Saturday, February 7, 2015

Fat Ass Rockstar Marathon, Race Report

Raise your hand if you ran the Fat Ass.
Raise your hand if you ran this year's Fat Ass Rock Star Marathon.  Now take that hand and slap it repeatedly against your other hand and extend it to local rockstar Rheal Poirier for making it all happen. Lou Reed's "take a walk on the wild side" might be a fitting theme for this wild ride of a mid-winter marathon We danced feral on the wild side and, like the Fat Ass Full Moon in November, there's no looking back. The Fat Ass Rockstar is a unique, mid-January marathon along the trails of Winnipeg, Canada. 

"This is a low key, no fee, no support, bring your own water/food trail run along the Red and Assiniboine rivers" explains Rheal. 
Running Feral along the Seine River
Fifty-seven runners huddled at the start line at the foot of the Esplanade Riel and fifty-six runners crossed the finish line some hours later. Nine people ran the full marathon distance, forty-six ran the 10 kilometer, and two good looking guys ran a full marathon relay. 

A most affirmative nod goes to The Turtle Crew for their spectacular presence and joie de vivre.  One cannot help but smile in their company. What they may lack in speed they gain tenfold in heart.  

It's a good day to be alive, right Turtles?
A supreme nod of thanks is directed to the two rockstar volunteers, Bob Nicol and Doris Nelson. They placed themselves strategically along the course providing direction and encouragement. Twenty-six miles is a lot of ground to cover for two volunteers and they pulled it off admirably.  Thank you Bob. Thank you Doris.

Rheal was planting flags along the course well after midnight before the race, arrived at the start line before sunrise and stayed on course well past 6PM ensuring everyone crossed the line safely. He worked tirelessly preparing, organizing, planning, mapping, scouting, making a web page and on and on.  I'd like to tell you he made a few dollars for his trouble, but no. The only pay he received is the smiles and high fives of the fifty-seven runners. Rheal is passionate about trail running and wants only to share his love of this most contagious sport. 

He even took the time to answer several questions from a most pesky blogger herein referred to as MPB.

(MPB) Were there unexpected incidents?

(RP) For the 10 K everything went relatively smooth with the exception of a few runners not getting their "rock star". We didn't quite have enough volunteers and so we spread ourselves a little thin. I was a little nervous about this event at the beginning as I had a few people contact me beforehand saying they weren't good with directions but everyone made it to the finish safe and sound. As for the marathon we only had one person drop out. The last guy to finish took a few shortcuts and we didn't know he finished until he texted us that he finished the event. We're glad he made it to the finish line.

(MPB) Who placed first?

(RP) I have not idea who came in first. There are no real placements anyway. There are no results other than happy people who just ran an event.  It's just a reason for people to go out and enjoy.  

(MPB) What are the names of the volunteers?

(RP) Volunteers were Doris Nelson and Bob Nicol. Both were absolutely fantastic and went the extra mile the entire day. 

(MPB) What's your post race ritual? 

(RP) I don't really have a particular ritual for myself. Usually I try to clean and organize everything after the event and check on facebook to see the kind words people have said about my event.  I didn't have anything set-up post race for this event for the participants. On my half marathon night runs I've invited everyone to get together for a drink at a pub afterwards. I like socializing with my runners. I've gotten to know so many people that way. This event was a little tricky to have a post race get together. I hope some people managed to hang out after the fact. 

(MPB) Is there anyone you would like to thank? 

(RP) Everyone for showing up and showing me that people not only love to run trails but aren't afraid to run them during the winter months. I also want to thank my volunteers. Without them I would not have been able to pull the event off. I want to thank the people who shared and helped promote my event. I just found out that a mommy running group was actively posting my event on their facebook group. I find that amazing. 

Lastly I'd have to thank my wife for putting up me when I spend so much time creating the route, scouting, creating maps, creating a registration page, putting flagging and sweeping the course. It's amazing the amount of time it takes to create and event like this. It's my labour of love but it's my wife's patience and understanding with me that allows me to spend time on these passions.

You contribute to the fabric of our fine community.
Rheal, you contribute to the fabric of our fine community, indeed, you help build community. You brighten and lighten our lives. You are THE quintessential rockstar!

Only Rheal knows for sure.
Will there be another Fat Ass?  Only Rheal knows for sure.

It's a good day to be alive... dancing feral along the twisty trails of MY Winnipeg.