Friday, December 12, 2014

To Walk, Or Not?

That is the question I am struggling with.

Should I enter a running race knowing I cant run and walk it instead? I missing running trail races and lately I've been considering the option of walking them. There are a few factors that have kept me from actually doing it. First, I don't get the same enjoyment from walking in the woods as I did from running through them. Second, I am a very slow walker. My friend Trail Pixie can walk around 12 minutes per mile but I'm lucky if I can maintain a 16-17 minute pace. Walking like a tortoise means I would be still on the trails long after all the runners have finished the race. Which leads me to the most pressing argument for not walking in a running race. The volunteers! These people donate their precious time, usually on a weekend, so we runners can play in the woods. I wouldn't expect them to stay out twice as long waiting for me to saunter across the finish line.

Despite what I just said, I'm considering entering the GAC Fat Ass 50K next month. Since this is a low key event I think I could get the blessing of the RD to start 60-90 minutes before the official start time to minimize any disruption I may cause by walking. And no, I wouldn't attempt to complete the entire 50K. That would be cruel and unusual punishment on me and the volunteers. My goal would be 30K which is the distance I covered in my three previous GAC FA50K finishes (all run on snow covered trails).

My friend KZ follows a train of runners across a snow-covered field during the 2009 GAC Fat Ass 50K.

I still have three weeks to think about it but you may just see me out there. Or not.


  1. My ears were ringing! Yes, walk. Yes, ask the RD about starting early. I do! If the race is low key it can be a win-win for the RD and walkers. Considering the volunteers is key but starting early takes care of that...and let's be serious...we are not going to place or get prize money at these paces. I think entering a race that has a longer distance than the one you are doing is great because you don't feel too alone out there and can take tons of time while the other long Distance folks are chipping away at their event. ONe loop, two, three, etc. it is really up to you at the FA. Speaking of Fat Ass, I feel a little more of both as I get older.

  2. So does this mean you might consider coming to the spring that 6 hour on March 15? ;0)

    1. Hi Em,
      One step at a time but I hope to make it to your race next year and walk the full 6 .hours. Also, I agree with what you said above. And speaking of fat asses, I just purchased some larger pants! Oh, and you owe me a phone call to tell me about your Stone Cat experience.
      See you soon.


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