GUTS Fatass 50K

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


By Sean Blanton

I ran the annual GUTS Fatass 50k Sunday Jan 8th and took home the win.  I was 4:44:22 officially. It was a 10k ish loop course to which the general consensus was it was between 33 and 34 miles. We had 5 loops around a wet technical course. The race was held at Sweetwater Creek State Park here in Atlanta, Georgia. The trails are 80% single track 20% double track. Lots of roots, rocks, sand and hills. Every year they change the course and sometimes the location.  

I took of from the start with the mentality of this being a training run. The morning of I woke up with a sinus cold and could barely breathe. I had hurt my foot the day before being an idiot while skydiving.  I felt like it would be a struggle to even finish.  In true Run Bum style, the gun went off as I was running up to the start putting on arm sleeves and tying my laces tight on the X Country.  I took off yelling and screaming as I made my way to the front. As I passed everyone to get up front I was greeted by all my local ultra friends. It was such a great feeling having friends yell,'' GO RUN BUM, HEY SEAN, YOU GOT THIS!"  With a smile on my face I did what I do best and that's bomb down hill like a fat man in a barrel.  I put some space between me and the rest of the group and then slammed on the breaks. I was going to make anyone who wanted to race out run me on the flats after I had bombed down hill.

By the end of the first loop, taking it pretty conservative, I came to the start finish aid station. I looked behind me. No one in site. My real goal was to also hit quick aid station times. I was 25 seconds or less at each aid station.

On the 2nd loop on top of a hill I saw 2 runners, both my good friends Brent and Eric, at the bottom. I had maybe 2 minutes max on them. This was when I realized I couldn't cruise this thing in.  Eric and I being good friends we're yelling stupid things at each other laughing. I am sure people were puzzled at why we were having so much fun when this hurt so bad.  One thing I always try to do no matter how out of breath or how tired I am is always thank volunteers and ALWAYS tell other runners good job. A smile on my face. I run to be an inspiration whether I am first or last.

After loop 2 I brought the hammer down for my fastest lap and the fastest lap of the day. I then heard I had a big lead, Thankfully. I tapped the brakes again for the 4th lap as I was running out of steam.  At the final aid station before lap 5. I asked my friends working the aid station how close the last person behind me was on the last loop. They said he was only minutes behind me. .... turns out they lied. I had been 20 or so minutes in front of them. Ha that is what I get. Its all fun and games.

On the last lap I really had nothing left but I forced myself to keep a quick turn over on the flats and rolling hills. On the steep stuff I power hiked and then bombed the downs. I came across the top 3 guys behind me 2 miles or so into the last loop at the point where the loop is going both directions on an overlap. I was all smiles and all highfives from these guys.

Bruce the eventual 2nd place finisher, and ONE HECK OF A FAST RUNNER/NICE GUY, said great job and we high fived. At this point I slowed way down and cruised it in.

 I was all smiles and rightly so when I ran a hard 50k and never slipped or fell! Worst part was having to go referee 4 soccer games 2 hrs after I finished.  It felt good. First ultra of the year and first win, hopefully not the last.  HUGE THANKS TO ALL THE GUTS PEOPLE AND ALL THE VOLUNTEERS. It was great running with all my friends.


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