Sunday, July 20, 2008

Matt's Fat Ass 100k report

I did not even come close to 100k. At 40 miles I told the guys "I am done"

But that is OK, because I ran until I pretty much could not run anymore. At Afton State Park, that happens faster as the hills just suck you dry.... especially after 8 hours of running.

Wondering how to have a great time on a Friday night? Send a message out to the MN Dead Runners asking to join in an all night run. See how many show up.

Well, a lot showed up. All at different times, which made it a blast. Here is the list of all who made it for some time.

Bill Parker
Steve Quick
Zach Pierce
Jim Wilson
Andrew Scobie
Pete Anderson
Helen Lavin
Phillip Gary Pierce
Karen Gall

....and maybe John Storkamp. Never saw him, but we heard a runner with a flashlight wearing a thong was looking for us. Pete says he saw him, so we will count him.

Did I bite off more than I could chew? Yes. But sometimes that is how my training works. Now I know if I can go back in a few weeks and do what I intended to do Friday night, I know i made marked improvement and will gain confidence. I just would have spent most of the miles past 40 walking, and that would have taken forever. So I decided to come back with more strength. Not sure when, but this time I will give a few weeks notice and bring more coffee for Kami.

For those non "crazy" runners who read this, you have a mission. Spend at least 1-2 hours some time in the dark running at Afton Park. It is truly amazing, beautiful, etc.

We saw the orange moon rise above the St. Croix river. We ran across the Africa Loop plains just as it was getting dark, and it was majestic. Many times we would look into the dark woods, only to see glowing eyes staring back at us. That was cool!

We saw:
A vulture? The wing span was at least 6-8 feet
Bald eagles - one looking for dinner standing on the beach
A raccoon - perched in a tree in the dark with an evil stare.
Other stuff

All in all, it was a great time. After two loops of running, Pete and Andrew met us in the parking lot. I was drained, Jim was still fresh, and I was stalling going back out until I had more energy.

Then the party wagon pulls up (it is around midnight at this point). Out comes Helen, Kami, and Eric. Well, the Helen and Kami show is quite amusing. They gave us a good kick through the snowshoe loop. After that they dropped us like a ton of bricks.

By 2 am I was pretty beat, and at 3 am, I was done.

Jim and I went back to the parking lot and set up camp waiting for the crew to return. We made coffee, ate gummy bears, etc.

Up pulled Phillip and Karen, ready to go for some running. I said "I am done"

There were some funny events during the run, but I have already rambled, so they will be told at another time. But, it was a little scary seeing a large shadow at the top of the long dirt road. It had just become dark. Turns out it was 2 lost horseriders.


I thought it was a bear for a second.

Stay tuned for the 2nd all night Fat Ass. Need to do it before Superior.


Anonymous said...


congrats on your first attempt. Last June (4th?) Alicia and I gave the Afton 100K a try, we made it 3 1/2 loops, a little over 55 miles, before we packed it in around midnight. We ran/walked from 6am to midnight, alot slower that you were trying for. Probably would have took us another 2 hours in the shape we were in, or about 20 total hours elapsed time. We took some pretty rightous parking lot breaks, sometimes 45 min to an hour. It was a great time nonetheless, we learned alot, and it got Alicia ready for her first 100 finish at Vermont, and me for my first 100 finish at Superior. I shouwer up at 8am, thinking I might run the last loop with you... it was not to be. maybe next time.
Jason Husveth

phillip said...

Zach Pierce is probably still turning cartwheels 'cross the Floor, skipping the light Fandango, after finally learning through your Blog, after all of these years, that he and I (Phillip Gary Pierce) are related.

I can only tell you that the Smith side of the Phillip Gary family is only too happy to hand me off to any willing household.

No questions required.

Maybe if I can become a Pierce I will be able to get by you, Matt, on the trails?

Phillip Gary (Smith)

Runnin-from-the-Law said...

Sounds like it was a great night, even if you didn't get as far as you wanted. I've never tried night running. Or trail running, for that matter. The more I read your blog (and the blogs of the other trail/ultra runners), the more I think I will give it a try though. Sounds super fun.

I have a hard time getting a kitchen pass to get my 2 or 3 hour runs in, I don't know how I would ever get one for 8 hour runs (even if it was at night when normal people are sleeping).

keith said...

congrats on your 100K attempt! You'll only learn from this. It sounds like lots of fun!

Carl Gammon said...

Sounds like a blast. I'll have to keep an eye out for the next one.

Delane said...

sounds like a blast....well the camradarie part :-)

Running at night freaks me out...all the critters come out at night, but it is really peaceful.

Helen said...

Matt - great to run with you Friday night. I am still laughing when I think of the coversation. And there was Andy & Pete thinking they needed to keep your spirits up on your 3rd loop...

We're planning to head out there either Aug 1 or 2nd so I hope that works out for you and others. We'll contribute supplies this time!!

SteveQ said...

Given the conversation we had on the first loop, I can only imagine what the third was like! If those two were still on horseback at midnight, they must've REALLY been lost.

MN Ultra Runner said...

Way to drop the ball and wuss out after only 40. Just kiddin buddy, great run! Hopefully we can do your final all-night run, and my first all-night run, together.

Andrew said...

Thanks for putting out the invite. It was a beautiful night to be out.

I'll bring some scones to go with the coffee next time.

Steve said...

Great effort on your Afton Fat Ass. I've been putting in some night miles lately myself due to time constraints. Hopefully I can make it out on your next attempt. And no shame on not finishing 4 loops. Afton is a killer and always beats me up good. You're doing the right thing by training at Afton for Superior. Best of luck!