It is the first of January, and most runners are out at Roe Park doing six to ten miles to start the new year right. But for ultrarunners, ten miles is not sufficient penance to expiate the sins of holiday feasting. It has to be a Fat Ass 50KM.


A Fat Ass run is one that has no entry fee, no awards, and very little support, and there are over a dozen of them scattered around the nation on January 1. Bob Risser's run, like all the other Fat Ass runs, cost nothing to enter and has no awards, but the support that Bob and Sara provide is anything but Spartan, and the course is marked well enough for a blind man to follow.


This is the eighth year that Bob and Sara have held their run, always at Wallace State Park near Cameron, Missouri. Some years it has been four degrees, and in other years there has been eleven inches of snow on the ground, but this year, as everyone knows, the weather was balmy and the trails were in excellent shape. Eleven started the 50KM event, and all but one finished:


Mark Crisman, age 41, Manhattan, KS                        4.28.53

Kevin Guest, age 36, Rea MO                                    4.35.18

Paul Schoenlaub, age 45, St Joseph, MO                    4:51.16

Rick Hoppes, age 56, Lincoln, NE                                4:53:18

Joe Winch, age 48, Knoxville IA                                    5:04:54

Stuart Johnson, age 45, Shawnee, KS                         6:10:45

Lee Hess, age 55, St. Louis, MO                                6:24:00

Dave Swenson, age 49, Ames IA                                6:57:09

Lou Joline, age 72, Blue Springs, MO                          7:55:10

Joe Galloway, age 47, Des Moines, IA                        9:10.00


Many others from the Blue Springs Runners came up to run just one or two laps on Bob's course. These included Bill Smith and daughter Jennifer, Terry, John, Mike and Nick Burke, and Nick's friend Jerica, Fran Brock, Susan Merrill, Terry Hickam, Vance Martin, Patty Bovee, Larry Everly, Nancy Cada, Ted Apley, Daryl Daniels with Miles, and Harry Gish with June and Seven. Everyone was treated to some great lentil soup, chili, and a huge assortment of cookies.