vol stare toad race
36 hours update;
john wright solidified his hold on first place during the day today.
piecing together sightings and check ins,
we think both he and johan took a break for sleep at some point.
what we know for sure is that he extended his lead to 15 miles:
150 to 135….
after a day and a half on the road,
even john is not quite halfway.
there is a lot of race left to be run…
but i would still rather be ahead than behind.
even tho the gap between second and third widened
there was some major activity in the trailing pack
as steve troxel passed peter and paul (strickland and hagan)…
opening up a 4 mile gap (125-121)
the real excitement today came among the women.
ariela flory stretched her lead considerably.
36 hours found her crossing the tennessee river at 113.
abbie mccarthy had taken over second,
back in parsons at 107
with veteran kimberly durst another mile back at 106.
of course a lot of that switching positions apparently related to late checkins,
as kimberly and abbie should have shown as tied with ariela 12 hours ago.
any way you cut it the women’s race is wide open
with leonie van den haak not far back at 103,
just past darden.
it is going to be interesting indeed to see what happens on the distaff side tonight.
not that the men wont be equally as interesting.
the second night on the road is a tough time,
and both lead packs are into a seriously hilly section of the course
with infrequent opportunities to restock supplies….
even the angel stations start to thin out as we get deeper and deeper into the race!
the stretch from hohenwald to columbia is about a 40 mile desert,
with vol-state crazy hampshire offering some aid about halfway thru
and (at least in past years) a station set up near cross bridges.
you never really know for sure until you get to an angel station
which stations will continue from one year to the next.
this year the pentecostal station in darden which has been a runner favorite for some years…
was not there!
this is why the runners must always be certain they are carrying adequate fluids at the very least.
with the women’s tight competition highlighting the second day of the race so far
this is a chance to discuss another unique aspect of the vol state.
i am not sure there is any ultra
(much less a multiday)
with such a strong representation of women.
this year 53 women and 60 men stepped off the ferry in hickman.
very nearly 50 percent.
it seems funny when i think about it now,
but about 20 years ago
when ohio’s rita barnes was the first woman to apply to run screwed
i had ambivalent feelings about it…
no. lets be honest.
i was worried about having a woman face this race alone.
it was pretty implanted in my brain that we are supposed to protect women.
what finally swayed my thinking was putting myself in rita’s position.
i loved these races on the open road.
if someone told me i couldnt play because i was a woman
i would be p’ed off.
deep down i understood that was not fair.
rita finished the vol state in fine form
and the rest is history.
or, at least half of it.
without the women runners half the rich history of the vol state would be missing
(not to mention several kings of the road)
so while we have mens and womens records at the vol state
when we collect entries
we just see runners.
as it should be.