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