Ok, so it has been listed as a FAT ASS event, what does that mean?

The name comes from Joe Oakes of the San Francisco Bay Area, who organised a training run “Recover from the Holidays Fat Ass 50” the idea being that after a little holiday overeating there was a need to reduce the “fat ass”;

In the fall of 1978, Joe Oakes was on a solid streak of running, having completed four marathons in an eight week period. Joe had his sights set on a fairly new event in California, the Western States 100 miles. Only 15 people had earned a silver belt buckle at Western States and Joe wanted to join that select group. In order to qualify for Western States, Joe needed a 50 mile qualifying time. He explains: “There were no 50 mile races in the Bay area at that time of year. “There was, however, a seven-person relay race, on the Pacific Coast highway from Half-moon Bay to Santa Cruz. Race officials would not let me enter as an individual, so I sent in an entry with seven different names: Joe Oakes, Joseph Oakes, J. Oakes, etc. You get the idea.”
Oakes qualified for Western States, going on to earn his buckle. The seeds had been sown however, for Fat Ass races. “We decided to put on our own low-key race around the holidays after that,” says Oakes. ‘Things layoff around the holidays, so that’s how we came up with the name. It was kind of a macho thing, all for fun.” The spirit of the Fat Ass races is what really matters to Oakes. “There is so much greed and so much money in sports these days,” says Oakes, adding, “there is not a nickel involved in any of these events. You just show up and run. It’s very simple.”

This lead into the FAT ASS philosophy;

“No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps.”

This means that it is not an official, sanctioned race. There will be no road closures, there will most likely be no aid stations, there will be no course markers, and you will need to be self sufficient. There is no guarantee of anything other than a course to run.

What seems to remain a common approach for all FAT ASS event is that they give runners a chance at a challenging long run in a fun, friendly atmosphere without all the trappings of a highly organized event. Fat Ass runs typically serve as training runs and social events for those more committed runners.


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