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.
naresh  Photos: Dirk
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.
Clipboard01Photo: Jennifer
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.


Navin Sadarangani said...

Nice one dude. Great way to start a new years hah. What better than to run it with. You looked fresh on the finish photo. Looks like very soon 50-60k's will be nothing for you, maybe just another practice run. Great going!

Joseph said...

I will def say that this was def an adventure to say the least. I will add one thing to the story. The Shirtless man's name is Greg Armstrong. He is the Cross Country Coach at Friendship Christian School, a preacher, and avid Ultra runner. He has a benefit that he does called "Run For Water", which is a fundraiser to collect money for water purification systems in Haiti. As part of this fundraiser he ran from the Alabama state line, up highway 231, to the Kentucky state line without stopping and collecting money along the way

Tiger said...

Nice race report, Naresh! What a great way to start the new year! I wish you the best on all of your adventures in 201l.

Take care and happy running!

Thavavigna said...

You are an inspiration . Great Run naresh :)

Thavavigna said...

You are an inspiration . Great Run naresh :)

Old Man and mid pack runner said...

Didn't know Greg went the distance. Last loop he was with David Jones on the way out. Great report, glad you made it out and didn't get washed down the river.

mkirk said...

Good to meet you at Sultan 50K, Naresh. Keep on trucking.