24 hours in,

and time to take stock.


some quick observations:

1) the runners seem to have come thru the storm fine, 

none were made of sugar and melted in the rain.

none had lost so much substance that the wind blew them away.

thankfully, even with so much lightning that it was like flickering daylight at times, no one got hit.

it is always unnerving when your heart feels like you should be able to rescue the runners in a big storm.

the honest reality is that they are scattered over a lot of miles

and there is no way to do it.

they are, as they wanted to be, on their own.

2) experience counts.

we have a couple of runners out who did not maintain their fluid/electrolyte situation well enough.

both were new to this difficult game.

sometimes it is a tough call for a runner.

the mind must be steeled to accept levels of discomfort far beyond what most people will ever experience

far beyond what most people ever want to experience.

yet, at the same time you have to be able to recognize when there is a real problem and address it.

and there is no one to count on to recognize the difference except yourself.

3) NEVER think about what is between you and the rock.

saw where someone is talking quit this morning

after running far less miles than they have run before.

you cannot appreciate how intimidating it is to run 54 tough miles and realize that there are still 260 miles to go!

just run to the next town.

4) runners weather storms better than road angel stations.

there are not nearly as many canopy tents set up in yards this morning as there were at sunset yesterday!

5) crews are a blessing and a curse.

crewed runners are well represented up front

but they will almost certainly quit at a higher rate than the screwed runners.

it is so easy to drop the moment you decide to quit.

just hop in the car and drive away.

screwed runners are guaranteed plenty of time to think about it before someone can come to get them.

usually after they cool down a little we get a second call to;

“never mind”

this knowledge should help every runner in every ultra.


it is always exciting watching the check in results start to come in.

bob hearn is past parsons at 109 miles.

not too far from the first tennessee river crossing!

looks like he is a metronome without a crew:

12 hour splits of 55 and 54.

after mostly being on the trailing edge of the contender field yesterday

he has met the sunlight with command of the race.

nothing is decided except that he will go further than all the ones who quit the first day,

but it tickles me to see him running so strong.

a lot of experts might have underestimated his ability to go without a crew!


the florys (daniel and ariela) met the day in 2-3 place, 

just departing lexington.

i doubt they will be expecting what they see when they check the standings..


bev abbs seems to have made a miracle of her recovery.

when i saw her leg after she dropped at HOTS i didnt think she would be running again for a long time.

when i saw it at the ferry it looked normal.

(does she have replaceable legs?)


she is tough and competitive

and only 5 miles behind the florys having just made the turn in lexington.

lucky for the florys it is still early.

i wouldnt want bev chasing me late in the race!


rebecca joyner is right with bev 

(or at least close enough to show on the same mile at check-in)

another crewed runner she looked strong yesterday.

the real test starts today.


greg armstrong, andy pearson, and alan abbs are 20-25 miles behind bob.

all in the interminable stretch of road between parkers crossroads and lexington.

obviously they either rested already

or were holed up during the storms last night.

until the sleep strategies become clear 

leads and deficits of even a marathon distance can be ephemeral.


what we know is that bob now has control of the race.

that is how it is at the front

the others can only respond to what you do

and we all know bob is a master strategist.

it is going to be fun to watch this play out.


a couple of last notes:

1) chris clemons has made some noise on day 1.

day 2 and he is playing with the big boys.

always love to see the dark horses in contention.

staying there on day 2 will be a tall order.


kim durst and henry lupton are now together.

we can only wonder if they are making big plans

or trying to piece themselves together?


alan abbs is going to have an uphill fight to get back in the race

as he is starting his day 2 by running 5 miles BACK up the course to retrieve his wallet (contents intact).

this is probably as big a disadvantage as you can have for not having a crew to run errands for you.

an extra 10 miles in a race like this is a heavy load!


so i am going to have to leave you now

time to shower and head out to patrol the field.

more updates to follow.

Categories: Vols2021