Fat Ass 2006... WOW !! I need a bigger shovel

If I am going to "dig deeper" (or better yet dig a hole to crawl into and die) I am going to need a bigger shovel, cause this ain't working now... Those were just some of the thoughts rolling through my head from about the 40 km mark on...

I absolutely have to send out a HUGE thanks for all the support, patience and positive vibes aimed back at me from all the super strong runners (mostly the girls) in our group that coulda, shoulda easilyCLub Fat Ass; Running, Vancouver, Canada, BC, 2006, ultrarunning, trailrunning, FatAss50 finished at least 45 minutes to an hour earlier had they not been dragging a big old anchor (yours truly) along with them for the last 10 or 15 km's of this fine event.

Without even diving into the red wine the night before it seemed my stomach had decided Jan 1st 2006 would be a good day to shut down and stop processing anything (somewhere around the turn around point of this run). I tried to stave off the inevitable bonking by downing a whole bottle of Gatorade at the 33 km support stop but that didn't work either. Then it seemed all remaining energy I had was slowly blown away in the headwinds coming back along the Jericho Beach to Planetarium stretch. ByClub Fat Ass; Vancouver New Year Fat Ass 50; Vancouver; BC; Canada; trailrunning; ultrarunning, running; fun; cameraderie; Kitsilano, Kits Point, aid station; Norco the time I crawled up onto the Burrard Street Bridge, I was done like dinner. Hey guess what, only another 8-10 kms to go!!! Ya-hoo...

From there on in, our planned (and up till that point pretty workable) 10 and 1's, started turning into 5 and 1's and then oh... a few 1 and 1's. Heck in some cases probably even tossed in a few 1 and 5's by the time we hit the trails in Stanley Park. By the way, was it only me that noticed there was a few Mount Everest hills added to the Stanley Park return route that wereClub Fat Ass, Vancouver Running, Vancouver New Year's Day Fat Ass 50 definitely not there in the morning or any other time I have run through there?? My body was not quite finished with me yet, as around Third Beach the dry heaves started about every couple of minutes. That part was really fun!! ... I would conveniently slide off the back of the group for those trail-side twister sessions so as not to wig anyone out too much.

Oh yeah, another late run highlight for me was walking downhill... Now I don't have as much running experience as many of you, but what is up with that?? My mind was saying "what are you doing, you can RUN this, just let gravity do some of the work", but my body was just about shut down and not accepting any new data input. Around Lumbermans Arch my Garmin beeped notifying me that I had just "completed lap 31" (in miles). I actually had to smile and shake my head when it also told me that this last mile had been a smoking fast 17:40 some odd mile... Nice. Considering most of that last mile from Prospect Point to there was either flat or downhill, you may start to get some picture of how well I was doing at this point. OK body, come on... only a few more minutes and then hopefully this will all go away.

We popped out of the trail at the end of the parking lot and the remaining 7 others in our group all held hands high and proud for our last 50 meter run to the fire hydrant finish. Everyone was so stoked, but I had to beg them to slow down... I just couldn't get up that parking lot at the speed they wanted to go. I had visions of being dragged the last 25 meters by the others, face down, toes back/soles showing straight up. At that point, nothing was slowing them down. For all but one of them in this group, this was their first Ultra, and they had all done FANTASTIC !!!

A big congratulations out to Angela, Rhonda, Heather, Dan, Peter, Darren, Elke, Celina, Debbie, Joe, Lori, Carie, Ofelia... all from our Coquitlam Running Room group and all of whom finished their first full 50 kms! Out of this huge group, Dan was the only repeat offender to the FA50. Also big shout-outs go to Ruby for a strong 33 kms (pretty good considering she is training for Boston and was only thinking about doing 25 km), and to Stephen for a great first half-ass 25 km and to my good wife Diane and Amanda for their half marathon distance goal of 21 km and their first Fat Ass event! Actually, for all but 2 of the 18 runners in our big group, the 2006 Fat Ass Event was their first club run and I'm sure it will not be their last.

Special thanks also goes out to Pat (Rhonda's husband) who drove our loaded up support van all day, met us along the way, carried all the liquid and treats, and nice dry clothes we wanted and needed... and even hoped on his bike to come meet us out on the trails. He always reassured us that we looked great and strong, even though I'm sure he was thinking otherwise. Thanks Pat!!! Next year can ya pack some fresh legs for me too?

And in summary, considering how lousy the last 10 or so kms was I thought it was pretty funny when I scooted onto last year's results and found that we touched that fire hydrant within 1 minute of our 2005 finish. If anything we are consistent... Amazing. There is always next year to improve on that time right, or at least improve on how I feel at the end??

Thanks again to Ean, Sibylle and the behind the scenes support crew that put on this great event, we WILL BE BACK!!

Pete Stace-Smith (3rd year repeat offender)

Ps I didn't even tell you about all the fun we did have, and the super cool stuff we saw and noticed. Maybe one of our other Coquitlam runners can expand on the good stuff so you all don't think it was a gruelathon. See, even one day later, I am already forgetting all the pain. :)