vole stare toad race…. 240 hour update
as the clock ticked down toward the final minutes
a lonely figure came down cheesegrater road to the gate.
the steady clickety clickety that had accompanied the figure over the past nearly 10 days was changed;
clickety tunk clickety tunk clickety tunk
as she passed the gate it was obvious cheesegrater road had torn off the tip of one of those famous stiletto heels,
resulting in a noticable limp.
for the first time
it seemed oprah showed a little wear…
no wonder,
her crew (jan) had gone to bed several hours earlier
leaving oprah to ascend sand mountain with neither chai tea,
nor cornbread.
entering the corn
oprah struggled on the muddy road.
by the time she reached the power tower
she was behind the clock for the first time.
this is what happens when you leave no margin for error at the vol state.
in desperation oprah began to run
three times she fell in the slippery mud
finally soiling that immaculate evening dress
and at the last
just after entering the woods
oprah slipped on a skid mark left by a previous finisher
and went down in the big mudhole.
there she sat,
as the final seconds ticked off the clock
and the vol state was finally over.

why in the world would the last update not take place until 12hours after the event ended?
because the race staff celebrated the final dnf (oprah) by cleaning up the rock and going straight to bed!
today there are no battered tents
no tables
no chairs.
no vehicles…
nothing indicates the vol state was ever there
save some worn places in the grass.
and the bare mudhole
where finishers had sat and told their tales of the road.
tales of glory
tales of sorrow
tales of companionship.
tales of road angels
and road hazards…
and the unpredictable vol state weather.
tonight the song of the katydids will echo across an empty road.
among the finshers that last night
were the ones who had battled oprah for 10 days
and emerged victorious.
shenoa creer,
finally proving to herself she could run without a crew
terrie wurzbacher
putting into practice the wisdom she shared with the world…
and tara watson.
the unlikeliest vol stater.
a year ago she had seen these strange people walking and running through her hometown of lewisburg.
puzzled, she had looked around on the internet to find out what was going on
and found the vacation without a car….
"i’m going to do that"
a year later she walked on the ferry
wearing a pair of sandals.
her running experience as inadequate as her footwear
having never run in a race of an kind.
all she brought was the determination that;
"i’m going to do that"
halfway thru day 1 the skin was coming off her feet
she threw the sandals away
and bought a pair of running shoes at a goodwill store.
it was a struggle
but at the end of the first day
she was still ahead of oprah.
the next 9 days were an ordeal i can only imagine.
tara came equipped with experience
that was as inadequate as the sandals she left in a trash can that first day.
how many times the temptation to just call home invaded her thoughts
only she knows.
but when she limped through lewisburg
within a few blocks of her home
she did not heed the call of her own bed.
her own refrigerator and stove
she hewed to the path of sleeping on concrete
and eating at filling stations.
10 and a half hours before oprah took that last spill in the mud
tara watson reached the rock.
what got her there?
the resolve that;
"i’m going to do that"
the vol state is;
"ordinary people doing extraordinary things"
to all who finished vol state in 2023
"the year of the thunderstorm"
i salute you.
for 10 days in july you were all extraordinary!

Categories: Vols2023