I went over the central Ohio area for a Fat Ass. This was the typical, no aid, no shirt, no timing, no whining, no wimps, etc FA. ( But there was a well stocked AS courtesy of Jay Smithberger.)
The FA was scheduled for 10 am. I decided I was going to get an extra loop in before the 10 am. I found the parking lot just fine and then found the trail. Jay had marked with pink ribbons, and I had no trouble following the markings on the first loop. It was raining pretty heavily on this loop, and I completed the 12.5 km distance in 1 hour 30 minutes. When I returned to the parking lot, folks were arriving. I changed shirts and hopped into the Lemke-mobile (I knew there were heated seats there!) to stay warm before the 10 am start.
People kept arriving and arriving! Pouring rain, and lots of runners! Around 40 runners! Bill Losey was one of them-sporting a Hardrock shirt!-it was good to see him. Jay said a few words about the trail, and we were off. I ran a few steps with Mikey. Then I was running with Suzanne. With our chatting, we missed a turn-which led us to run into Rob Powell and Michelle. Suzanne and I then did around a penalty loop of 1/2 mile. This then allowed us to run into Cheryl, Ron, and Thomas, and get to chat with them too.
Back at the vehicles, I changed and headed out before the others. We were supposed to reverse our direction-but I forgot. So I was alone, but kept running across other runners.
It had warmed up amazingly. I was in a singlet and my skirt. But as I got toward the end of the 3rd loop, it began to rain again, and the temperature dropped.
As I made it to my vehicle, the wind was blowing. I was glad to whip off the singlet and throw on a long sleeve merino shirt.
I got through around the first mile. Then the trail spun me out, to where I had been before. Mikey ran up right at this moment, as I was scratching my head. He informed me I had missed a turn, somewhere.
Well, crap. I went down the trail again, climbing up the big hill. Mark Carroll was coming down the hill-he had missed a section on his last loop, and was running it to "stay legal" . He advised me of where I had probably missed the turn.
I was a bit frustrated here, as I re-ran the trail. I resolved, if I missed the turn again, to head for home and get in around 28 miles. I was getting a bit hypothermic.
I did find the turn, and started down the last trail. Mark Carroll caught up to me about the half-way point and we ran the rest of the trail in together. It was very good to run with Mark. As he said, we run many of the same miles together, but hardly ever have a chance to chat. That made the time pass more quickly, and I finished the last loop (even with my bonus mile!) quicker than Loop 3.
So, 32.5 (ish) miles in the bank for January! Thanks to Jay Smithberger for suggesting this FA. His local trail was good and challenging-especially with the mud developing as the day went on!