After taking a hiatus in 2020 for the Covid pandemic, Catherine’s Fat Ass returned for 2021. It was a rather triumphant return, at that. Race day featured some of the mildest weather in recent memory for this mid to late July ultra calendar staple. The runners took advantage and seemed to really enjoy being back on this challenging course, with over 90% finishing. Congratulations to the men’s podium finishers: Aaron Shapiro, Andy Stravers and Matthew Smith, all of whom finish in under 6 hours. The women’s podium features Heather Dougherty, Blair Petrilli and Emily Warner, all of whom finished in the top ten overall and also within three minutes of each other!
But there were so many winners on this day. In particular, the Beagle Group needs to be acknowledged. Several runners encountered three stray beagles on their climb up the Purple Trail after their second pass through the Furnace aid station. Seeing that these were not hunting dogs but instead young dogs that had been abandoned in the woods, these runners were determined to bring them out so that they could find a better fate. Jimm Ouellette not only gave up his hydration pack for use as a beagle papoose for the female in the greatest distress, but had to give up his race as a result. The others, including Sara Davidson, Joseph Nah, Laurel Lundstrom, Gaynor Bourgeois, and Deb and Leah Cawthorn, eventually carried or led all three back to the finish. Jimm had contacted the local Page County no-kill shelter for pickup and a required five-day quarantine prior to adoptions. Rumor has it that runners plan to adopt the CFA beagles, if a planned local joint adoption that would keep all three pups together does not pan out.
Big thanks to a great crew of CFA volunteers who manned the four aid points along the course, helped mark and sweep the trails and then put on the traditional post-race cookout party-in-the-parking lot at the finish!
Check back for more details and the race splits later this week; please email Q if there are errors in the tabulated results.