Monday, January 1, 2007

1st Dirk's Fat Ass 50k

Dirk’s Fat Ass 50k participants left to right:Rick Caffy, Joe Millichap, Paul Arnette, Rob Apple, Jon Fisher, Dirk Hayes.

Race director’s report

The inaugural Dirk’s Fat Ass 50k started at the General Bragg Headquarters pavilion at the trailhead of the Stones River Greenway in Murfreesboro, TN. The course headed out to the Stones River Battlefield. We added a one mile out-and-back on Van Cleave which next year will have to eliminate that stretch. The course ended up a little longer than I measured, closer to 32.5 miles. OOOPs, better long than short was my thinking. The course out to the battlefield is basically a lollipop. One mile to the battlefield, a two mile loop and the one mile return to the pavilion at Bragg. From there, we did a six mile out-and-back to Cannonsburgh. Each loop was around 10 miles and only minor elevation changes, no real hills. We had bathrooms at the battlefield, the start and at Cannonsburgh.

The weather was great for the runners. Start time at 8 am and it was around 44 degrees with a north-northwesterly wind. After the first loop the temperature dropped to around 40 degrees and the wind was steady. I grabbed my gloves and a vest. Joe decided the best way to do the battlefield loop was to head into the wind; the rest of us went the other way and tried to shelter ourselves from the wind. I have to kudo’s to Raz and Booper for braving the cold and wind to monitor the runners and our aid station at the General Bragg pavilion. Paula and Dylan came out to relieve her, but left because Dylan wasn’t too eager to hang out in the cold.

Six of us started and finished the extended 50k. Joe and I were the only newbie’s. Rob, Rick, Jon and Paul were all ultra veterans, with close to a thousand ultras among the four of them. We all started together, but Joe separated early to use his new Galloway method. It worked well. I did a portion of the first loop with Stephanie and then waited at the aid station for the Fab Four and continued on with them. I ate two quarter peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some chicken and dumplings and Gatorade at each of my three + stops at the aid station. I also had some potato chips, a banana, and a coke on the final loop.

Joe started with us by saying he was only going to do one loop and see how he felt. He must have felt pretty good; he went on to beat all of us to the finish. He passed us on his way home and I picked up the pace to try and reel him in. He was too far ahead of us, close to 2 miles. I was amazed by how much energy I still had coming home those final 4 miles. It actually felt really good to open up into another gear.

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