Sunday, January 3, 2010

Badass 50k

The Badass 50k takes place in the high desert area known as the badlands about 25 miles east of Bend, Oregon. It's really a different type of terrain, beauty, and weather than the Portland area and I'm so glad I made the three hour trip. It is put on by two experienced ultra studs and super nice guys Sean " The Colonel" Meissner and Jeff "Bronco Billy" Browning. I got a text message from Jeff on Friday afternoon while he was marking the course stating that it was in great shape, hardly any snow, and that Saturday was going to be partly sunny with a temp of about 46. Perfect! Also, a Fatass event is supposed to be a no entry fee, no sponsors, no aid stations, sort of fun training run...not really a race....Yeah right!

(Co-Race Directors Jeff and Sean)

My good buddy and training partner Joe Grant and I decided to head down and we both agreed that we were just going to have fun, enjoy the weekend, and not run super hard. ha! We milled around downtown Bend Friday night and found a place to do a little carb-loading even though we didn't taper at all for this event. In fact Joe and I both did this run as part of relatively high mileage weeks using it as our long run. For me...this would be by far the longest run since 100 in the Hood on September 26, 2009.

Joe and I, being extremists, decided to camp!...yeah camp!...on Friday night January 1st. When we pulled back into the badlands near the start/finish area Joe says, "we should go up to the top of that hill". Having the All-wheel drive Subaru Forester and with the sandy, red ATV-type road somewhat solid giving us traction, we powered up to the top of Cinder Butte...barely! Little did we know that we would be climbing this butte several times the following day as part of The Badass 50k!

Check out the video of what we woke up to just before sunrise!

After getting some breakfast and caffeine we looked down the butte to see Jeff and Sean setting up the start/finish area. Then people just started piling in...way more people than I expected. It was such an honor to meet world class runner Max King, and a host of other ultra runners. Such a friendly group and this is one of the great things I love about the sport.

Jeff gave us some instruction and we all just took off! It was great to be running in shorts with a bunch of like-minded people on January 2nd. I wore my Roclite 285's and they proved to be a good choice for the course. There were some nice sandy spots and also some loose rock and, like I said, the terrain is just so much different down there. I really like it!

Needless to say Max was way out in front and a bunch of us settled in for the first few miles. Then as the race went on the pack started to string out a little. I ran with Sean and Jeff a little picking their brains about Bighorn 100 and talked with Andre briefly about him leaving us for beautiful Colorado. Joe decided that he was going to try and speed up and try to hang with King...which was definitely something I was not interested in this weekend...(not that I could anyway!) I was really just being uber-focused on not feeling any complications and if I did just to stop at mile 22.

Josh Nordell, Jeff Browning and myself ran the bulk of the race together and enjoyed getting to know each other. It really just makes the miles tick by. By the time we made it to our final loop I was super impressed to find out that Joe caught up to Max and they were running together about ten minutes ahead of us. Also, by this time the talking became more sporadic as fatigue started setting in and I think we all were just trying to make it to the finish feeling a little bit of the holidays in our guts and muscles. Josh broke off to use the Juniper trees and Jeff and I coasted down through the canyon and made the turn for our final climb up the backside of Cinder Butte. This is where Jeff would lose me as I had to power hike sections of this somewhat steep climb. I would look up every so often and see Jeff running up the mountain and it inspired me to dig deep and run, and then I would throw in some hiking. Once we hit the summit it was a steep downhill to the finish. It felt really great to conquer the distance on such a beautiful day.

I really recommend this social training run, race, post holiday get together, whatever you want to call it! Good people...good clean fun!

Click HERE for the 50k results

Great to see some familiar faces: Geoff Donovan and his wife Rachel, Andre-Paul Michaud, Sean and Jeff, Sascha, and great to meet Ashley and Josh Nordell, Max King, Kari, Fatboy and all the others that came out for whatever distance. It was great just hanging around the fire afterwards and it felt awesome knowing that we got that first 50k under our belts...and there were some really solid 50k times too!

Here are some more pictures:

(Top two sub four hour badasses!)

(Juniper burns nicely!...feeling good talkin' shop around the fire afterwards)

(Good dog're an ultra legend!)

It feels good to know that we are now officially Badasses! Great work everyone! Let's keep it rolling into the new year!

Next up: Explore the forests at the Capitol Peaks 34-miler on January 16th


TonyP said...

Nice work Yassine ! Looks and sounds like an absolute blast, Mr. Badass.

Yassine said...

Thanks Tony!...oooooh Mr. Badass...that has a nice ring to it! ;o) Have fun gearing up for Brazil while using the G. challenge in central florida to prep you up! cheers!

saschasdad said...

It was a pleasure to host you and Joe at our humble little BadAss. Bronco and I really appreciate you guys making the road trip. See you at Orcas, you Badass!

UltraChris said...

Nicely done, Yassine! I'm under a good 8 inches of snow here and am so jealous of what you got to run on! But I got to snowshoe - don't you miss it?

Yassine said...

Thanks Sean...lookin' forward to Orcas!

Chris! I do miss it a little...I was able to run the FLT up on Conn. Hill last month when I was I got my fix ;o) Now I just have to deal w/ all the rain this winter!