Yesterday was the 28th edition of the annual Tiger Mt. Fat Ass Trail Run. One of the event’s founders, Ron Nicholl, still organizes the event with a crew of volunteers who put out Christmas ornaments as route markings.
Fat ass runs are unofficial, loosely organized challenges in a fun, friendly, mildly-competitive atmosphere. To emphasize the unauthorized, unofficial, and low-key vibe of the Tiger Mt. Fat Ass, the mantra chanted by members of the Seattle trail running community is that “this is a run that never happens, and no one was there.”
Participants write their names, distances, and comments in a notebook at the start/finish area. Due to rain, cold hands, and tired bodies, the log book is always difficult to decipher, but as of now here is what we know:
25K: 155 + 6 who did not sign in/out
22-24 mi.: 4
8-11 mi.: 8
Total: 176 + 6 who did not sign in/out
Ron thinks this is a new record number, but he has yet to verify. Uli Steidl is the current 50k record holder. Yesterday’s youngest runner was 15, and finished the 25k in 2:54.
Ron hung out in the staging area as folks finished the 25K.
“It was very impressive to see them come in waves. Lots of finishers came at once.”
“Everyone was very appreciative of this low-key event. That always makes the work worthwhile. No one complained about the conditions. They are true ultrarunners, and besides the mud (which seemed worse than ever this year), there was snow and sleet at the top.”
“I always like the looks on people’s faces when I see 8:00 on my watch, wave my hand and say ‘go.’ I didn’t even give instructions this year. Many look at each other and laugh at the informality. This is definitely a fat ass style event!”