🚚 Free Shipping and Free Returns on all shoes


Your Cart is Empty

  • About VJ
  • September 15, 2023 3 min read

    What is a Fatass race? 

    Tired of paying hundreds of dollars to run ultra marathons? Nickeled and dimed to death with logistics? Hotels, rentals, and on and on?

    Let me restore your faith in running races and humanity in general. 

    The Fatass race has been one of the only reasons I can afford to run as much as I do. I know running gear alone is expensive but to not have to pay for overinflated bibs is a big-time benefit to help keep you and your dollars running further.

    Fatass races are generally specific to local run clubs.

    I am a part of the Virginia Happy Trails running club that puts on many free events. Now don’t come to these empty handed. Be cool. Bring food, water, and the stuff you would eat on a race for the aid stations. Also volunteer at these events whenever possible. The people that put these events on are saints so keep that in mind.

    I’m going to discuss 5 of my favorites... 

    The Ring - September Labor Day weekend 

    The ring is a 71-mile run with 13,500 total elevation gain through theVJ Shoes USA MAXx at The Ring race Massanutten mountains. There’s rugged rocky terrain and long gaps between aid stations. As hard as this race is, it’s extremely rewarding, and you’ll get a lot of love from the race organizers and volunteers. Virginia Happy Trails Running Club has been putting on this adventure since 2002. If you finish, you join the Fellowship of the ring for life.



    Viaduct 100 July 

    Pennsylvania’s oldest 100 mile ultra. There’s a 100 mile option and a 50 mile option. Everyone camps at the start and wakes up bright and early to tackle this old rail trail. There’s not much elevation on this one but it’s deceptive. The weather can be hot with lightning and rain so you have to plan ahead. But there’s also a huge amount of aid out there. Volunteers love this race so much. It’s an amazing vibe that you must experience.



    Bloody 11w – Labor Day weekend 

    Ever want to run a haunted highway from Knoxville TN to Bristol VA? Ever want to live on dollar general, gas stations and fast food?? Well look no further! This race is totally unsupported but there are lots of places to buy stuff along the journey. You have all Labor day weekend to travel the 119 miles. It’s a great experience. The people that do this race deserve a Netflix documentary. I’m not joking. Go on Facebook and seek this race out. 


    The Jim- August 

    So this race has become wildly popular because of dopes like me talking about it constantly and blowing it up on the mainstream. I’m sorry!!!! 

    It’s a miserable 6 mile out and back, 3 up 3 down a gravel mountain. You do 5 and it ends up being like 29 miles and 8k of vert. Oh sorry, forgot to mention it’s got a noon start time. 

    Everything about this race is wild: the people, finisher medal, aid stations-everything. Just do this race.



    Willis River 50k January 

    This race is marked but lightly traveled during winter and you will get lost. Maybe a little, maybe a lot, but you will get lost. It reminds me of the lost woods in the Nintendo game Zelda. The terrain isn’t super technical but you have to be careful not to miss turns.

    Ultrasignup says this race has been going on since 2013 but I hear that it’s been longer than that. It’s a fun experience. I’ve never had snow on it but I hope I get it at some point.


    That’s 5 of my favorite fatass races that don’t cost anything.  Well, I included theVJ Shoes USA John Calabrese in VJ MAXx on trail run Jim, which I think is 15 dollars now but totally worth it. 

    I’m an East Coast guy but I’d love to hear from race directors about Fatass events in other areas of the country. I won’t blab about them on social media unless you want me to!! I’ll definitely come run also! Please message me! 

    -John Calabrese @breezytrailhead