S’mores and trails, plus a fresh blanket of snow…count me in! Still somewhat of a newbie to the trail running scene last year there was a bit of a learning curve and I was unfamiliar with some of the terminology frequently being used by runners. One of these said terms was “fat ass” and to be honest was appalled when I 1st heard it. My ED brain immediately flew in to protective mode and jumped to the wrong conclusion! A fat ass race is about as low key and relaxed ultra event as one can be. The concept developed to put on a no frills race to work off the over indulgence that often occurs around the holidays. Many races today that go by the name Fat Ass offer minimal support, no times are recorded or official results reported, and they pop up anytime throughout the year.
These races provide all the fun without all the bells and whistles of your typical running event, but you must be prepared. It is a solo gig…you need to be able to take care of yourself. Being that I train the majority of the time solo supporting myself on long runs is not a big deal, at least it isn’t now. I have over the last few years perfected my gear/system to take care of myself when out for several miles. The number one, game changing item that helped to get me to this point was finding a hydration vest that worked for me. I have actually purchased a few different vests to find the one that fulfilled all my needs. For me I need to be able to carry my phone, snacks, inhaler, chapstick, and water. You may also need to navigate the course yourself. Some courses may not be marked. Most directors will post a map online or have them present at the race the day of, find out before you get there. No one likes to get lost!
The Fallvergnugen S’more Run 2018 was my second time running this FA race. The previous year I met up with my friends Allison and Angela. This was round 2 for us. Year one was going to be hard to top…we had a blast in 2017, but who doesn’t love a challenge. Plans were made, times were set, food was bought, and running supplies packed. We met up at the ranger station at 6:45am and then headed to the campsite. Ann, the co-race director, had a campfire started and was out marking the course when we arrived. Runners were asked bring food to add to the “aid station” for all to share. The spread this year was amazing! We chit-chatted a bit with a few runners and then headed out for our 1st loop. In total we did 3 loops and ran the entire 6 hours the course was open. Most FA races do not have medals it is part of the low key, no frills mantra, but the Fallvergnugen offers runners who complete the 6 hours get a patch. It is a nice perk.
The course was a 6 mile loop around beautiful High Cliff State Park. There are areas that challenge a runner to work, but man it is so gorgeous it is worth it. On loop 1 we deviated from the course a bit and explored. In between loops we chatted, refueled, and warmed up. There was no pressure to hurry up and get back out. I love the laid back atmosphere. Loop 2 & 3 the weather warmed up a bit which made for sloppy terrain…getting dirty is all part of the adventure when trail running!
Finishing out our last loop we rounded the corner back to base camp with mud covered shoes, sore cheeks from laughing, and full hearts. Hanging with my running BFFs and being outdoors with snow under me feet brings me joy like no other. The day did not disappoint and I cannot wait to meet up with my peeps sooner than later. Until next year…#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive!
Date – November 11, 2018
Location – Sherwood, WI
Finish Time – 6 hours
Gear Used –
- Orange Mud HydraQuiver VP1 – I decided to go with my bottle system to have easy access for refilling when we hit the aid station at base camp.
- F4 Tech FitSok – My feet stayed dry, cool, and blister free.
- Tailwind Nutrition – I filled my vest with 2 scoops of Mandarin Orange with water. I was able to refill my bottle with water and mix up more Tailwind using the single portion sticks. I switched to Tropical Buzz (caffeine) on the last loop to help ward off exhaustion. The boost helped to keep me upright and moving forward.
- Oiselle – The temps were in the low 30s. My goal was to layer with items I could easier take off and also carry until I finished the loop and could drop items at base camp. I started with black Flyout tights, wool base layer, flannel shirt (Amazon), and Quill vest. I also wore a buff around my neck, hat, and gloves.
- Run Gum – I popped this in about 30 minutes before the start of the race. I also carried several packs with me in my hydration vest.
- Trail Toes Cream – I slather this stuff on before I put my socks on to prevent hot spots.
- Salt Stick Caps – My game plan did not change from my previous events…stay on a regular schedule with my salt tabs to prevent cramping. Worked like a charm.
- Altra Superior 3.0 – I’m a die hard zero drop shoe lover and could not wait to try the Superior 3.0 for this race.