HOTS late update day 6
this will be a little short,
now that finishers are starting to arrive the timing is more challenging….
and we have to try and grab any opportunities to get some sleep.
we ferry the finishers down to a motel as a safety measure.
which has been proven wise time and again
as seemingly lucid people fall asleep in the car before we can reach the castle rock gates!
it is a shame,
as there are so many stories coming out as the runners start to come in.
hopefully there will be some race reports from them when this is all over!
talking with the leaders after the finish was fun.
the same story from 3 different angles.
the last couple of days at the front was a story of pushes,
as each runner,
following one another on the tracker sheet to decide on tactics
threw in big pushes….
john trying to break contact with brian and henry.
henry and brian trying to close on john,
and also break each other.
it was fun how the reports dovetailed;
simultaneous pushes only maintaining the spacing.
brian and henry repeatedly swapping leads over each other…
and all of this while trying to hold together their battered bodies under terrible conditions!
john did finally make the decisive move on his climb up dunlap mountain,
catching henry and brian both gathering themselves for another effort and opening up a 17 mile margin
after that john’s race was a matter of trying to manage multiple injuries
and keep moving so the insurmountable lead was not surmounted,
after days of battle henry and brian ended up having to form an alliance to survive the baking hot stretch from chattanooga to big daddys.
there they slept for 3 hours to gain strength for one last giant push to the finish.
they fought it out neck and neck to the base of sand mountain.
there the race of races played out
as they went at it hammer and tongs all the way up the last monster climb.
brian got the edge on the way up,
gaining about a 30 foot advantage.
henry allowed him to get no further
but the cost was exorbitant.
they topped the mountain still in the same formation
and maintained it to the turn onto castle rock road.
there brian found just enough fumes in the tank to start one final kick…
henry found nothing with which to respond,
after that they ran together to the finish
and touched the rock in their agreed upon places.
what a race!
what a show of sheer fighting spirit;
two warriors who gave all they had to give
and emerged with the bond of having shared something special.
the womens race had also unfolded over a period of days.
kimberly durst is a seasoned veteran
and she had dominated the distaff division after bev was forced from the field.
nicole weitzman was a raw rookie.
to be honest,
when nicole had serious navigation issues in the middle of the night 3 days ago
coupled with severe sleep deprivation in the remote section described as “pure eviL”
i thought she would be lucky to finish at all.
but she was resilient
and rebounded stronger than before.
over the intervening days she had steadily moved up through the field and closed on kimberly.
going into the final 12 hours kimberly appeared to have put it away
with a big push that extended her lead to 8 miles.
nicole just never stopped coming on.
and kimberly was spent from 6 days of being beaten up by the hills.
nicole took over the lead at big daddys,
and never looked back.
it was truly an amazing rookie performance.
another group of competitors is on the way.
and i need to try for some sleep before we have to go back to the rock
to watch more action.
back at the back the serious competition is with the grim reaper.
this is life and death,
not just placement.
diana c had a good night and finally caught the GR.
steve malliard lost ground during the night and is also tied…
not the place to be when facing 100 plus temperatures today with 130 miles still to go.
mary hosbrough and tim okeefe have moved ahead.
but by precious little
and they have been holding on by their fingernails for a long time.
they have a tough row to hoe.
slowly losing ground day by day,
derek murphy is not that far ahead any more,
and his trajectory is the wrong one!
it will be a significant 12 hours today
for everyone in the field.
can they survive the furnaces of hell?
HOTS late update day 6