The Club

Club Fat Ass is a grassroots sports events club. Our members host trail running and other “active lifestyle” events for fellow members.


Club Events

Club events are fun, physically challenging, environmentally friendly and emphasize camaraderie as much as the competition.

“What would one do at a typical Club event?” you ask. Most likely something outdoors that would get your heart pumping. Activities like running, snowshoeing, peak-bagging, backcountry skiing, swimming or cycling.

Club Events are hosted by Club members, so each Club Event is a reflection of the unique personality of the Event Host. All Club events are free to Participating Club members.

For an up-to-date listing of Club events, please check our Events page on Facebook.


Membership in the Club

Outdoorsy folks like you come from a wide range of experience levels and abilities.  At Club Fat Ass, we try hard to be welcoming, nurturing and most importantly, fun.  To that end, the Club offers two (2) classes of membership:

Supporting Member

  • anyone who supports the vision of “Free events for active people”
  • access to the Online Clubhouse where members share adventures, talk shop and engage with others in the “tribe” when not actually doing stuff together in the great outdoors
  • access to the Club Leaderboard so you can keep track of who is doing what in the Club Point Series
  • $0 annual membership dues

Participating Member

  • all of the benefits of a Supporting Member plus…
  • free access to all Club events
  • participation in the Club Point Series (lots of friendly competition and great prizes)
  • $25 annual membership dues

Club Management

Event Hosts are Club members. They’re the lifeblood of the Club who create, host and manage Club events. In an ideal world, every Club member would host at least one event per year.

The Steering Committee is the small team of volunteer members who meet every other month to make decisions, ensure that stuff gets done and otherwise do the heavy lifting. Steering Committee members serve two (2) years or more.

If you’re interested in hosting an event or serving on the Steering Committee, please contact us.


History of the Club

Fat Ass events are an ultrarunning tradition. The tradition dates back to 1978 in California when Joe Oakes needed to come up with a 50-mile qualifying time for the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run.

The only local distance event Joe could find was the 50 mile Christmas Relays which required a team of 7, so he entered himself in each of the 7 legs and attracted 10 teams to accompany his solo attempt. Organizing the relay was a chore, so the next year (1979) Joe simply invited anyone who wanted to run an informal 50-miler to join him. He called it the Fat Ass 50.

The concept of low-key, no-frills, low or no-cost events struck a chord with experienced, self-sufficient runners. The name Fat Ass has stuck for this type of event and numerous Fat Ass events have sprung up around the world.

Inspired by Joe Oakes, another Western States 100-mile participant, Ean Jackson, hosted the first Fat Ass 50 kilometer run in Canada on New Year’s day in 1993. Jackson’s aim was to create an annual hangover cure for his ultrarunning friends… something that could be totally managed via the Internet, leaving him free to run with his friends rather than fret about the details of event management.  Since 1993, the Vancouver Fat Ass 50 has grown steadily in popularity and notoriety.

The concept of providing detailed written course directions to each participant rather than marking the course markings was an early innovation. So was providing special recognition to those who helped fellow runners, picked up trash or otherwise did good deeds during the event. A few years later fellow ultrarunner, Sibylle Tinsel, organized a free night run.  Other friends soon wanted to add their own running events.

The challenge of linking athletes with enthusiastic hosts of fun, low-key, free events became the genesis for Club Fat Ass. Club Fat Ass was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 2003. The Club welcomed it’s 1,000th member in March 2015 and doubled that by November 2018. You’ll recognize a fellow Club member by the distinctive t-shirt they are wearing!

Since 2003, the Club has hosted over 500 trail running, road running, cycling, snowshoeing, back-country skiing, mountain climbing, peak-bagging events, and related events.

Please see the Help page for answers to many typical questions.