The Gunks are my favourite place to run. This is partially due to the fact that I went to college at SUNY-New Paltz, where I regularly trained on these beautiful trails. I have so many happy memories of running around these trails, from then and from when Crista and I trained for our first 50 miler.
Super awesome Jeff organized a Gunks 50k Fatass; last year, Jeff, Ray and I had run the course, and had a blast. This time I recruited three of my fabulous teammates from NBR, Erin, Des, and Helen, and got to run with others, like Chris Jaworski, and new friends Jim, Jim, Lisa. This group ran the first 25k together, which was unfortunately very foggy. I hope they believed me when I told me about how amazing the views can be if it isn’t foggy.
The trails are lovely carriage trails, though lately they’ve been dumping a lot of stupid gravel lately on the trails. There are lots of rolling hills, some hills you want to walk, but most of them you can run (though everyone seemed to want to walk most of the hills). I decided to take it easy in light of the hard week I had, and enjoy the day.
A Fatass is a type of race with no entry fee, no numbers, no schwag, no scoring, no whining. Of course, some of these things are often included (Jeff gave out homemade circles of wood for us to make our own finishing medals), but it’s more a chill type of group fun run than a hardcore race. And they are SO fun!
Topics discussed included: censorship in libraries; dry towns; races; chafing; crazy exes/library patrons; where we grew up; audacious running and racing goals; injuries. It was geeky, it was fun, it was chill and a great run.
I had no real problems – a little tired, yes, and the last few miles, while I hammered on the black trail downhill back to the Awosting Parking Lot, all I could think about was food. Strawberry scones. Banana bread. Pretzels. How much I wanted a nap.
And I was so proud of my NBR teammates – Des, who besides a 12 miler last week, had never run more than 6 miles – and here she was, running 25k on trails! And Helen, with sore hamstrings, pushing to finish this 25k as well. Erin ran her first 50k, finishing strong on these beautiful trails! (I was also excited that they got to see a glimpse into the geeky world of ultrarunning that I so am enamored with.)
A few things I learned:
· Smart decision to put on so much body glide
· Fruit gels and chewy thingies taste better in the summer than vanilla or chocolate things
· When you wear a short that says “North Brooklyn Runners,” this will elicit conversations from passing hikers
· There will never be arm warmers small enough for my arms
· It’s time for a new hydration pack
· Don’t wear a narrow tank w/ a hydration pack
· Those athletic body wipes are a great temporary substitute for a bath
· Never trust the weather forecast
· Jeff rules for organizing this race!