’t find the start line, let’s jus catch some more sleep and enjoy the New Year, why struggle in this horrific rain – my mind was talking me through making excuses not to run. That’s when I saw a group of runners standing under a shelter crossing the rail road. Before I was about yield to the temptation, I pulled over, wore my Vibrams and headed towards the shelter. Just got in time but still missed the start line photo.
Familiar voices were hollering my name. It was Chris, Dirk, Theresa, Lisa and Jennifer. Was running at the back of the pack. It was a beautiful course wading through the Stone river battlefield (4 miles) and a 6 mile out and back to Cannonsburgh accounting for a little over 10 miles. 3 loops gets us 50K. Little did I know what was in store for the next 6 hours. Though the weather was supposed to be rainy, never realized that we would be required to swim during the 50K.
It started pouring down and the water was already several inches deep during the first loop. By the time we started our second loop it was thigh deep. I cautioned couple of runners about the rising water level, but by the time I returned it was waist deep. One runner suggested me to take the highway by climbing out of the trail. I tried figuring out a way to reach the HQ but couldn’t, so I returned to the trail and braved the ice cold water. It was like rapids and the water was colder than I anticipated. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore and somehow dragged myself to the HQ finishing my second loop.
For the third loop, I decided to stick with the battle field course and Old Nashville Hwy pretty much like other runners. Only one runner finished by running through the entire course and he was running shirtless. It stopped raining and the weather was getting better. With about 4 more miles left for my 50K, I was joined by a big herd of runners (Karl Kersey, Dirk and others). We walked a bit and talked a lot about our upcoming races and schedules. While the whole group took off to the HQ, I still had about two more miles which I covered by running one more loop of the battle filed course and joined them just in time for finisher photograph.
Dirk handed me a Sierra Nevada Porter at the finish line and I can’t be more happy. Who needs a finisher buckle anyway :). Lisa, Jennifer and Joseph were heading to get their 33 miles. Joseph was recovering from bronchial virus infection and he wanted to run 33 miles having celebrated his 33rd birthday. Way to go Joseph and all the very best for your Ultras in 2011.
So glad for having finished an Ultra on New Years day. 10th Ultra, DONE. Now heading to another dinner part. Mutton Biriyani, here I come.