Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fremont Fat Ass 50K January 27, 2008

Fremont, California

Friday night before the run we had a deluge of rain in the San Francisco Bay Area. I thought of calling people to tell them that the run was off. But on Saturday morning I awoke to clear skies. As I drove down highway 13 on my way to Fremont the morning sun was gold, the sky a blinding blue.. It made me think that I was in a Wayne Thieubaud landscape: half urban and half forest suggesting infinite possibility.

Shortly after I arrived at Quarry Lakes Regional Park in Fremont the rest of the runners gathered. Many we knew; a couple had learned about the run through Catra Corbett’s blog. We recognized the vehicle of a couple of early starters.

Catra Corbett and I, with help from some friends, have spent the past couple of years trying to figure out a 50K course, adding mileage here and there to get a full 50K (it hailed on us one day when we were in the middle of the course). The course consists of two long straightaways with a loop inside Coyote Hills Regional Park—a place frequented in the past by the Ohlone Indians and where one of their shell mounds remains as a protected archeological site.

The course is a mix of urban neighborhoods: Niles (the place where Charlie Chaplin made some of his early movies), Union City, Fremont, and Newark. Towards Coyote Hills the housing tracts give way to verdant green fields dotted with bright yellow mustard plants. Southern Alameda County is known for the variety of birds that gather here.. We saw flocks of Canadian geese, ducks, and stately egrets who stood in perfect stillness at the side of the road. At times we were just a few feet from an egret; you could see the wind lightly brush their white feathers.

The vast parking at Quarry Lakes and the crushed gravel composition of the Alameda Creek Trail makes this a perfect 50K for the winter. During the rainy season when most of the trails in the East Bay become too muddy for running, the Fremont 50K gives ultrarunners an opportunity to get in a long run.

Among the participants this year were a Superior Court Judge, a PhD in Physics and a PbD in Chemistry. Sanctification from such degreed individuals gives impetus to make this “fun” run into an actual race.

Special thanks go to Jerry Roninger who made colorful and intricately detailed course maps that would be the envy of any race director.


January 27, 2008

Fremont, California

35.5 miles

Chihping Fu 7:00 (5:30 at the 50K point)

33.57 miles

1. Rob Byrne 5:14

2. Mark Tanaka 5:15


1. Brian Koo 4:50

2. Steve Ansell 4:57

3. Clare Abram 5:14

4. Scott LaBerge 5:14

5. Mike Palmer- 5:41

6. Catra Corbett 5:44

7. Dave Wright 5:49

8. Ernesto Matasol 5:54

9. Ramona Vogt 5:59

28 Miles

1. Barb Ellia 6:00

2 Linda McFadden 6:00

3. Scott Fulton 6:40

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fremont Fat Ass 50k.....
We had a great turn out for the 2nd annual FFA 50k. Of course half of you wimped out thinking it was going to rain...HAA HAA it didn't.
We all had fun and I think the only two people who were complaining on the corse were the two people who ran Ultras last week Ernesto who ran a 50k and me who ran a 100k.

front:Catra, l to r, Mike Palmer, Mark Tanaka, Ernesto Matal Sol, Steve Ansell
top row l to r, clare Abram, Scott LaBerge, Romona Voyt, Rob Byrn, Scott Fulton, Chiping Fu & Brian Koo

Brian leading the pack at the Niles turn around.
Steve Ansell fast and furious. Chiping in the background
Ramona leading Mike & Scott under the bridge.

FREMONT FAT ASS 50K finishers.

1. Brian koo- 4:50

2. Steve Ansell-4:57

3. Rob Byrn- (33.57 m) 5:14

4. Mark Tanka (33.57) 5:14

5. Clare Abram 5:14

6. Scott LaBerge-5:14

7. Mike Palmer-5:41

8. Catra Corbett-5:44

9. Dave Wright-5:49

11. Barb Ellia- (28) 6:00

12 Linda McFadden-(28) 6:00

13. Scott Fulton-(28) 6:40

Ernesto, Rob, Mark, Catra & Chiping
Mark lubing up in Dairy glen. You gotta do what cha gotta do ;)
Heading to Coyote hills for the loop.
Mission Peak in the distance, beautiful Mustard field,
Posing with the Alameda creek sign

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Getting water along the way
Yes pacing was aloud, Chiping Fu with his son. Notice his son's bike matches Chipings shirt.
Ernesto Matal Sol & Me. Ernesto is usually really fast but told me he hates the flat trails. He ran a 50k last week and me a 100k so we pushed each other along and complained about how sore we were..LOL
Mike Palmer, Dave Wright(backwards Dave) & me. Dave likes to run the trail in reverse. We allow it all at the FFA 50k.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fremont Fat ass 50k. January 26 at 8am be there or be square..................

You've probably heard that the MiWok 100K filled within 15 minutes. Registering for ultras has become as competitively vicious as the New York Stock Exchange!

If, like me and my homegirl Catra, you didn't get into an event that you always want to do, we offer this alternative that is truly the bomb: the Fremont 50K on 1/26/08.

Here's some basic information on the run. There's more parking there than at Gibson Ranch or Squaw Valley or (dare I say it?) Rodeo Lagoon.


The Fremont 50K for 2008 will occur Saturday 1/26, at 8AM at Quarry Lakes Regional Park in Fremont. We'll start from the Quarry Lakes Parking area near the Ensenada Picnic Area (turn RIGHT immediately after you pass through the park entrance). The parking fee is $5.00; the parking lot at Quarry Lakes is the size of the lot for a major Big Box Retail shopping center so I think everyone will be accommodated. There are restrooms and drinking fountains near the large pagoda covered picnic areas.

If you don't want to pay the park entrance fee, you may be able to park at the Isherwood Staging Area--although this place tends to fill up if the weather is nice.

These are the directions to reach Quarry Lakes:

From I-880 in Fremont, take the Decoto Road exit east and proceed to Paseo Padre Parkway. Turn right on Paseo Padre, then left on Isherwood Way. Proceed to the park entrance on the right. From Mission Blvd (Hwy. 238) in Fremont, turn south on Nursery Ave. (away from the hills) and right (west) on Niles Blvd. Turn left on Osprey Drive and left on Quarry Lakes Drive. Proceed to the park entrance on the left.

You can learn more about this park by going to the EBRPD website:


You'll need to be self-supported for this run. Drinking water and restrooms are available at Quarry Lakes, Niles Community Park, a park in Union City that's just off the Alameda Creek Trail, and in Coyote Hills.

These are the websites for the Alameda Creek Trail and Coyote Hills:

Please let me know if you're interested in this run. I hope to see some of you there that Saturday. I expect about 20 runners. We'll have some maps there but not enough for everyone; I suggest running in a group as much as possible.

I'd really appreciate anyone who has a GPS to bring it along so we can get several measurements of the course. We're still thinking about making this into an official wintertime 50K race.

Feel free to call me if you have questions--work is the best place--and the number is below. My cell phone is (510) 384-2012.