Hoot hoot! Just around the corner, January 10th, 2015, is the second running of JayP’s Backyard Fat Pursuit, and the buzz has been building after a successful inaugural event last winter.
While creating this event, I’ve often mumbled that it will soon become the premier winter ultra of the lower 48, and I feel it is right on track. I’m not being biased, am I?
A cow moose and her calf grazing a few miles from race start...
I am fortunate to have this incredible backyard to provide the route, and all my racing experience helps me understand what really matters most in these events. I’m driven to create something that is more than just a bike race. We are creating a truly memorable experience; a winter adventure you won’t forget. You will have fun, make friends, be challenged and rewarded, see beauty, and learn more about yourself and winter riding. Of course, there might be a little pain and some pushing too.
There are flats sections and mountain climbs, but throughout it all you will be surrounded by beauty...
...and plenty of opportunities to grow ice beards!
This year I am honored to host Kathi and Bill Merchant, Race Directors of the Granddaddy of them all, the Iditarod Trail Invitational. Kathi will be racing the 200k on a Salsa Beargrease demo. Thank you Salsa for helping me help my friends! Bill will be volunteering, helping me keep an eye on all of you. But beware! He may be doing it from behind a tree and scare the crap out of you when you are most sleep-deprived!
As a reminder, this race is a qualifier for the ITI. You must qualify for the Big Daddy, and it is tough to get into, with all the applications they receive. So, riding the Fat Pursuit is an excellent opportunity if you dream of riding the Iditarod. Both the male and female winners of the 2015 200k Fat Pursuit will have a guaranteed spot in the 2016 ITI, if you choose to pay the entry fee.
A quick disclaimer: I am responsible for recommending you. If you happen to win the Fat Pursuit but feel you are not qualified to take on the ITI, please speak up about it. I don’t want to send someone to that event that isn’t fully prepared for it.
Challenge yourself at the Fat Pursuit...
What makes this year’s FP special is having Kathi and Bill on site to present the winners with that opportunity. You can ask them any questions you may have, although Bill will probably tell you the realities of the event and have you questioning your ITI dreams. Even if you are not a the pointy end of the race, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to and hang out with Bill and Kathi. That will give them an idea of who you are and your ability, ultimately helping you out if they ever do receive a race resume from you. Trust me this will go a long way.
I am very excited about the talent and experience on this year’s roster. Andrew Kulmatiski, last year’s 200k FP winner, is returning in preparation for his attempt at the ITI this year! Smart man! And he is not the only one coming back for a second run on the course; about half of last year’s field is so far. I guess we did something right last year. I see other names on the roster that have competed in the Tour Divide, AZT, ITI and some sleepers with great talent. I am stoked, and as always it is anybody’s game - male or female.
Wasted and resting at Checkpoint 3...22 miles to go...
The support coming into the event this year has been excellent and it could not happen without EVERYONE involved: sponsors, volunteers, community members, organizations and, of course, the racers. Once again there will be plenty of awesome prizes, cash for the first three 200k finishers and schwag for everyone.
All of this and I haven’t yet mentioned that the Fat Pursuit takes place in one of the most iconic places in the world, just outside Yellowstone National Park! Show up early, or stay afterward, and take the time to explore Yellowstone. You can ski on excellent groomed Nordic trails or take the snowcoach into Old Faithful. Yellowstone is truly magical in the winter.
I will be working steadily between now and January 10th to make this event the best it can be. I hope one day you get to experience JayP’s Backyard Fat Pursuit.
Pursue the Fat, and don’t get fat!
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Andrew Kulmatiski - 2014 200k Fat Pursuit Champion...
Photos by Mike 'Kid' Riemer
Click the following titles for accounts from the 2014 Fat Pursuit
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"I do not train,” Jay Petervary says. “I ride my bike a lot because I love to!" Jay first discovered cycling post-college, but was immediately prepping for a 500km multi-sport event. He’s logged many races in 18 years, everything from cross-country mountain bike to a cross-the-country time trial. Nowadays he rides for adventure, the longer the better.