Vancouver (BC) 100km “Fat Ass” is an epic out and back trail run on the Baden Powell Trail. I had no idea how hard it was going to be even though it claims to be the “toughest 100km around!” This run does not disappoint. If you are from the PNW and you are training for TdG or UTMB this is where you will want to spend your training days.
I asked my friend, Jackie, to run it with me since she has completed it three or four times. She wasn’t too stoked but she rocks and did it with me anyhow! As mentioned above, this run is a “Fat Ass” run meaning there are no course markings, no aid stations, no whining, no prizes, and no official timing. Therefore, you either run with a map which takes twice as long or you find someone who knows the route. Besides navigation you have to have really good friends or an awesome husband to dedicate their Saturday to support you and luckily we had both. Chloe is amazing, she was crewing others but was happy to help crew us, too. Dave also crewed and met us at a couple spots. There are some water spots along the route but because it takes 16 to 18 hours to run the 100km it is super helpful to have someone met you with water and food. It would be tough to do this run self-supported. (Doable, but tough and preferably without temps in the 80’s to 90’s).
The trail is hard to describe if you have never been to the North Shore. The trail traverses the Greater Vancouver’s North Shore region. It offers everything from gnarly roots to a plethora of wooden stairs to steep ascents/descents and a mass boulder field. My Suunto Ambit clocked in 18,247 vertical gain and 61.9 miles. I think the vertical gain on my watch was a bit exaggerated; I’m told the route is roughly 16k+ vertical gain. Regardless, there is a ton of climbing which results in a lot of hiking. The trails are so technical making it extra challenging to navigate at night. I dream of having trails like that in Seattle. The only thing that comes close is Teneriffe (the front steep side) and the old Mailbox trail. I’m jealous my Vancouver friends have these bad ass trails to train on year round.
Jackie and I finished in 18 hours and 37 minutes