Today Larry Pederson, Race Director Extrordinare, held the ZBFA run. I believe this is the 4th year he has put on this wonderful run. Larry lives in Zumbro Falls, and about 20 minutes from his home is the Zumbro River Bottoms.
A "Fat Ass" run is one without a timer, entry fees, may or may not have aid or prizes. It's a group of people getting together to run..purely for fun.
The run today began whenever you wanted it to. Larry stated that the run wouldn't be timed so you could begin at 7 or later.
I set my alarm for 3 AM; headed out by 430 and still didn't arrive by 7AM. I arrived about 720. There were others milling about the 'assembly' area. Some had headed out, and some were still arriving.
The assembly area is near the river, down at the bottom of the bluffs, with outhouses and picnic tables. Larry had maps out of three different loops he had marked; the pink loop was 10 miles, the green loop was 7 miles and the orange loop was 7 miles. I think. I may have it confused by now. I was confused while I was running it!
If you ran 3 loops plus another of the 7 you'd have approximately 50K.
I was OK with running any distance. McNaughton is only 2 weeks out, I could train or not, at this point it really doesn't matter. I didn't care if I ran 10 or 30.
I, Maria and Greg grabbed the orange River loop maps and we were off.
Oh my gosh! We became turned around within the first mile! This loop was along the river, in the marshes and wetlands. We waded through the river-but made Greg go first incase it was over his head! He is much taller than I and Maria, and went right up past his thigh! Marie and I opted to follow the river a bit further down and cross where it looked to be knee height. Good practice for McNaughton as we cross 3 river crossings every 10 mile loop.
We ended up running most of this loop in reverse, as we somehow messed up the route. I was very thankful to be running with others. We think our 7 mile run on this loop was more like 10 miles as we kept missing turns and re-running the route. Or maybe that is just wishful thinking...
We ran back to the assembly area, filled our bottles, I grabbed a banana, chatted with others for a while, we grabbed a map of the pink route. OH! This was a beautiful 10 mile section.
Away from the river, we ran up up up the bluffs. The scenery was fantastic. The trails were pretty dry-there were some real real muddy and slippery sections, but the most part it was very good. Especially after we just ran that wet river section.
Larry had marked some bushwacking along the trail. We went straight down a bluff, I don't think it was even a deer trail, it was just Larry having fun with us. Down we went, straight down the incline with burrs and shrub and mud. We did have fun too.
Back down down down the bluff, down to the river bottom, just when I didn't think we could go any further down; down we would go. It was incredible. Then up up up the river bluff, to the top of the world. The overlooks were incredible!
We ran back to the assembly..didn't get turned around at all during the pink loop and then grabbed maps for the green section and off we went.
The green section went up even higher than the pink. We were on top of the bluffs and could see the river below, the farms, it was amazing. We didn't get lost on this loop either. We just had a fabulous run.
Back at the assembly we decided 27 some miles was enough. We sat around the fire and visited with about 10 other runner friends. We all talked about the trails, all of the work Larry puts into this just for us to have some fun, and how much fun we had.
We spoke of other races to come this summer, what are goals are, who is running what.
What an awesome day. It was wonderful to see everyone one again and to get that first spring long run in!