The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Leg: Breck Epic, Day 6

10.31.2012 | 2:47 pm

201210311318.jpgA Note from Fatty for Locals: I’m going to be out of town this weekend, which kind of bums me out. Not because what I’m doing bums me out — what I’m doing is actually pretty exciting and I’ll talk about it another time — but because it means I’ll miss Cross Out Cancer on Saturday.

Cross Out Cancer is this November 3, 2012 at Canyon Rim Park, located at 3100 S 2900 E Salt Lake City, Utah 84109.

This year’s event will include musical performances by the School of Rock and Peter Breinholt, food, a 5K run; cyclocross races for all ages and abilities throughout the day, a CROSS OUT CANCER cyclocross relay race modeled after the world famous Little 500 (featured in the movie Breaking Away) and a fabulous silent auction.

The 5K run will start at 8:00 am and runners will enjoy the fall weather ambiance while running through the surrounding area. Regular scheduled Utah Cyclocross Series races start at 9:30 am (visit for start times for all the days’ races) and the CROSS OUT CANCER relay race will begin at 12:00.

The Silent auction will open at 9:00 am and will be open for bidding until 3:00 pm. For more information or to register for the event visit Proceeds will benefit LiveStrong and Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

A Note from Fatty: This is part of my race report for the the 2012 Breck Epic. My writeups for all parts of this story can be found here:

The Hammer and I stood together at the starting line for this, the final day of the Breck Epic. I was feeling surprisingly good. Better, in fact, than I had for the first five days of this race.

“It would be awesome,” I told The Hammer, “If we were the fastest coed team today.”

“We’ll go the speed we can go,” replied The Hammer. She is so maddeningly philosophical sometimes.

We took off — starting from the very back of the group, as was now our tradition — and got rolling up the couple miles of paved road that led to today’s massive singletrack feast:


It was to be a “short” day: just 31.5 miles, with 3853 feet of climbing: two big climbs, two big descents.

Before we even got to the end of the pavement, The Hammer and I had pulled in front of the other two coed teams. Climbing was our thing. The question was, could we put enough time on the other teams during the climbs that we’d be able to hold them off during the descents?

The answer came quickly. As soon as the trail turned downhill, Team Bliss passed us. We expected it; those two are very nearly as fast as The Hammer and I in the climbs, and waaaaayyy out of our league in the descents.

But the climbing wasn’t over. And we had gotten a whiff of what the lead smells like.

It smells like victory, FYI.

The short mile of downhill brought us to a big 2+ mile climb. The Hammer and I got back in front of Team Bliss, riding with a sense of purpose that quite frankly served no purpose, because there was no possible way we could move up in the overall standings. My miserable first- and second-day performances had seen to that.

But you know, even if you have no GC chances, sometimes it’s worth it to go for a stage win. In fact, especially when you don’t have GC chances.

Mile 12 – 17.5 might have been my favorite 5+ miles of the entire trip. It was exquisite, beautiful, perfect downhill. Twenty-three minutes of it.

I know you probably don’t have time to watch the whole thing right now, but I’m not going to be posting for a few days (I’ll explain later), so maybe you’ll want to come back and watch this.

After you do, I’m pretty sure you’re going to book a trip out to Breckenridge for next summer. It’s that good.

If you watch this video (and I’m sure you will), you’ll notice at some point that Team Bliss passes us, so at the halfway mark, they were in the lead.

But you should not count Team Fatty out. Not yet.

Last Climb

My knee was no longer hurting at all, which mystifies me to this day. And I wanted to win. So I told The Hammer to grab on (not literally…that was a different team) to my wheel; we were going to catch — and if possible, pass — Team Bliss.

We had a stiff headwind. I was pulling The Hammer, but Team Bliss was riding in a train of two or three other riders.

We passed them, nice and wide. Team Bliss and their train tried to grab on, but — and you have no idea how happy it makes me to say this — they could not hold our wheel.

We made it to the summit with an excellent lead. Was it enough? Maybe.

It would be close.

No Time for Picnics

The last aid station of the race was right at the summit at 24-point-something miles, before the big sevenish-mile descent.

It was our last chance to stop and say “Hi” to Montana’s dad — one of the aid station workers — who had become one of our favorite people at the event.

But there was no time. We had to keep going through. Which turned out to be one of the real tragedies of the day, as we found out later. At the finish line, Montana’s dad came up to us and showed us what he had set up for us at the aid station: a complete picnic spread, with a checked picnic cloth and basket and everything.

What a great guy.

For now, though, we had to get down the mountain as fast as possible, both of us wishing that it had been a climbing finish.

We were fast. We were really fast.

But we were not fast enough. Team Bliss passed us with just a few minutes left in the race, and we crossed as the second coed team for the day, and third coed team overall.

Which means we got this cool third-place framed prize:


Here’s a more zoomed-in view:

IMG_5378 - Version 2.jpg

More importantly, though, we also got the coveted Breck Epic finisher’s buckles:

IMG_5377 - Version 2.jpg

This is what they have stamped on the back:

IMG_5377 - Version 3.jpg

Seven days of racing. We had done it. We had finished the Breck Epic, the most understatedly-named race in the whole world.

The Stay-Puft Man

The next morning, as we started packing, I commented to The Hammer, “I feel weird.”

“Like what?” she asked.

“My face feels tight. In fact, everything feels tight,” I said.

“Like youre muscles are sore?” asked The Hammer.

“No, more like my skin is stretched,” I answered.

The Hammer looked at me. “You’re all swollen,” she said.

And I was. My face was moonish. My ring was tight.

And my legs. Oh wow, my legs.

They were so swollen it was hard to bend my knees, and my ankles had disappeared completely.

And then there was the bruise.

Huge and purple, it went all the way from the bottom of my butt down the backside of my right leg to the bottom of my calf.

I cannot believe I didn’t get a picture of it.

Which leads us to the final piece of advice I have for potential multi-stage endurance racing cyclists: There is in fact such a thing as too much ibuprofen.

PS: I won’t be posting again ’til Tuesday. I’ve got my reasons, most of them having to do with a very cool new project I’m revealing on Tuesday.


  1. Comment by Bragi Freyr | 10.31.2012 | 3:14 pm

    First ;)

    What an accomplishment. Chapeau! I must commend you for your choice of music. Falco. Awesome!

  2. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.31.2012 | 3:34 pm

    You two ARE BMFs (in the nicest sense of the words)!

  3. Comment by babble on | 10.31.2012 | 3:39 pm

    Wow… what an event. Thanks for sharing, Fatty!

    I’ve heard of ibuprofen causing edema in your legs and feet, but all over? Yikes. That stuff is really hard on your liver, too. Maybe you should stick to weed…

    And you should definitely come and check out the trails on the Canadian version of Whistler Mountain. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Plus, I’m pretty sure the green stuff grows wild like weeds up there. No ibuprofen necessary. :D

    Good luck with your project this weekend. Looking forward to Tuesday’s post!

  4. Comment by Rick | 10.31.2012 | 4:24 pm

    Just an FYI. The Cross Out Cancer race is actually at Wheeler Farm. Same time and details for everything.

    And yes there is a thing of too much ibuprofen…

  5. Comment by Ian | 10.31.2012 | 4:40 pm

    When the Hammer said “We’ll go the speed we can go,” in her philosophical way, you should have repeated it in a sing-song mocking voice.

    “We’ll go the speed we can goooOOOOo”

    That would have helped a lot.

    Apart from that, great race report, thanks for providing it (and all of your blog posts).

  6. Comment by Saso | 10.31.2012 | 5:59 pm

    Great write up. You two are an inspiration.

    I am surprised that Falco is even known in the US. Brings back childhood memories.

  7. Comment by ClydesdalePilot | 10.31.2012 | 7:23 pm

    Awesome race report. In regards to your legs, did you tell them to “Shut up?” Perhaps with a German accent?

  8. Comment by Paul Guyot | 10.31.2012 | 8:23 pm

    You did not take the stage win because you did not stop at that last station. Had you stopped, something would’ve happened to Bliss and you would have won.

    Because – as you’ve taught us all with recent race reports – it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

    Rock Me Amadeus? Seriously?

  9. Comment by Mark | 10.31.2012 | 9:46 pm

    Wow! Sorry you didn’t take the stage. To do list: 1. Work on descending, 2. Win Breck Epic 2013. Cool video, great report, as usual.

  10. Comment by Anonymous | 10.31.2012 | 11:54 pm

    cocky ass bastard!

  11. Comment by Anonymous | 11.1.2012 | 12:03 am

    so just a side note where have your kids been with all this racing you have been doing?

    Camp Kesem, then Grandma. But, um, you know you come off as a creepy busybody when you ask questions like that, right? – FC

  12. Comment by Anonymous | 11.1.2012 | 12:59 am

    That was 20+ minutes of beautiful trail. My 11 yr old daughter decides to ride with me based on the amount of single track we’ll do. I think I’ll show her this. I wonder if they have a Father/Daughter category at the EPIC?

    Congratulations Fatty and The Hammer on a truly Epic Adventure, and thank you for sharing this story with us.

  13. Comment by T.J | 11.1.2012 | 3:46 am

    Beautiful video. I must say i love reading about your MTB rides, even though I’m more of a roadie myself.
    Oh, and by the way. Overdosing on Ibuprofen could seriously damage your kidneys. Never mind the swelling. It is in the NSAIDs group which mean it can be bad for your kidneys if you take too much. I mean.. REALLY. Like in a kidney failure way.. Espescially if you are racing and therefore in a state of dehydration at the same time. So ease up on the Ibuprofen dude.. Dialysis is not as fun as i sounds and I really want you to be able to continue your blog.
    The doctor has spoken!

  14. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 11.1.2012 | 4:38 am

    I love long descents, when you feel the burn.

  15. Comment by FujiPixie13 / Beci | 11.1.2012 | 6:50 am

    Amazing series! Loved every single post from it. Chapeau, Fatty & The Hammer, for such a great race & report!!!! I am kind of saddened for you guys missing Montana’s dad’s picnic, that is a true tragedy, however, I hope he understood why you missed that stop.

    As for Anonymous, regarding the comment about the kids….last time I checked, Fatty & Susan care for those kids more than anything in this world. Do you REALLY think that they would sacrifice the kids’ safety and happiness for the sake of racing?!? I would imagine that Fatty only mentions the kids sporadically to protect them and to preserve the family’s small bit of privacy that remains outside this blog, since he IS a world-famous, well-loved blogger. Therefore, I don’t think any true Friends of Fatty even thought for a fraction of a second that those amazing kids were left in anything other than a great situation while Fatty & The Hammer were racing. Moreover, it’s REALLY none of our business what arrangements they made for the kids welfare. Your negativity and snarkiness is not appreciated and NOT welcome on this blog.

    Fatty, I apologize if I overstepped (being that it is your blog), but that comment really riled me up.

  16. Comment by ChinookPass | 11.1.2012 | 7:26 am

    Fun ride reports, Fatty. Thanks for taking us along. It’s cool to immerse yourself in biking for a week or so and see what your body can do. Plus you are surrounded by cool bike people all week. Amazing stuff just seems to happen naturally during those times.

  17. Comment by Shugg McGraw | 11.1.2012 | 9:36 am

    Is it really over?

  18. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 11.1.2012 | 10:14 am

    Saw that annonymous #3 at 12:59pm was myself working from my daughters laptop. How unfortunate to follow another annonymous.

    Shout Out to Fujipixie! Those of us who know Elden, know his priorities. I imagine the toughest thing the kids face is writing assignments for school. When your dad is a famous, award winning,blogger… I can imagine the homework proofing could be intense. But I’m sure he does it in a humorous way!

    And @Shrugg… It’s not over, we still await The Hammer’s report. This is no longer a ‘one trick pony’ type of blog. The Reader’s have spoken!

  19. Comment by AKChick55 | 11.1.2012 | 10:27 am

    Yay! Time for The Hammer’s report. :) I’ve seen the foreshadowing of the next event on Twitter (I think). Looking forward to seeing what it is.

  20. Comment by Wife#1 | 11.1.2012 | 11:21 am

    Dear Fatty, this has nothing to do with this post (which is great), but two days later, after “IT” happened, I remain highly distracted and decided I must share with you and Team Fatty

    Did you know you have a younger, possibly a little more handsome, evil twin? Well, you and Stanley Tucci have one.

    A month ago I started a medical weight loss program through our local Kaiser. Part of the program is a weekly support group meeting.

    Tuesday, October 30, I walked into the conference room, went to the far end of the table and sat down. There, facing me 20 feet away, was you. I did the classic double take “wha?”. Looked again. Eeegads! That’s not Fatty, is it? No, no of course not, it couldn’t be. One, Fatty is not actually fat (and I’ve let that go so far) so why the hell would he be here, and two, he’s in Utah. This is San Francisco. I look again. Damn but that looks like Fatty. I look closer. Okay, younger for sure, but wow…. it really looks like Fatty.

    By now, the poor guy has definitely noticed that I’m staring at him. He’s probably thinking the forty something, fat lady at the weight loss meeting thinks he’s cute. I look away despite the strong urge to marvel at his “fattiness”.

    75 minutes later, the meeting is over. I have barely heard a word about the emotional eating topic because I have been so severely distracted by your evil twin. It’s just uncanny dammit, and I could not get past it. I am positive (at that point) that he must have found it super creepy that I was staring at him so much. I decide, in my state of half fascination and half mortification, that I need to tell him why I have been looking at him slack-jawed all evening.

    So I do. Even gave him your blog site, tried to explain myself. Total Fail… because how could one, who does not already know about you, understand? I did mention that I bet he also gets compared to Stanley Tucci, and he said yes.

    I think my only path to redemption is to take in some pictures of you next week, and make sure my wedding ring is on full display so he doesn’t think I’m going all cougar on him.

    Turns out he’s a facilitator-in-training, so he’s going to be around a while. Thus I need to get past my embarrassment. Of course I am planning on asking him if I can take his picture to show everyone here. :-)

    Question, do you look like your dad and if yes, is there any chance he has a twenty-something love child that just moved to San Francisco from So-Cal?

    I look exactly like my dad. People who I have never met ask me if I’m Gene Nelson’s boy. But my dad’s not that kinda guy. – FC

  21. Comment by Barton | 11.1.2012 | 11:22 am

    You make me want to try MTB. But then I remember I can barely climb on my road bike, and I brake going down hills and think, nope, never mind. I will live vicariously through Fatty’s times in the woods.

    (Also, had friend who did MTB professionally and went to see her race. She broke both elbows and her femur that weekend. I remember her flying through the air when I think about trying it…)

  22. Comment by Christina | 11.1.2012 | 11:37 am

    Hal Higdon has scared me off advil. Runners in general have scared me from advil. All the time I’ve done multi-day rides, I’ve popped two advil in the morning to get going. Now that I read runner stuff all I see is, “NEVER TAKE ADVIL AND RUN!” It made me pause.

    This recap has been epic.

  23. Comment by UpTheGrade SR,CA | 11.1.2012 | 12:03 pm

    Like Fatty and The Hammer
    Cold, Pain, and then sublime transcendence,
    but it’s raining outside.

  24. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 11.1.2012 | 2:00 pm

    Enjoyed the reports, Fatty! Great job!

  25. Comment by Liz M. | 11.1.2012 | 8:10 pm

    Oh Fatty, you always tease us with the suspense! WIll look forward to Tuesday.

    Thanks for the reports that lived up to the epic event. The video was beautiful.

  26. Comment by AKChick55 | 11.1.2012 | 11:10 pm

    Wife#1 – I love you. That is equal parts epically awesome and epically hilarious. :) I can’t wait to see a photo of Fatty’s “evil” twin. You cougar you. ;-)

  27. Comment by curious | 11.2.2012 | 10:09 am

    Off topic: what happened on the latest raffle (for YSC)? Did I miss my email telling me I won all the prizes?? :)

    On topic: so jealous of the week of CO racing.

  28. Comment by FujiPixie13 / Beci | 11.2.2012 | 10:27 am

    @DavidH_Marin, CA, Thank you, I couldn’t let that rudeness go by without saying something. :o). I’m also glad that Fatty went to that post and left a comment of his own lol

    @AKChick, I’m right there with you! I can just see the whole situation that Wife#1 described and I cannot wait to see a picture of this guy, too! Too funny!!!!

    Can’t wait to read The Hammer’s report!!! Gonna make some pie to have when her report comes out!


  29. Comment by Andrew | 11.3.2012 | 4:21 am

    Off topic.

    Whilst loading your site for the millionth time in anticipation of your next post, my 5 year old spotted the Clydesdale.

    “Daddy that’s what you ride with”

    How’s that for brand recognition! This is an Australian kid, who doesn’t even understand the team concepts in cycling let alone what or who team fatty is.

    It amused me anyway.

    I am riding with 10k other people tomorrow, I’ll be wearing your jersey, lets see how many others do.



  30. Comment by Brock | 11.3.2012 | 8:23 am

    May I call you “Puffy” or maybe “Puff Fatty?

  31. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 11.3.2012 | 10:37 pm

    @AKChick and all other friends and stalkers of Mr Dreammy(you all know who that is) and Tom (the Donut Man) Danielson. Bicycling Magazine has this story about a bicycling camp with those two:

    Now the price is a little steep, but maybe Mr. Nelson can create a contest that some worthy ’stalker’ could win. Plus the guest blog from someone like Ms. Sasha would be priceless!!

    Give it some thought Fatty!

  32. Comment by AKChick55 | 11.5.2012 | 10:22 am

    davidh-marin,ca – But I don’t like Mr Dreammy and I do like Tom, but he’s not my fav. I stalk, er, I follow Chris Horner. :) So if you hear anything about training camps with Mr. Horner, sign me up! However, any interest I have is strictly platonic – happily married to the bestest hubby in the world (he surprised me with a blue [fav color] fatbike last week!!!). Or the Jensie!!!! Sign me up!! :) If they had a Jensie-Horner bicycling camp, I would be in for a contest! :)

  33. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 11.5.2012 | 11:49 am

    @AKChick. It’s so hard to keep track of who’s stalking(following)who. Mr Horner has a metric century here in California the week after Levi’s Gran Fondo. Save your pennies and come down for the week. Levi one weekend (including the most important donut race) and Chris Horner’s ride the next weekend. Wife#1 and I promise to keep an eye on you to prevent any embarrassing restraining orders being issued.

    But seriously, a Fat Tire Bike??? For riding on the ski trails in the snow? I’m waiting for the mountain bike, and your report of the trail from Elmendorf to Aleyeska. Now that’s a trail ride!!!!!

  34. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 11.5.2012 | 10:54 pm

    Today’a NYTimes:

    maybe we could get a local Kentucky Fatty to‘take one for the Team and give us their own field report!

  35. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 11.5.2012 | 10:54 pm

    Picture doughnuts!


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.