Nov 30 2013

Brass Knuckle Shuffle. No fees, no awards, no aid, no wimps!

Brass Knuckle Shuffle. No fees, no awards, no aid, no wimps!  A couple weeks before this free "Fat Ass" race I saw on Ultrasignup.com that a fellow ultrarunner from my town was in the event, so did a few training runs before hand, then went to race day a couple hours early. In a Fat Ass race like this, starting early was an option, and three of us met up 2 hours early because we needed to be back sooner.  Also, none of us were really treating this like a race, it was more of an enjoyable experience, getting to run 7,000ft of gain in a supposed 24 miles.  I had the North Face 50 mile race the weekend after, so I was in no hurry to push my body. I just wanted to get a good day on my feet. 

At 6:52am three of us were off, I felt a little slow in the beginning, especially on the flat parts. The other two were a few hundred meters ahead

On top of Mt. Morrison

 most of the time, until we came to any big climbs or descents.  From miles 4-5 we had to climb Mt. Morrison, an 8,000ft peak with maybe 2,000ft climb? We were given three choices, we went "straight up", not really knowing where the other two options were.  I led the way, bushwhacking, climbing, "like a mountain goat" I was told heading straight for the peak.  I loved this, especially once we got to the top, we could see the white capped mountains further to the west.  Mt. Morrison TopMt. Morrison top

We could also see elements of Green Mountain way below we were to climb later in the day. Coming down off the mountain we eventually made our way to another ridge in 3 or so hours had only gone 10 miles?  Crossing Interstate C470 was a quick water checkpoint where the leaders from the main race were now passing us.  We had a quick chat with www.runketo.com guy Neeraj, and he was kind enough to impart some wisdom to us about running and eating healthy.  Video of that chat is here:

From miles 15-22 I bonked pretty hard, mostly because of a long day, and I kind of expect these bonks in races anymore.  But during mile 23 my body finally turned into fat burning mode, and I sort of took off and enjoyed the later 7 miles. I powered up the hills, and at some point met up with all the last of the main group of runners and had some good chats with them all.  Sheila and I finished in 9:17, slow for 30 miles and 13,500ft of elevation change, but finished in high spirits. 

Ultramarathon finishers Neeraj RunKeto.com Neeraj of RunKeto.com

November 30, 2013
Greetings Runners,
We are now less than two weeks away from this years Brass Knuckle Shuffle. Again, the run has been moved to Morrison and will start and end at Matthew Winters Park. I just wanted to send a note along to answer some questions you might have about what to expect. I cannot spell most of this out more clearly, so please do pay attention in order to create realistic expectations for yourself.

Again, this is a Fat Ass Event. This is NOT a race, though you are welcome to treat it as one in your personal pace, do not expect others to do the same. If you are expecting to be treated as you would at Leadville, Western States or some other high-fee high-maintenance race.. get that idea out of your head.

NO FEES – That's right. This event cost you nothing. It was 100% Free. Therefore, you will get your moneys worth and then some. A donation can will be out before the race starts, you can feel free to add some cash to it or not, that's your call. But other then that, you get to run for free. Enjoy!

NO AWARDS – Because this isn't a race, there will be no awards for 1st, last, or anything in between. You all get the same thing.. a challenging day. No medals, buckles, certificates, shirts.. nothing. This is part of your entry fee.

NO AID – Guess what, I'm buying some stuff. I'll have about 10 Gallons of water stashed at the halfway point. I'll also have a few bags of chips, pretzels and whatever else I can grab at Costco. The halfway point is the Florida Parking Lot on Green Mountains South Side. You are welcome to stash things there as well, or bring a drop bag to the run start to be transported over for you. You are encouraged to carry all that you will need for the entire day on you so you don't have to worry about it. I also encourage you to bring some snacks and drinks to share with others. I'll have a volunteer transport all donated aid supplies, drop bags, etc to the Florida Lot the day of the run. Pretty nice huh? This service is also included in your entry fee. And again, a donation can will be out if you so choose to pitch in a few bucks or cents.

NO WIMPS – Again.. this is a Fat Ass. You are responsible for yourself. Your Run Director is not responsible TO you or FOR you in any way shape or form. You participate at your own risk. You are responsible for all risks you choose to take. You are responsible for knowing the course (see below). I will not wipe your bum for you or wipe your tears. If you cry, bitch or moan, I will laugh at you and probably offend you. You've been warned. I designed a VERY challenging course for you. Suck it up buttercup and take it on and LOVE IT. NO WIMPS!

The week of the run, I will e-mail everyone a PDF file. This file has about 5 maps in it with the route marked out on it. It will also include a 4 (FOUR) page word document that has my very best attempt to provide you with accurate turn-by-turn directions of the entire course. Yeah.. I went above and beyond, for you.. because I love you. This is also included in your entry fee. If you want this packet early to start studying, e-mail me at Sherpajohn@gmail.com and I'll send it along. Mt. Morrison is tricky, and so is Green Mountain. If you are directionally challenged, can't read a map, or are timid about all of this.. I'd find someone to run with for the run who may be more comfortable with their navigation skills.

The course….is TOUGH. It doesn't look that challenging on paper. But it is TOUGH. We previewed a majority of the course on 11/17. Ten of us went out, only 4 of us stayed until the end. It will take the average mid-pack runner about 7 (SEVEN) Hours to complete the entire course as it is laid out. That is a 7 hour marathon. That is NOT an over exaggeration. Be prepared for a long day out there, with no shade, wind, and the possibility of darkness towards the end.

Not sounding like something you'd enjoy after all? Please, drop out. I won't be offended. I designed these courses to challenge you physically, mentally, or both. I take that very seriously. Or, show up on run day and go as far as you can then DNF. I like that too.. it feels like success to me. :)

Any further questions, please send them along. Sherpajohn@gmail.com and I'll be happy to answer them.

This run will take place rain, snow, shine, wind or other. Your entry fee allows you to drop out whenever you'd like for any reason, just let me know so I can buy aid accordingly. 

~Sherpa Sherpa John: Human Potential http://humanpotentialraces.weebly.com/boulder-brass-knuckle-shuffle.html

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