240 hr update
(1/2 day to go!)

(The 226 hr update got lost in the shuffle)

A day to get them started.
3 days of full loads in the meat wagon.
A day off while they pushed towards the rock.
A day of big dogs.
3 days of the grinders arriving…

And here I sit.
Alone at the Rock,
With but 11 hours til this year’s HOTS is over.

Last night 8 runners arrived mostly in pairs.
Dipak and Meghan,
Joey and Kim,
Scott and Greg.

Greg posed it best…
“With all the drops,
I don’t know if we are still middle of the pack,
Or if we slid to the back of the pack?!”

I thought for a moment,
“You guys are 13th and 14th out of….54,
I’m pretty sure that is towards the front.”

This one has been unique.
A bit more barkley-esque than we intended.
While the casualties have been high,
The overall satisfaction has been palpable.

HOTS runners want a challenge.
Some of the drops are preparing
for redemption at vol state.

I am betting the others will come back with better preparation.
More fitness, better heat acclimation,
they will tear into these race reports
and see what set the finishers apart.
They will think, “if I had done xxxx,
I woulda held on.
I CAN do that.”

and what of those on the road?

Holy moly what stories?!

Jun, after losing Hui more than half way to the Rock,
has held on.
He replaced shredded shoes.
He held back the tears.
He is nearing 9 miles to go.
If the less-than-hundred mark is a milestone…
the less-than-ten (single digits!!!)
Is when the finish becomes almost inevitable.
Jun will have to focus to savor it…
The sun is about to take one more
serious shot at baking his brain.
Nothing is free at HOTS.

Coop is asleep on the side of the road.
Probably not pretty…drivers are probably not noticing him but if they did they’d probably think, is that a pile of trash over there…? Wait…it’s moving!
He’s composing himself so he can be presentable in the thrown.
Not much needed to explain Coop.
People love him and the guy just flat out gets it done.
Go Coop!

Chris saw Jun behind him at Dobbins Market,
and was preparing to be passed.
But place is not what’s important for Chris right now.
His foot is shattered.
He doesn’t know how he’s still standing
much less walking.
If he stops, he may not be able to bear the pain of restarting, but he needs a bit of sleep to feel like he can stay on the road.
He is in a death spiral.
If it was even one day earlier his fate would be sealed, and we would scoop him up off the road.
But today is day 11.
There is some hope.

I have been calling her “Nails,”
and not because of her fingers and toes…
because she is the epitome of toughness and resolve.
We use nails in places where fasteners breaking would be catastrophic.
Nails bend…they don’t break.
Gina has bent, time and again,
But she has not broken.
No matter what happens today,
No one has lived the HOTS like she has.
Within sight of the grim reaper throughout.
One hell of a way to run.

Now all that’s left is for the final stories to be written on the road today.
The Rock awaits.

Categories: HOTS 2024