Race: Fat Dog 120 – http://www.mountainmadness.ca/fatdog.php

Runner: Dave S

Date: 8/12/2016 – 8/13/2016

Location: Manning Park, BC

Results – 35:53 – 32nd overall (112 finishers)

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most

Beautiful scenery! This area of Canada is remote and beautiful. It’s hard to pick your head up and look around later in the race, but it’s worth it!

Course markings were amazingly good – never questioned if I was on the course, even though there were times we were off trail

The challenge – this was the hardest thing I’ve ever put myself through. I talked to a few people on the course that had done Hard Rock and said this was harder. Not sure about that, but definitely a challenge! 122 miles with almost 30k elevation gain and loss and a 49 hour cutoff is a LOT!

dave s fat dog2Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

It hurt! I pushed a little too hard the first day, and had bad blisters that I should have drained sooner. The last climb is the worst with lots of biting flies and mosquitos.

HOT – This course seems to either be super hot, or super stormy. I got a hot year with highs in the 90s and lows overnight in the 60s. I felt hot the entire race. I think it would be better to get some heat training in ahead of this race.

Required gear – I get it… you have to be prepared. That said I had to carry way more gear than I needed. My pack going out of aid stations was probably 20-25 pounds.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race

We had perogies and avocado quesadillas in remote sections of the course… great aid stations!

Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular

When it finally cooled off a little at night I felt great and moved up around 20 places (to 6th) by mile 80.

I never pushed my legs too fast and was able to avoid muscle damage.

I stayed mentally strong the entire time, despite facing some really challenging times late in the race.

dave s fat dog3Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Keep it really easy the first day! You can really make up a ton of time later in the race. REALLY!!! You almost can’t go too slow the first day!

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Heat is a weakness for me. Next time I have a race I’ll spend some time specifically preparing myself for heat.

I’ll carry a needle to drain blisters next time. I spent way too much time in pain with big blisters on the balls of both of my feet.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Lots of long climbs and long descents.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

Definitely – worth bringing a camera to take pics. A good strategy to help slow yourself down that first day.

Difficulty – is it a tough course

Um… yeah, you could say it was difficult.

Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Very organized and well run!

Competition – is there a strong field?

Not the strongest field as this is still a fairly new race. That said it is gaining in popularity.

dave s fat dog5Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Nothing too special, other than you really have to prepare yourself for this race. Both from a training perspective, and dialing in your gear, drop bags, crew, etc.

Aid Stations

Really impressive aid stations, although some are as far as 13 miles apart.

Weather and typical race conditions –

Either really hot, or stormy with hail and cold temps.

Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

You have to carry a lot at all times (including room for 2-3 liters of water, 2 headlamps, waterproof, seam taped pants and hooded jacket, cap, warm hat, gloves, warm shirt, plus more).

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

If your friends are open to some long drives they can see you about every 20 miles (except 40-80, which for me happened to be overnight). My crew put over 700 miles on driving to different aid stations!

dave s fat dog4Awards –

Yes… didn’t pay attention to what the leaders get. The buckle is nice. I also got a nice shirt and hoodie.

The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it

5/5 stars! If I don’t get into Hard Rock or Western states I’ll be back next year!

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