A Note from Fatty: Before I get to today’s main post, I would like to let you know about something very, very important: Today is the last day you can pre-order your 2011 Fat Cyclist gear.
Order by Midnight Central Time (that’s 10:00PM for you folks on the West coast). So I’m going to do a quick recap of what’s out there.
This is the design that started it all, updated in some very subtle ways to suit the Team Fatty mission. Check out the Check out the men’s jersey front:
And the women’s jersey back:
Other standout items include — for the first time ever — a long-sleeved thermal jersey (men’s and women’s), a tech T for runners and cyclists who want a more casual look (and don’t need zippers and pockets), and a very affordable hoodie (men’s and women’s).
Tour de Donut Race Report
The Runner and I do not compete against each other. When we ride, we ride together. When we run, we run together. When we finished the Ironman, we finished it together.
But the 2010 Utah Tour de Donut was an exception. Sort of.
It started the evening before the race, as we talked about our dreams and aspirations for the event. “I don’t intend to ride fast, and I intend to stop eating donuts before I get seriously ill,” I said.
Yes, I am a dreamer.
“My only plan,” replied The Runner, “is to eat as many donuts as you.”
“That,” I replied confidently, “is ridiculous. Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know my super power? Don’t you realize that I can unhinge my jaw and eat three donuts in a single, horrifying bite?”
“I think I can hang,” said The Runner.
And that was pretty much the end of the trash-talking session. But let the record show: the first instance of competitiveness between us was over respective capabilities in donut eating.
The Stage is Set
The way the Fat Cyclist family wound up being represented at the Tour de Donut was The Runner and me, each on our respective road bikes, and The Runner’s son — The IT Guy — on his road bike. The tandem fell through at the last moment, because my tandem is currently not in riding condition — a fact I discovered just a hair too late to do anything about it.
I arrived at the venue, picked up our race packets — including really nice t-shirts — and met with a couple of fellow Utah-based bloggers. Here I’m with Lindsay of Healthy Stride:
Her story is pretty impressive — she’s lost more than 100 pounds through eating properly and exercising — and she’s recently been bit pretty bad by the cycling bug.
This was her first cycling event, so I assured her that all cycling events have an eating competition portion that allows you to deduct minutes off your final time, and that this year’s Tour de France will likely come down to whether Contador can eat more than Schleck, though I think Cadel Evans might have a serious chance if he is really willing to apply himself.
I also talked with Camille of Make It Work Mom.
I admit that Camille had a sort of “eye of the tiger” thing going on, and I was pretty sure she was going to kick my butt in the riding portion of the race.
I was not, however, worried about being beaten in the donut-eating portion of the event, in much the same way that Superman does not worry about being out-supered by the Wonder Twins.
And then, finally, I got to meet the race organizer, Rod — a guy I’ve talked with on the phone a dozen times — in real life:
Rod is a great guy — someone who loves finding ways to help people, and having fun doing it. I’m looking forward to working with him more in the future.
By the way, my very favorite moment of the day was when Rod introduced me to his daughter (pictured above) and said to her, “Do you know what this man’s name is? It’s Fatty!”
She busted up. Just started laughing uncontrollably.
I’ve never been so happy to have the nickname “Fatty” in my entire life.
Looking around, I was really pleased to see a lot of “Fat Cyclist” jerseys in the crowd. JJ and his wife Gina. Seth, whose wife The Runner and I had met earlier that morning at The Swimmer’s swim meet. Jolene, who stated that her husband KanyonKris had stayed home because the event seemed “too silly.”
A Lap for Bunny
The truth is, The Tour de Donut would have been a completely, aweseomely silly event except for one extremely sad event that happened earlier last week: a mom and avid cyclist — Elizabeth “Bunny” Bradley was killed by a truck while she was out on a ride.
A two-car collision sent one of the cars into Bunny, killing her; the car crash had nothing to do with the cyclists. It was just one of those horrible random events.
I met briefly with Bunny’s dad, who was at the event, and did my best to tell him how sad I was for them and how impressed I was that he was out doing anything at all right now.
Before the main race, we then did a slow, quiet lap for Bunny. A number of people wore “Riding for Bunny” t-shirts showing their support for the family.
And then it was time to race.
I expect there were some people who treated the Tour de Donut like a race, but they were nowhere near the part of the field I was in. The Runner, The IT Guy, and I chatted as we rode along the industrial roads. Oh, and you know how you know for sure you’re not racing seriously? When you take out your phone and take candid shots of people riding with you.
As we rode, lots of people cheered on the “Fat Cyclist” jerseys — indeed, I’ve never felt quite so at home in a Fat Cyclist jersey as at the Tour de Donut. It’s like they were made for each other.
One racer pulled alongside us, commented on the jerseys, and said, “Isn’t the Fat Cyclist supposed to be riding here today?”
“Yeah, that’s me,” I said.
To which he replied, “May I draft behind your magnificent quads?”
And for saying that, this rider is hereby promoted to my favorite reader of all time.
The first lap — a perfectly flat 7-mile loop — ended, and it was time to begin the reason we came to this event: eating donuts. For each donut eaten, we could subtract three minutes from our riding time. So there were two things to consider:
- The most important rule: No puking in the donut-eating zone.
- The practical reality that eating a donut only saves you time if you can eat it in less than three minutes.
I immediately made a grave error: I did not take off my cycling gloves. Within seconds they were covered, and would leave sticky glaze on everything I touched — especially on my bike’s bars — for the rest of the day.
I now have to confess that until now, I have never eaten competitively. Oh sure, to look at me you’d assume that I am a serious eater indeed, but the truth is, I’m an amateur.
So I experimented a little.
For my first donut, I just ate it as I would at the office, but much faster. This, however, seemed slow, as well as messy — as I crammed the right side of the donut into my mouth, the left side would poke against my face.
So for the second donut, I just stuffed the whole thing into my mouth. Which posed a new problem: with a whole donut in my mouth, I couldn’t breathe. And it was hard to chew. And it was dry and wanted to just sit there forever in my mouth.
By the third donut, I stumbled on a technique that I would adopt for the rest of my donut-eating efforts: I folded the donut in half, then ate using a two bites / 1 swallow of water rhythm. I ate with alacrity, but not with panic or uncontrolled urgency.
I had hit my groove.
As I ate, I called out donors’ names. Thanks to my eating prowess, however, I ran out of names before I hit my maximum donut threshold.
The Runner ate four and said she was done. “I am just getting into my groove,” I said.
The IT Guy ate six and said he was done. “I think I’ll eat a couple more,” I allowed.
By the time I had eaten eight donuts, I figured I had hit the point where I could no longer eat more donuts and still ride comfortably.
So we set off for lap 2 of 3.
As we rode — still cruising, not really racing — I often asked people we went by: “How many have you eaten?”
Sometimes the answer would be three. Sometimes — most commonly, in fact — it would be two. I don’t think I came across anyone who had eaten eight (because the serious contenders were further up the field).
Strangely, I came across quite a few people who said “zero.”
Zero. Really. You ate zero donuts at the Tour de Donut.
The very thought makes me want to cry.
Donut Zone 2
Seven miles of flat roads goes by quickly — and with only eight donuts in me, I didn’t feel sick at all. Seriously, I didn’t. My superpower is totally real. The Runner was forced to acknowledge that in terms of eating, she is more of a sidekick than a superhero. But that’s OK, because I need a sidekick.
As we pulled into the Donut Zone, I proclaimed that I was going to eat four more donuts. By the time I got to number 12, I had slowed considerably. I confess, in fact, that for the first time in my life, donuts had lost their appeal.
But then I thought to myself: “When eating donuts, one should not eat a dozen. One should eat a baker’s dozen.”
So I ate one more. 13 donuts. People were actually cheering me on. Which helped. A little.
And then I heard louder cheering. Much louder. People were yelling, “Regan! Regan! REGAN!” And there, at the next table, was Regan Fackrell, reigning champion of the Utah Tour de Donut. He was somewhere in the process of eating the 25 donuts he would eventually consume (Brent Strong would eat 26 donuts, but take much, much longer to finish).
25 donuts. Seriously. Wow.
After getting photographed with Regan, I looked around — The Runner and the IT Guy had gone on ahead. I tried to step up my riding to see if I could catch up, but at first, that was a problem.
You will be very surprised, I am sure, to find out that I was feeling a little bit full. Nearly to the point of discomfort in fact.
And then, about 200 yards into the lap, I burped about 13 donuts worth of air out of my stomach.
Suddenly, I felt fine. Could’ve eaten another five donuts, I’ll bet.
And in any case, I felt like I could ride again. So I started riding hard. Before long, I caught the IT guy, who was riding with Jolene. The Runner was further up ahead. I kept cranking. Then, with just a couple miles left in the loop, I caught her.
“Please,” I said, “can we slow down now? I feel like I may have overeaten this morning.”
And we cruised to the finish line.
To my amazement and delight, I finished on the podium for my age group. Yes, out of 59 starters in my division, I took third place with my 13 donuts. And if I’d have eaten just one more, I could have tied for most donuts eaten in my division.
Next year. Just you wait and see.
As for The Runner, she did excellent as well, taking fourth out of more than 50 starters in her division. And the IT guy — pitted against a very competitive field of 95 guys (including the overall winner), took 14th. Very respectable.
After the Afterward
It was a hot day, and so as I lounged around the finishing area and talked with people, I took advantage of the plentiful bottles of cold water laying around. Probably drank about three of them.
And then…well, I didn’t feel so good. In fact, you might say that I felt ill.
As we pulled into a convenience store to pick up a Diet Coke, I said to The Runner, “I don’t look so great, do I?”
“No,” she agreed, “you don’t.”
So when we got home, I found a toilet and put my finger down my throat, intending to de-donutize a little.
Weirdly, though, all that came out was about two bottles-worth of water. Evidently, it was just sitting on top of the thirteen donuts, just sloshing around.
Feeling better, I asked, “How does Del Taco sound for lunch?”
As the day went on, I couldn’t help but think back. I finished on the podium! And I wasn’t even really riding hard! And I know for sure I could have eaten a couple more donuts if I had really tried.
So yeah, I’ll be back for the 2011 Tour de Donut. But this time, now that I know what I’m capable of, I’m going at it hard.
I just hope Regan doesn’t move into my age group between now and then.
PS: A huge thanks goes out to Rod, Lane, the Rotary Club, the volunteers, One on One Marketing, and everyone else who put on a great event that raised a lot of money for great causes in a really fun way.