Sunday, February 10, 2008

Los Gatos Fatass Marathon aka the Overgrown Fatass Results and Race Report

12K Distance

  1. Wendy Bernal - 1:25:15
  2. Jenny Chang - 2:00:00
  3. Sanjeev Mishra - 2:00:00
  4. Marco Garcia - 2:18
  5. Charles Degraw- 2:18
  6. Eleanor - 2:20

Half Marathon (22K) Distance

  1. Lourdes Cardona - 2:40
  2. Frank Kochinke - 2:40
  3. Tony Nguyen - 3:26 ** bonus miles

Marathon Distance

  1. Sean Lang - 4:22:25
  2. Jim Normile - 4:33:26
  3. Haiming Yu - 4:50
  4. Joe Murphy - 4:53
  5. Kyle Dando - 4:45.06
  6. Patrick Shuck - 4:56:40
  7. Mike Schuck- 4:58:06
  8. Jim Magill - 5:02
  9. Laura Murphy - 5:09
  10. Adam Blum - 5:14:59
  11. Vladimir Gusiatnikov - 5:20:41
  12. Keith Lubliner - 5:22
  13. Brian Hawkinson - 5:47 ** bonus mile!
  14. Christine Miller - 6:31
  15. Tom Kaisersatt - 7:09

I posted a few weeks back about my rationale of starting this race. Note that there is a new name. The race grew faster than I expected. Plus its run on the "Overgrown Trail" in Los Gatos. Hence its now (and in perpetuity) The Overgrown Fatass. (I don't know why I didn't think of this name before). It runs from downtown Los Gatos, at the Jones Trailhead in Novitiate Park, up Jones trail, to Alma Bridge Road, to the Overgrown (Limekiln) Trail. Then it climbs over 2000 feet on Limekiln Trail to the top of Mt. Sombroso. From there runners bomb down Woods TRail to Hicks Road and the border of Quicksilver Almaden Park. Returning back up the mountain, runners retrace their steps back to the Jones Trailhead. According to Keith Lubliner there is 5960 feet of climbing. I have seen 50Ks with more elevation change, but no marathons. Next year I am going to add a dogleg on Barlow Road towards the top of Mt. Umunhum to make it a 50K. My hope is to get the total climbing above 7000 feet.

The day before the race was sunny and actually a bit on the hot side. Luckily Sunday morning was still sunny, but now a bit chilly. Good running weather. I got to the Jones Trailhead with a vat of coffee, bagels and a case of water for the participants (yes, its supposed to a minimalist fatass race, but I like to underpromise and overdeliver). I met Haiming Yu around 8am as he headed out to do a 5 mile "warmup". As 9am approached, over twenty people were there at the start. I issued the fairly simple race instructions and sent the runners off at 9am exactly.

I took it easy at the start and tried to chat with each and every participant as we headed up Jones Trail. To my surprise I felt good despite my gimpy calf, and I worked my way to the very front where Sean Lang was setting the pace. Sean and I would run together for quite a ways. As we came to the top of Jones Trail, Jim Normile bombed down in front of us (as is his wont in many races). We reached Alma Bridge road and turned left where I had placed pink ribbons the day before. We then had about half a mile of rollers before reaching Overgrown Trail on the left (also marked with ribbons). Sean, Jim and I turned off the road on the Overgrown trail together. Sean and I pulled away on the uphill. But Jim and Haiming Yu were close behind. Sean and I got to where Overgrown meets Priest Rock and the water bottles that my friend Laurent had mountain biked up there were still there. We refilled filled our bottles from it, and took a picture.


Then onward and upward alongside the power poles, to the top of the mountain. After another half mile Haiming caught up to us and we ran together for a bit.


As we approached the turnoff to Kennedy near the peak, Kyle Dando caught up. Here's Kyle and Sean at the Kennedy Road intersection where Woods Trail starts, with Mt. Umunhum showing up in the background.


After we reached the highest point we started the steep decline down Woods Trail to Hicks. Sean eventually pulled ahead and I let him go. Jim Normile caught up as well as he excels at the descents and he and I ran together for a bit. When Kyle Dando came up Kyle and I ran together for a bit and caught up with Sean, before Jim passed all of us. Jim came in to the turnaround first, with Kyle, Sean and I shortly afterwards.


Brian Moore and Pavan were volunteering to give aid at the turnaround on Hicks. They were there with sports drink, water and chips stacked up on Brian's car trunk. This was a huge help! We couldn't have done it without those guys.

Sean and I left the aid station around the same time and ran together for a while. But my calf finally started twinging (I was pleasantly surprised that it had taken so long). So I slowed and let him go on ahead. On the grind back up to the top of the mountain, Haiming caught up again. As did the Shucks. As I approached the top my calf wasn't the only issue. I had clearly not brought enough gels. This was a good thing for training as I'm getting my body accustomed to running off of fat stores alone. But its a sure recipe for a slowdown. Thus, on the descent, I was passed by another three runners.

But I still enjoyed myself the whole time on this perfect day for a run. After bombing down for three miles, when I got back to the water stop at the Overgrown-Priest Rock intersection there was no water left, and bottles were missing. Clearly passersby must have been grabbing bottles. This surprised me. Next year, we need to have a dedicated aid volunteer at that spot. I finish bombing down the trail, stopping mountain bikers for water every once in a while. This got me back to Alma Bridge Road without dying from dehydration. Then back up the Jones Trail climb and back to the Novitiate Park/Jones Trailhead. I finished in 5:14:59.

Fifteen runners did the full marathon distance. The total distance turned out to be 26.6 miles with 5960 feet of climbing (thanks for the stats Vladimir). Sean Lang (who I always seem to run a few minutes behind at local ultras) won the race in 4:22.

Runners hung around in the perfect weather, watching other finishers, quaffing IPAs and raving about the beauty and challenge of the course. Despite its bootleg origins (and the assembled motley crew of sweaty beer drinking runners), the Park Rangers were friendly and helpful and even picked up bottles from the unattended aid stations before I could retrieve them. Amazing.

Again, thanks very much to Pavan Ramarapu, Brian Moore, Laurent Pfertzel, Wendy Bernal and Charles DeGraw for manning and stocking the aid stations and the finish.

Next year’s Overgrown Fatass will have a 50K option as well with even more climbing. If we climb Bald Mountain in the process it will of course be the Overgrown-Bald Fatass.


Blogger Brian Hawkinson said...

Thanks again Adam for organizing such a great run, although I was cursing your name around mile 16-19. I've never ran those trails before and I am happy that I did. And thanks to Brian and Pavan for their cheerful welcoming of us at the Hicks aid station as they refilled our water and supplied some sports drink. Great job all around.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Vladimir Gusiatnikov said...

Thanks Adam! Nice to be back on Woods and Limekiln after oh four years. Thanks to Brian and Pavan, and the beer was the icing? it sure was icy. Mmm... Lagunitas.

10:52 AM  
Blogger kyle said...

Thanks again for coordinating this race. I mentioned this race satisfied a life-long desire to run these trails. I am glad I found out about this race. I really appreciated running beside excellent people.

Top 3 things I will remember:
3. Running to Umnum...Childhood goal.

2. Haiming Yu provided me some of his precious Water at 22 miles!(I was seeing *Stars* at that point)

1. Jim Normile... He provided me encouragment and inspiration!

9:22 AM  

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