Get To Know Your Running Clubs | Club Fat Ass

Get To Know Your Running Clubs: Club Fat Ass

In this edition of Get to Know Your Running Clubs we chatted with Ean Jackson about Club Fat Ass, a Vancouver based running group and events series (Fat Ass Events) that focuses on slightly crazy (depending on who you ask) longer distance events.

Want to learn more about them? Read on!

Tell us a bit about your club history

Fat Ass events are an ultrarunning tradition. The tradition dates back to 1978 in California when Joe Oakes needed to come up with a 50-mile qualifying time for the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run.

The only local distance event Joe could find was the 50 mile Christmas Relays which required a team of 7, so he entered himself in each of the 7 legs and attracted 10 teams to accompany his solo attempt. Organizing the relay was a chore, so the next year (1979) Joe simply invited anyone who wanted to run an informal 50-miler to join him. He called it the Fat Ass 50.

The concept of low-key, no frills, low or no-cost events has struck a chord with experienced, self-sufficient runners. The name Fat Ass has stuck for this type of event and numerous Fat Ass events have sprung up around the world.

Inspired by Joe Oakes, another Western States 100-mile participant, Ean Jackson, hosted the first Fat Ass 50 kilometer run in Canada on New Year’s day in 1993. Jackson’s aim was to create an annual hangover cure for himself and a few ultrarunning friends that could be totally managed via the Internet, leaving him free to run with his friends rather than fret about the details of event management.

Nice! So what sort of members join the group?

Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate in the club, however, those who are self-sufficient, confident and experienced will feel the most at home. Take, for example, the Vancouver New Years Day Fat Ass 50K run and Freeze Your Fat Ass Swim... an event that often gets covered by national television in Canada. It's billed as a 50K run followed by an ocean swim, but some participants run it twice (100K) while others roll their own distances if less ambitious, injured or more hung-over.     

Even though there are no winners or losers at Club events, the spirit of competition is alive and well within the Club via the annual point series. Points for hosting events, picking up trail trash, being nice and running the longest with free shoes and bragging rights as prizes.

Where/when do you usually meet?

The Club is all about the events our members host for fellow members. At this time, most events are in the Vancouver, Canada area.

Check the Club's Facebook page for upcoming events here

Any cost to be a member/join?

Membership in the Club is FREE!  Apply on the Club Facebook page.

The Club depends on members hosting free events for other members, donations, sales of our world-famous t-shirts and the occasional fundraising event to keep it "running" Editors note: Ohhhh!!!!! next level punny!!!

Are you affiliated with any events?

The Club is all about the events our members host for fellow members. The best place to learn about our upcoming events in on our Facebook Page

Where are your favourite spots to run in/around the city?

Too many to list. Imagine having a thousand like-minded pals, each with 25 favorite trails they would love to share with you. Which trail would you like to take today?

Do you have any favourite races? Outside of anything that you’re affiliated with of course :)

That's like asking which of my 100 children I love the most.

Anything else that we should know?

If you're the kind of runner who loves running all day and all night, bushwacking through dense prickly-bushes and blow-down in search of new routes to obscure mountain peaks, living off belly-button lint and toe jam washed-down with beaver-fever-infested swamp water, you might enjoy the North Shore Bagger Challenge. Many find the Club's annual peak-bagging competition to be great cross-training.

If you're the kind of runner who has difficulty breaking the ice at parties, while shopping for groceries or while attempting to pull the lungs out of your arch-rivals at races, you might be interested in a Club t-shirt.  "I might be a Fat Ass, but I'm in front of you!" 

Want to Learn More?

Want to connect with Club Fat Ass, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:

Website | Facebook 


Looking for runs in and around Vancouver? Have a look at the RunGuides list of Vancouver runs and running races for a list of all upcoming runs in the area

Published on Jan 15, 2016