On December 10, 2005, the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club held its annual fat ass run, this year, the Potchari Hippu 50 km (that’s polite Japanese for “fat ass” more or less).
The day started out very cold, but clear and calm. There were a couple of inches of snow on the ground but that snow was, for the most part, easy and pleasant to run on. As the day wore on, the snow softened, but did not get slushy. It was a perfect winter day for running.
Exactly 100 people started the event. Ok, there was nothing exact about the record keeping process, but that’s a pretty good number. Also, several people were still warming themselves in the dining hall when the gun went off. As usual, VHTRC insiders led the way down the hill.
The starting field was certainly more than the first few Bull Run Runs. The club has come a long way. But some things stay the same. Joe and Anstr, for example, were wearing some of the same clothes they wore at the very first VHTRC fat ass, le Grande Dierriere, in 1992. The big question was whether they had laundered those clothes in the intervening years. Most didn’t want to get close enough to find out.
As usual, the official fat ass promise of “no aid” was broken. There was plenty of sustenance at the Marina and the Do Loop aid stations as well as hot pizza at the end. The Do Loop aid station also had its usual “special treat” put out by a person whom we will identify only by his initials, “Gary Knipling.”
Some people ran pretty fast, but since this was not really a run and because this reporter was too far back to even see the winners at the finish festivities, we will not report on that. The back of the pack, however, had a lot of fun and performed admirably. There were even two back-of-the-packers who did the Do Loop twice.
The results this year set a new low for reliability. Why? Because many of you have horrible handwriting. If you think there is a problem with your time, place, or number of miles, take a penmanship class. Don’t complain to us.
While this is a “hang loose” deal, it still requires a lot of work. Joe Clapper organized the whole thing including the dining hall and the pizza. Derrick Carr, Gary Knipling, and Bob Phillips set out the aid and marked the Do Loop. Most importantly, Carolyn Gernand helped clean up while others found excuses not to help her as they wound the party down. Thanks for all you folks did.
To all who participated, thanks again for coming and, from the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club, “Happy Trails!”