Wednesday, January 19, 2011

10th Annual Mega Fat Ass

Results are posted on the website. Please let me know if there are any changes needed.

There is never a dull moment at the Mega Fat Ass, with adverse weather and a tough course to contend with. The question came up why "Mega"? The prefix "Mega" came to mind when I originally created the MFA back in 2002 (10 years ago), thinking it was 10,000 ft of climbing (where probably only 6,000 ft) in somewhere "significantly" greater than 50k, I think only 2 finished the full Mega and the remaining half dozen starters finished the half Mega. But the second year came (in 2003) and we had almost 100 runners total, that made "Mega" have more meanings, such as more food support at the finish and more ways of getting donations to charities. And why still call it a "fat ass"...quick answer>> no awards, no frills, no tshirts, no sponsors, no aid station food, low costs that pays for the bare minimum and of course no whining! This year we managed to define "Mega" once again by having another tough course in the rainiest conditions ever. Thanks to all your additional donations, we were able to raise $500 to Friends of Capitol Forest. We are so pleased to have had so much support over the years, thanks to Friends of Capitol Forest and South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue for giving so much support!

This year, both courses were most likely longer than advertised, since we had to change it to Margaret McKenny campground but still keep the similar course that is planned for the 55K in April (that is still planned to start at Mima Falls). We realize the courses were long, but for this report, I will still refer to as the 17 and 34 miler. This year, we had a record braking runner participants of 150, between both races. The 17 mile had 101 finish out of 103 starters and the 34 mile had 43 finish out of 47 starters. John Bandur celebrated his 73rd birthday in the 17 mile and still managed to place 2nd Senior (60+) following Colvin Holm who was first senior.

There was some confusion about where the turnaround was for the 17 miler. This caused the leaders in the 17 milers to continue up the 34 mile course. But that didn't fool Linda Huyck who ended up leading the entire race back to only 100 yards from the finish. Brian Rakestraw heard the cow bells ringing and out-sprinted Linda to the finish but Linda's perseverance in leading the race and finishing 2nd overall deserves huge recognition. Other top runners include finishing 3rd Nick Triolo and 4th Don Wesley. The top women include Bonnie McReynolds for 2nd woman and Merita Trohimovich for 3rd woman.

The 34 mile finish was also exciting and deserve huge respect for surviving a much longer course than expected and much greater rainfall then this Mega Fat Ass has ever seen. The rain didn't start until after everyone had reached Capitol Peak, making it a long haul back to the finish. Mike Burke was the only senior to finish the 34 mile and still placed 16th overall! Yassine Diboun managed to finish 1st and got revenge on the Mega Fat Ass course from last year by running without getting lost! Yassine was followed by Justin Angle in 2nd and Seth Swanson who finished in a very respectable 3rd for his first ultra. The top women finishing in 1st was Shawna Tompkins, followed by Shawn McTaggart in 2nd and Candice Burt in 3rd.

Thanks to all the volunteers for the support out there! Here is a list of people that deserve our gratitude. There are many more people that might have chipped in that I was not aware of or can't remember and we thank for everyone's help. We couldn't do it without all our wonderful Volunteers!
South Sound Mobile Search and Rescue (stationed at the 3 checkpoints and finish)
Furnishing huge finishing tent and constant support throughout race day: David Snyder (founder of Friends of Capitol Forest)
Pre-race setup: Friends of Capitol Forest and Brent Warner
Registration: Roger Michel and Kris Ryding
Sweepers: Herb Reeves and Kris Ryding
Timers: Tony Seabolt (Narrows Bridge Running Club), Sean Sexton, and Brent Warner
Capitol Peak Station: Glenn Rogers and his son
Post-race food prep: my wonderful Mom and Dad (Bill and Helene Pearch), Jim Szmulia, Roberta Wood, Alexa Martin and most likely many more.
Course Marking: Olympia Trail Runners including Herb Reeves, Kris Ryding, Heidi Perry, Kelly, Dan Stacey, Dave Molenaar and many more that can't remember.
Thanks also to Route 16 Running and Walking for letting us borrow their clock for timing at the finish.
Thanks also to Tony Seabolt and Michael Scholl for all the wonderful photos! Tony's photos can be found at:
Thanks also to Michael Scholl's wonderful photography! Check out the Picaso site for Mikes photos.
Thanks also to UltraSignup and Mark Gilligan for allowing for free online registration, this helps tremendously organize our registration and results.

Also thanks to a few volunteers including Heidi Perry, David Mora and Jim Szumila
who helped at the trail work party on January 9, i.e., making water bars function better on race day!

We look forward in seeing you again soon at the Capitol Peak 50 mile and 55km Ultramarathons on Saturday April 30, 2011. Online registration is available at:

The Mega Fat Ass is apart of the Capitol Forest Triple Crown Series. Stay Tuned for results of the series:
Next race up is the Mountain Marathon and Hilly Billy 1/2 (hosted by Guerilla Running)

See you on the trails!

John Pearch
RD-Capitol Peak Ultras

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mega Fat Ass update 1/12/11

Are you ready for a mudfest, or what? This Saturday will definitely be a fun time in the mud, and most likely snow on the Peak. I can't tell you for sure what the trail conditions are like yet. But I will know more comes Friday after we mark the course. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for this weekends Mega Fat Ass Run.

Thank you for registering for the Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass on Saturday January 15, 2011. Reminder that the start is at 8:00 am at the Margaret McKenny Campground on the Southeast end of Capitol State Forest. PLEASE ARRIVE BY 7:30 a.m. to allow enough time to park and register. Driving directions can be found at: (those from Olympia might know the back roads to get to the start, but this is the directions closest to I-5)
Carpool if possible, parking is limited at the start!!

Please take note of the following:
1) Even though you have registered online, we will still need you to sign a waiver for the Washington St Dept of Natural Resources (DNR). This is a new requirement from DNR that everyone must sign, that is separate waiver from what you already checked online (see your email confirmation or click here for the waiver). For those under 18 please click this waiver for minors for parents or legal guardian to sign. There will also be a DNR waiver for you if you forget to bring it. Thank you for your patience when registering Saturday morning!

2) Please bring a minimum $5 and a roll of toilet paper. The $5 helps cover our insurance for the run that is required for our DNR permit. The roll of TP is to support DNR's needs during these hard budget times for restocking our use of TP for the event at Margaret McKenny and around Capitol State Forest. Please also make sure the registration volunteers know you are running. There is also a chance to donate at registration to Friends of Capitol Forest for all their continued trail work support in Capitol Forest.

3) The course is an out and back mostly on the Green line #6 trail with a small section on the Wadell Loop trail near the start. It will be marked with candy cane (red and white) flagging and some signs on trail at all trail junctions. Please take a look at the map and print if you want to have it on race day. We will NOT have any copies at the start:
However, please be ready for a course change comes race day. There is a 4 mile loop up on Capitol Peak this year (that includes the infamous grunt trail), but we are not sure if this will be runnable yet. I will announce if there are any course changes before the start on Saturday, based on our course marking on Friday.

4) Bring your own food and water bottles!!! There will be a drop bags that you can stash food and other gear in a bag (clearly labeled with your first and last name) which will be taken to the Falls Ck station (at 8.5 miles turnaround). If you're only doing the 17 miler, we encourage you to NOT put any valuable gear in this bag. The drop bags may not get back to the finish until AFTER 3:00 pm!! For 34 milers, the drop bag will also be there on your return so you could have some warmer cloths stashed and maybe some hand warmers for later up on the Peak. If we end up running the planned route, the return to Falls is about 25 mile, so in other words carry enough food to go 16 miles! And remember there is NO FOOD provided at Falls. There will be water at Falls and up on the Capitol Peak but don't expect a cup...bring your own bottle! And PLEASE pickup any trash you might accidentally drop or find along the trail.

5) Please bring food to share at the finish! There will be a bonfire and a stove to heat up soup or whatever else you want hot at the finish. We will provide Ramon noodles and hot coco but bring other goodies to share.

6) Camping is allowed at the Margaret McKinney campground. However, please park in designed camping areas and don't block the main road. There will be several of us camping there Friday night, but if you get there later on, the gate might be closed but won't be locked (dumby locked). Just please close the gate behind you after passing through the gate.

7) To make it worth your while to go the distance, there will be specific colored rubberband to pickup that show what distance you ran, either the 17 mile turnaround at Falls Creek or up at the Capitol Peak Towers (after the steep grunt climb 2nd climb up Capitol Peak). You can then show off to everyone at the post-run party your rubberband. Since this is a fat ass, timing is based on the honor system, so you will be responsible in writing down your time at the finish.

Reminder: If you are interested in also running the Capitol Peak 50 mile and 55Km on
April 30, 2011, save $10 and signup by 12:00 Midnight Sunday January 16, 2011. Here is the website:

This is our 10th year annual Mega Fat Ass and we thank everyone for your generosity in donating to Friends of Capitol Forest and coming to run in Capitol Forest. We also appreciate all the support from the Washington St Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) and all the volunteers, especially South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue and Friends of Capitol Forest. We could NOT put this fun run on without all their support!

See you on the trails this Saturday!

John Pearch -RD Capitol Peak Ultras