Late last winter, the Fat Fish 40 Race Director, Alan Hane, listed their event on our fat-bike.com event calendar. The first thing that caught my eye was the aquatic name and then the fact that the race venue was in Wisconsin. (I thought to myself) Where the heck is Webster, Wisconsin? I hit up google maps and Webster is out west of Spooner in Burnett County. I surfed the event website and read a bit about the sandy mix of snowmobile/ATV trails, logging roads, and singletrack. The pictures of the trail reminded me of the power line trails that we used to ride in Michigan around Scott Lake. So we were all stoked to learn about this new fat-bike race that wasn’t planned to be run on snow. The course planning and conditions made flotation paramount to success. But if Mother Nature teaches us anything in Wisconsin…it’s that anything is possible….Just because the date of the race is on Cinco de Mayo, doesn’t mean it can’t snow or be sunny and nice and anything in between. The weather was sunny and beautiful on the day of the first running of the Fat Fish Forty!
After the race, we contacted Alan to ask how the race went. Alan reported “The race went extremely well. We put a lot of hard work into the first annual Fatfish. Next year we will be spreading the prize money throughout the podium.” Alan initially planned the race just for fat-bikes, but later decided to allow mountain and cross bikes to compete in their own ‘Open’ category. Ninety racers toed the line on race day, which is a pretty incredibly successful turn out for a first-year event.
Men’s Fat Tire: First place – Steve Marshall, 2:20:55; second place – Jay Henderson, 2:21.55; third place – Derek Van De Velde, 2:26:01
Women’s Fat Tire: First place – Shelley Nelson, 2:54:21; second place – Kristy Henderson, 3:01:57; third place – Sandra Marshall; 3:05:08
Men’s Open: First place – Bruce Martens, 2:21:22; second place – Casey LaJoie, 2:27:53; third place – Aaron Swanson, 2:30:07.
Women’s OTF: First place – Corey Coogan, 2:37:40; second place – Ronica LaJoie, 2:48:04; third place – Slovei Scwenzfeier, 3:15:05.
The results are interesting because they show just how close the fat-bike times and the open category times turned out. In the men’s race, the fat bike prevailed (27 seconds) faster and in the women’s division, the open category was faster. This event could develop onto the Fat vs. Plus vs. Mountain battle royale for years to come!
Plans are already in the works for next year…