132 hr update
(5 days to go)

Everyone is more than half way!

We did lose two more today,
lower extremity issues can be brutal.
19 warriors still on the road.
Nothing will come easy.
The feet are already blistered,
the groins raw but coated in enough vaseline for a small army.

If you haven’t experienced the agony of restarting
after taking a break during a journey run,
The only way to honestly describe it
is to say that the pressure you feel
is like someone battering the bottoms of your feet with a baseball bat.
The amount of desire and resolve it takes to push on despite it,
cannot be overstated.

When someone asks a journey runner,
“How are you feeling?”
A truthful response might be,
“If I woke up on a normal morning and felt like this,
I would immediately call an ambulance,
but under the circumstances…
I’m doing ok.”

This is the world these runners are living in.
One where they must push the feelings of discomfort
to the back of their consciousness,
as they press on towards their goal.

To those who never attempt such a thing,
(and even to those that do, at times!)
it might seem crazy.
But the runners know that if they pay that price,
the feelings of pride and satisfaction
are as profound as any to be found in human life.

Sitting in the thrown,
up at The Rock,
everything they’ve endured was worth it.
It’s a life altering and affirming experience
that will remind them for decades to come
just what they are capable of.

The back of the pack appears to be staring
at a 14 mile stretch to the next possible aid,
a convenience store that might stay open 4 hours
til midnight…if they are lucky.
Most likely, the stocked up in the last town,
not wanting to find themselves out of luck
in Rockford.

Gina Kimrey has been possibly the most consistent
runner for the entire race.
Except for the first check-in period,
she has never been more than 4 miles from the Grim Reaper.
Consistency is hard to come by here at the HOTS.

Up at the front,
the swings have been much greater.
The effort to gain and hold a lead,
must be met with rest.
Even the steady John Clarke has had a 12 hr split during this race
with only 8 miles covered.
(but also a 45!)

Helmut Walter has been the most consistent,
with only 11 miles difference between
his best and worst 12 hour splits (30 and 19 miles)

Looking at the data, one can see the patterns
with which each competitor attacks the race.
Everyone has their own tendencies and tactics.
Going at night and sleeping in the heat…
getting miles while stores are open and resupply is available….
long pushes and long rests….
many short bursts with many short rests….
all these have been tried.

For now, it is not clear which tactic is the best,
except the tactic of hanging on til half way…
everyone who’s done that is still in,
and those that haven’t are at home!

Everyone is more than half way!

Categories: HOTS 2024