Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lose the Turkey Fat Ass 50k Race Report

The running gods must have been smiling on Michigan today, because this was the first and hopefully not last, Lose the Turkey Fat Ass 50k today. Chilly temps near or below the freezing mark at the start warmed to a pleasant and comfortable mid 40's by early afternoon. From emails and word of mouth about 8 people had expressed interest at my first attempt at putting on a "fat ass" event. Even though, I had stated there would be no awards, I just couldn't help but put together a small swag bag. (Special thanks to Run Vegan Run for shipping some last minute items). Items included a couple of Vanilla Gingerbread GU's, a snack size Clif Bar, a couple of Sport Beans, a trial size of Vaseline, a couple of 15 spf Lib Balms, and a small medical kit all housed in a 2 1/2 gallon ziploc bag. I put together 10 just in case a few extra runners showed up. To my utter surprise, there were about 12 runners at the start of the "fun run" and they were pleasantly surprised with their swag. Not all of them were going to run the full 50k since we got back to our cars at around the 23 mile mark, but it was a pretty cool site to say "ok, let's go" and have them wait for you to start leading this pack of ultra runners down the road.

Since we were passing through areas open to hunting, most of them had at least read the race description and wore some hunter orange on them.

And even though, I had said there would be no aid, Craig (director of the Fallen Leaves Ultra), had contacted me and said that he would just be running the trail section due to a race next weekend and would set up an aid station that runners would hit at approximately the 5 mile and then the 18 mile mark. Waiting at the trail head were a few more runners who had heard through word of mouth about the event. The aid station was a welcome site for fluid replenishment and requisite chocolate chip cookie and potato chip inhalation.
The trails were in perfect condition and it was amazing to see runners all along the trail, as I have run this trail many times in solitude. Camaraderie and conversation made the miles fly by. In the end, I finished the 50k (ok..garmy said it was somewhere north of 31.25 miles) in just under 6 hours and had an awesome day running with a bunch of fellow ultrarunners. It left me one tired dawg, but excited at the possibility of making this an annual "fat ass" event.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Trot

In support of Dirrty Girl's return to running, I was more than supportive of her saying that as a family we were going to head down to the "D" yesterday to partake in the 27th edition of the Fifth Third Bank Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Two years ago, we had done the 5k as a family in rather raw and wet conditions and then drove up a bit to catch some of the parade. Big mistake in the sense that we (read: parents) did not change and were freezing as wet clothes stuck to our bodies while watching the parade. Dirrty Girl had an answer for that. First off, we were going to do the 10k and we were going to stay down at the RenCen the night before. That way, after the race we could get change and then included with our hotel room were VIP passes in one of the grandstand sections along the parade route, along with a thermos of coffee and hot chocolate. Even though we live less than 20 miles from the city, we thought it would be fun to go down the night before, ride the People Mover and eat at Greektown with the kids.

Race morning, I had a few concerns. First, it was kind of chilly (mid 30's) and the wind was whipping around. Second, as evidenced by the picture below, Little Dirt Dawg had not ridden in a jogging stroller since I can't remember when since he is so tall and would rather run. I am thinking next year, maybe the Mashed Potato Mile or 5k for him. Lastly, the number of runners was estimated at over 14,000 and since we were just out for a fun run would be far back in the pack. Given that and our estimated time for the 10k along with the parade start, we smartly decided to drop to the 5k.
( Note: This could be our cheesy holiday family photo)

(Note: Dirrty Girl in her new running gear and Dirrty Feather keeping warm before the race)

Now, as for the Turkey Trot, it was a hoot! We ran together as a family and gave high fives and low fives, courtesy of Dirrty Feather in the stroller and stopped for cookies at the aid station. There were people though there with Garmins, Ipods, and Fuel Belts...for a 5k/10k!! Come on people...there were tons of people along the parade route cheering runners on and the rising sun took some of the early morning bitterness out of the air, enjoy the day, soak up the atmosphere. My only complaint was that even though we started near the back, there were tons of runners who thought that jumping over the jogging stroller wheels or cutting in front of us was a sound idea. You want to race, do it at some other race and at several points, I had to slam on the brake to avoid hitting some idiot. I think we finished in around 40 minutes for the 5k with a mad dash for which stroller crossed the finish line first.

A quick jaunt back to the hotel, shower, and inhalation of food brought us back out and to our parade seats for a bit until the requisite shuttling between our parents houses. In the future, we probably won't remember our time for the run or the weather, but we will remember the fun we had together and that is all that matters this time of year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lose the Turkey Fat Ass 50k

Lose The Turkey Fat Ass 50k

When: November 28, 2009

Time: 8 am

Where: Kensington Metro Park/Island Lake

Get out there and move your duff to eliminate the stuff consumed on Turkey Day. An easy “fat ass” ultra, with no fee, no aid, and probably no awards to be given. Mainly on bike paths, with about 13 miles of trail. Wear something hunter orange to avoid being confused as a deer in the woods. Contact for more info.


Begin @ Kensington Metro Park. *Note* There is a daily $4 entry fee if you do not have a permit. Park at the East Boat Launch and head west on the bike path trail. Just before heading over a bridge, there will be a path to your left that goes under I- 96. Follow the path under the freeway and into Island Lake. At the fork just above the short hill go right. Follow the Island Bike Path. Just after the 3 mile marker on the Bike Path there will be a turn off to the left. Follow that an into the Mtn. Bike Trailhead. *Note* There are port a potties located here.

Follow the blue trail head markers and continue on the trail until past the 8 mile marker. There will be a Two Way Direction Sign with a blue arrow pointing forward and a yellow sign turn left. FOLLOW the yellow sign to the left. Continue on the yellow trail until you return to the trailhead parking. Return on the bike path back to Kensington Metro Park and your car. Total Distance to this point approximately: 23 miles. (approximately 13 miles of this are trail)

To complete the 50k distance…do one loop on the Kensington Bike Path (approximate distance 8.5 miles)

For those of you preferring to do a shorter distance less than a 50k and don’t want to get lost, or run trails…you can just run loops around Kensington. Each loop is approximately 8.5 miles. Or run the 23 miles out and back section and stop.

I expect for many of us to run together as this is not competitive at all. Somewhere in the 5 hr 30 min to 6 hour range for the full distance and will probably incorporate some walking.


1. There is no fee to run this (ok..except for the daily entry fee to the park. Most times though in the fall, there is never anybody checking the cars for permits)

2. It is HIGHLY ADVISED that you wear something hunter orange or very bright out on the trail section. I ran it this past weekend and saw some hunters out there.

3. There is no aid. I might have something set up at the start/finish, and somewhere along the way, but it is a approximately 23 miles for the first loop.

4. You are responsible for your own safety out there. This is merely a loosely organized fun run that just happens to be a wee bit longer than a marathon.

5. Please email me with your interest so that I can begin to take a head count

Kensington Metro Park:

A short video about the course can be found here: @ Just Finish