John Muir Trail

John Muir Trail

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Hype Begins! 7 Reasons Why You Should Run the 2nd Annual San Sugar G Falls Fatass Run

San Sugar G Falls.

The name is cryptic and draws you in. Your mind churns.  Brain synapses begin to fire. Your palms get sweaty. You start the think:

"What is it?  The title says 'run'...should I run it?  Are there really 7 reasons?  Or did he just pick the number 7 first and try to make up a bunch of reasons to match? Did he shoot for 10 but not make it?"

Good questions.  The following information will enlighten you.  Read on.

To start, what is a fatass run?  Some people don't know, so here's what it is: a free run on a route that someone else (or you) organized.  Often times there are aid stations set up by the person/people who set up the run.

Why do I need reasons to run it?  Valid question.  I'm not a Pulitzer prize winning writer, so after 2 failed attempts at writing a non-boring run report to chronicle the run and get the hype building for next year's adventure, I decided to structure the blog post as one of these trendy "XX# of reasons why you should do some shit that I think you should do." posts.  Can't win 'em all. Let's begin.

1. The People.  This year (the 1st Annual San Sugar G Falls Fatass Run) my buddy Jason and I were the only dudes to run this run.  We're pretty rad...
Rad Dudes? You decide...when you come run the 2nd Annual San Sugar G Falls Fatass Run! There will be Ruffles.
Or at least we think we are...and we'll be there next year too. But that's neither here nor there.

This run is a brainchild of Jason, and if there's one dude you want to come up with the route for this run, it's Jason.  The dude is a man of the outdoors and a scholar of the trails.  He spends so much time scouting pirate trails and deer tracks in the mountains above Big Bear Lake that he actually knows the mountain lions up there by name, and rides one of them to work every morning. True story.  This qualifies the dude to be the course designer. And it's an amazing course.

What about me?  I'm just a dude who likes to run, and who happened to meet Jason during the Kodiak 100 (also in Big Bear Lake).  I love adventuring in the outdoors and running informal big runs in addition to formal trail races.  I actually do love more than that, but for the sake of this article, that'll do.  I also did not have to run Chimera 100 the weekend after this run was planned.  I will bring you chips to munch on at some key drop points.  Ruffles.

2. The Cost.  That's right, it's a fatass run, so it's free, and that's as cheap as it gets, unless you're getting paid to run.

3. The Views.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

Was this picture taken from near the highest of the 7 peaks surrounding Big Bear Lake during the 1st Annual San Sugar G Falls Fatass Run?  Maybe.
Was this picture taken from the highest peak in the San Bernadino Mountains towards the end of the 1st Annual San Sugar G Falls Fatass Run? Is that Big Bear Lake peeking through the mountains?? Come find out!
4. The Peaks.  This run climbs two peaks.  Sugarloaf and San Gorgonio.  Sugarloaf is 9,952 feet tall and San G is 11,503 feet tall, making them, respectively, the highest peak in the 7 peaks surrounding  Big Bear Lake, and the highest peak in Southern California. The names of these peaks may or may not be major contributors to the naming of this fatass run.

5. The Variation.  The Strava Data shows this run as 38.8 miles, but I would hazard a guess that there is actually something here for everyone!

Don't wanna run 39 miles? Cut out at Hwy 38 & Heart Bar for a 15 miler.

Don't wanna climb Sugarloaf?  Then don't.  It's an out-and-back section off the longer point-to-point course.  You can go straight from the saddle down Wild Horse trail to Heart Bar at Hwy 38.

39 is too short? Jason has a 50 mile and a 100k version up his sleeve for next year.

There's a lot of good trail to be had.  Show up to blow up, dude!

6. The Backcountry.  Tired of your life in an office cube? Feeling the need to experience the real backcountry, and not that park that's behind your house where you do laps and run by that homeless guy that kind of smells like urine sleeping under his shopping cart?  Never been somewhere with mountain lions and bears?

If so, then this is your jam. You can experience the rush of being isolated from society without having to go to Angola, or the Eastern Sierras or whatever.

It's wild and beautiful and makes you take it seriously because it can be hot, it can be cold, there can be mountain lions and/or bears and sometimes they fight each other for ultimate supremacy of the mountain.  That's real backcountry and that's where this run takes place.

7. The Trail.  The trail is awesome.  It starts at Hatchery & Hwy 38 and immediately starts climbing, treating you to views like this:
Sunrise while climbing Sugarloaf.
And this:
It's wild and it's horsey.
The trail is made up of rocky fire trail, smooth fire trail, steep, rocky single track, smooth rolling single track, switchbacks, rollers, lakes, streams, saddles, peaks, valleys and campgrounds.  Once you top on on Sugarloaf, you head back down the ridge to the saddle where you turned up to make the climb, instead of heading North to Big Bear Lake, you head South down Wild Horse trail.  A rolling single track descent of the ridge from Sugarloaf.
Wild Horse!
Fun and runnable, it deposits you out onto Hwy 38 near Heart Bar Campground, where you begin the climb up to the San G summit.  The climb up to the San G summit is a mix of fire trail, sandy creek bottom, winding single track, and alpine single track.
Alpine on the climb!
It finally descends from the peak down to Forest Falls (the final portion of the run's name...if you haven't figured that part out yet) showcasing terrain from above-tree-line lunar surface to sunset lit transitional ridges to lower valley creeks and trees.
Lunar Landing.
Sometimes you have to say, "No more stopping to take pictures of this sunset that keeps getting better and better, because we need to finish at some point, and our ride is waiting."
That's a tree with a hollow space in the middle that a dude can stand in.  In case you can't see the picture.
The trail: amazing, runnable, tough, and fun.

And there you have it.  7 reasons to get out there and run it with us next year.  Did that answer all of your questions?  Let's review:

What is it?
It's a fatass run (ie you don't pay us, or anyone else, except maybe the forest service to get your San G Permit) that starts at Hatchery Rd. and Hwy 38 near Big Bear Lake, CA.  It climbs Sugarloaf Mountain and San Gorgonio Mountain, and ends in Forest Falls.

Why should I run it?
That is literally what this entire blog post was about.

Are there really 7 reasons?
Yes.  The above reasons are numbered 1-7.

Or did he just pick the number 7 first and try to make up a bunch of reasons to match? Did he shoot for 10 but not make it?
No comment.

When is it gonna be??
As of now, it's looking like mid-October, 2015.  We're gonna try to schedule it around the local ultramarathons, but that's tough/impossible, so compromises will be made.

I can tell that you're hyped about this run after seeing all those sweet pics and glossing over my mediocre prose.  That's good, because I am stoked! I can't wait to get back out there and finalize at least 3 more courses over 3 more distances.  It'll be a tough sacrifice involving lots of trail time, gorgeous views, and probably some pooping in the woods, but I'm committed.  I'm gonna do it so that the 2nd Annual San Sugar G Falls Fatass Run will be as epic as promised (super fucking epic).

In 2014, we had a great day out there running in the mountains and scouting the course for 2015.  Matt, one of the RDs for Kodiak 100 and 3rd place finisher at Chimera 100 in 2014 (nice work dude!), met us at Heart Bar with a water drop and some snacks...big ups!  Also, Jason's sister in-law, Darleene, gave us a ride from Forest Falls back up to Big Bear where my car was parked...more big ups!  In 2015,we plan to have some informal aid and water drops set up around the mountain to help everyone have an epic day on the trails.

Stoke up!