19 January 2013

2013 Ponderous Posterior

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”  - C.S. Lewis

Today, I participated in an annual event put on by CRUD (Coloradans Running Ultra Distances), the Ponderous Posterior Fat Ass Run.  This type of run is often an ultramarathon, on trails with minimal or no on-course support.  It’s put on by runners and anyone interested can come and run as much of the course as they wish.  Usually these occur in winter giving runners an opportunity to meet up with friends (old and new) and enjoy the trails together.  The motto is No Fees, No Awards, No Whining.  

I was excited to participate as it would be my first time running 25 trail miles (20 was my max).  There would be more than 5,400 feet of vert to add to the challenge (yeah, baby!!) so I knew that this would be a fun event to be a part of.  Also, it would fit perfectly into my training schedule for The Red Hot 55k (34 miles, 4100 ft/vert), coming up in four weeks.

I hooked up with some of the women I've been running with recently and we brought a Denver newbie into our little group.  With a typical low-key start we were off to Red Rock Canyon with the 7 am wave which I estimate between 40-50 runners.
L-R: "Denver Jenn", Sandra, Lori, Lynne, Me & Rebekka
I managed to keep that silly grin on the entire run
Most of the ladies planned to take a little slower pace and do around 15 miles. So I ended up running with Rebekka and another group of runners that we caught up with about 4 miles in as we headed into Cheyenne CaƱon.  We all stuck together for the remainder of the course.  One of them, Paul DeWitt, is a former ultrarunner-turned-endurance coach with wins at Leadville 100, San Juan Solstice 50 and Red Hot 50k.  First micro-celebrity meeting of the day: check.  I enjoyed getting to know my new running friends and hope to run with some of them again soon.
Paul & the girls -- Holly, Laura, Dusty & Rebekka
Notice all the runners in shorts?  I had dressed expecting the weather to progress from 14° wind chill to 50°, per last night's forecast.  Imagine my surprise when I got to JT's and noticed that my car's thermometer read 40°!  My tights didn't end up being uncomfortable, especially since I had worn my Way2Cool Shirt as my base layer.  Best.Running.Top.Ever.  
Wrong attire for 90% of this run
On the Columbine Trail around 10 miles
The sole aid station at mile 12 was surprisingly well-stocked with soda, chips, cookies and other sundry goodies.  I got my handhelds refilled and met a couple more micro-celebs, Nick Clark, Nick Pedatella and ultrarunning's ambassador, Scott Jurek.  I enjoyed a brief chat with Sir Nick around the feed table, before taking off to finish the last half of the course.  
I ran with the fasties for two feet
As the elites went on by, we settled into our non-elite pace and got down to business.  My feet were hurting so I had no intention of lollygagging.

I have to say at this point that I'm officially banning my Mountain Masochists from any run over 15 miles.  There's not enough cushioning for the hours of pounding my feet are taking.  It's too bad because they have great stability and tread and most important, they are the coolest looking running shoes I've ever owned.  What's the point of running in cool clothes if your shoes don't look rad??  Sheesh.
Top of Section 16 - mile 21
Looking toward Garden of the Gods - mile 22
That little speck is me (Photo: Paul DeWitt)
The last half went like this: we hiked up and ran down, over and over until we finally ran down for good and ended back at JT's house.  Along the way, we ran into another group of young ultrarunners, a couple of which I recognized from all the blogs I read.  Would that make them nano-celebrities?  

I finished 25.3 miles in a run time of 5:48.  It was fun to be out there enjoying new trails and meeting new people that want to do crazy stuff like ultras.

Shout out to JT for hosting and to all the CRUDsters for a beautiful and well-marked course.  I'll be back next year, for sure.

This has nothing to do with today's blog, but it's been an earworm of mine, so I'll share the love.  You're welcome.
Happy Trails,



  1. Very nice post, Shelby, congrats on a tough run! These mtns ain't nuthin' to sneeze at, esp chained together into 25 miles. We had a fun time on the "Half-Ass"--maybe next year I'll get up the courage for the full Ass!--Lori

    1. Half-ass or full-ass, you ladies rock the trails. I'm inspired to see you & Lynne out there each week stomping it out. I wanna be just like you when I grow up...