2.22.2013

2nd Saratoga Fat Ass

It's a big secret. It's a "race" that doesn't have a website, that you don't pay for, and that doesn't have a start time. You have no idea who is running it or if you are going the right way. It's promoted by word of mouth.

My friend D, who I met when I volunteered for the Oholone 50k last year, invited me to run this with him. He is part of a running club in the San Jose area, and they do runs together quite often. The ultra running community really is quite small. You see a lot of the same people at the runs and races and often the same two guys are at the top of the results. This guy and this guy are the ones to beat (moral of the story: fast people have blogs?).

A few days before the run, D told me that he hurt his knee and that he wasn't going to make it. The area where the run was was one that I hadn't run before and I was a little wary of trying to negotiate the turns by myself. So I asked D if he knew anyone I could hook up with for the run. He suggested his friend L and soon she and I had arranged a meeting the next morning at 7. There weren't any other runners there when we started, but we knew a lot of them were planning on starting at 8.

We started off and I have to admit, she ran slower than I usually do. However, it made it so the run was not stressful. I never felt any twinges or pain or worries that I was overdoing it. The plan was to do three 10 mile loops, each which started and ended at the parking lot where the car was. This was a great way to not have to carry so much stuff because we could stop and refuel / refill every 10 miles. I have only run one 50k before, but it took me a little over 5 hours, so I figured this would be the same.

We saw several of the other runners along the way. One of them even took our picture!

Thanks Jean!
After the second loop, it was later than anticipated, so I ran a bit of the third loop with L and then turned around and went back to the car. All in all, I completed 24 miles in 5:02:36, for a pace of about 13 minutes per mile. There were some beautiful views along the way and I can't wait to come back to this area for another run!
2nd Saratoga Fat Ass

I felt great the next day, which just goes to show that slow and steady is the way to go! The best thing is that I made a new friend (thanks L!) and had a great time running around in the woods, as usual!

Have you ever done an "unofficial" race? Have you ever met up with a stranger for an event and ended up getting along great? Or badly?

17 comments:

  1. This sounds so cool! I'd love to do an "unofficial race", and I know there are some trail running groups that organize casual ultras like this.

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  2. I haven't done either one:) Sounds fun though. I'm glad you were able to hook up with someone so you didn't get lost.

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  3. I hear them talking about these races in my running club all the time I just didn't realize that's what it meant!

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  4. Fat ass's have their appeal. A multi-loop course is a good idea! And I've found that the people you meet in ultra's of any kind are some of the nicest around.

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  5. That sounds so fun! Nice a laid back and no worries ahead of time :)

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  6. Wow, you have the best connections! Yes, I've been experimenting with more slow and steady runs lately, I love how quickly I feel recovered. Congrats on 24 miles and 5 hours of running!

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  7. I have never run in the woods (yet). For some reason (just from looking at your pic) I would be so mentally messed up trying to not fall or something. This looks fun and I might give it try.

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  8. That looks like a beautiful race course!!! Thanks for sharing, I am going to add this one to my "one day..." list:)

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  9. A secret race! How cool! Sometimes slow and steady is nice for a change. Atleast that's what I'm telling myself as I train for 50 :) Great run and I'm jealous that you're wearing shorts.

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  10. An underground race sounds very cool...like only the cool kids know about it!! You rocked it!!! Slow and steady works for you!!!

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  11. Secret races and feeling fresh after a little 24 miler? I think you are officially the coolest runner I know!

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  12. Wow. You do have some of the coolest adventures! Sounds like a great time.

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  13. I love races like that. I wish I were more plugged in (and faster) so I'd hear about the ones around here, because I'm sure they happen.

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  14. This sounds so neat! Secret races sound like something that will catch on.

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  15. Nice work! You are in such great shape given the fact that you were not sore the next day! That is awesome!! I met up with a stranger this past weekend in Charlotte. It was a co-worker of a co-worker I know. She lives in uptown so she met my mom and I for lunch so she could tell me more about what it is like to live in Uptown and where i should look for an apartment. She was incredibly sweet and helpful!

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  16. What a cool event and gorgeous scenery. I'm so jealous of the beautiful places that you run.

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!