Fat Ass is not your typical race where you register to run a certain distance. It is time based rather than distance based where you can opt to run for 6, 12, 24, or 36 hours around a 2.2k loop and rest whenever you want to do so. The goal of the run is not to compete with other runners nor see who runs fastest or farthest. It’s for you to see how far you can and you are willing to go. It also promotes camaraderie among fellow runners. Fat Ass 2012 was held last January 7-8 at the Clark Parade Ground. Runners were asked to log in their names on a score board every after completing a loop to keep track of the total distance covered by the end of the event.
IF YOU WANT TO GO FAST, RUN ALONE. IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR, RUN TOGETHER.
I found out about the run because of my friend. It was normal for us to join fun runs (spontaneously) every weekend since he was then training for his 160km Bataan Death March. I was caught by surprise when he told me he registered me for the 24 hour run. I told him that I was willing to go with him but I’ll join the 6 hour run instead and wait for him to finish. He convinced me by saying that I don’t have to run the entire time, I can rest whenever I want, I can walk, I can sleep, yadayadayada. So eventually, I agreed.
The week before race day: Carbo loading week (yay!) Ate at Sambokojin with one of my best friends. Good food, good company, and the best part, it’s guilt-free knowing that I have 24 hours to burn all the calories (haha!) BUT I made sure I don’t eat anything that would make my stomach upset. I stick with the food that I’m familiar with. Like what they always say, never try something new the week before the big day.
Race day: We left for Pampanga at around 2 in the morning. I only had about 3 hours of sleep the previous night, so I ended up sleeping on the way there. Upon arrival, we bought food for the entire day and set up our own tent along with the other runners. Originally, my friend was planning to complete an 80k run for the entire duration so that his milage is at least half of what he is preparing for. When we got to talk to one of the organizers, sir Don, he advised my friend to raise it up to 120k if he’s training for his 160 BDM. He asked me what my goal was, and since I have never done a full marathon before that, I wanted to at least complete 42km by the end of the day.
6:00am start of the run (24 more hours to go, oh yeah)
And so, the 24-hour run begins. I ran the first 10 loops (22km) straight at a steady pace, slower than my usual 21k pace (knowing that I have to reserve my energy for the rest of the day) with hydration stops in between. After the first 22k, I rested for about 45mins, leaving my friend running. I told him I’ll join him again after about 3-5 loops. When I felt like I have rested enough and when I saw that the sun is not yet that high, I started running again. This time, 5 loops (11k), break, 5 loops, break. It was already 2 in the afternoon when I reached 44km. I took a longer break to eat lunch and let my legs recover. It felt soooooo good to just lie down in the tent. From time to time, when I would log in my name, sir Don would ask how far I have gone. He said that I can still run further… that I should still run further and make the most out of it. So I decided to go for 50, or maybe 60…
GOING THAT EXTRA MILE FOR SOMEONE… LITERALLY.
The hardest part was during night time where almost all runners were eating dinner, camping out, getting their rest, and the like. “Why am I still running when I could be sleeping… in my bed… with my pillow…” (Oh, and it was the 2nd day of my time of the month. WHY OH WHYYYY. Of all the days) After 50 plus k of running (for me) and a ninety something kilometer (for my friend), I think I have gotten to know him more. From all his rants, to random topics, to moments of impact, and anything and everything under the sun (and the moon. HAHA) The more I did not want to leave him running alone. I could have stopped after reaching my own goal. But in that moment, I had to push myself beyond my limits and go those extra miles for this person.
The last 10 loops was the most difficult. With only 3-4 hours remaining, we still had to cover 20kilometers. Sounds easy for a normal half marathon, but completely a different story after 20hours of running. With only 5 loops remaining, it started to get more dragging. It took us about 30mins to complete one loop. The closer we get to finishing, the more dragging it seems. I was sleepy, tired, and lutang, and my legs were hurting but “I can’t stop now”. For one, I am not a quitter. More importantly, I had to be there for him. If I stop, I might discourage him. So I run.
6:00 am THE NEXT DAY
Double checked the log board… LSD COMPLETED! My friend was able to finish his 120km run while I, surprisingly, completed an 80km, which was initially his goal. Spent an entire day on the road. GOOD BYE HOLIDAY FATS! Hahaha!
With Carlito and Sir Jon after completing a 24-hour run