156 hr update
(4 days to go)

More to do.

We have a podium of finishers.
Addison Hendricks fulfilled a dream today,
many years in the making.
It took a quality effort to overcome two previous Last Annual race champions.
John Clarke and Jim Winn brought their experience and grit,
and pushed the young buck to the brink.

All three men seemed satisfied and pleased with their labors.
There was no, “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” from these true competitors.
The fulfillment that comes with giving your best is as great
as almost any that a person can experience.

But, out on the course, there is still more for the HOTS field to do!

As I write, Matt Barker is managing the sleep deprivation in order to
traverse Sand Mountain, likely by first light and the start of the 8th day.
Along with Barker, Helmut Walter and Matt Cantrell round out the second tier.
Over the course of the next two days they will drag weary, damaged bodies
over the remaining miles.
At the Volstate, they’d be done or close to the finish line…but this year’s HOTS
is 70 miles further than the July classic…and there is a very real cost in effort
and time to make these 381 (or 384?) miles.

The Grim Reaper is keeping a close watch over much of the rest of the field.
Ready to pass them up and void their sunk costs.
These runners, however, are sneaking up on the less-than-a-hundred-to-go mark.
On a multiday, when your distance remaining drops from three digits to two,
it is a real joy.

Journey runners often show up at a “normal” ultra in the future (say, a 50 miler…)
and find it is almost comical to walk to the start line and hear themselves thinking,
“huh, almost done!”

But here at the HOTS,
there is still…
More to do.

Categories: HOTS 2024