High Consequence.

One of the fundamental tenets of the HOTS

is that you alone are responsible for yourself.

That doesn’t mean you can’t accept help,

from either road angels,

or your fellow competitors…

But it does mean that when push comes to shove,

you are on your own to make the decisions and

either bask in the success,

or suffer the consequences!

After 36 hours, this year’s class

hasn’t really had an opportunity to bask yet,

but, boy oh boy,

they have been suffering consequences!

While yesterday’s sand oven desert from mile 13 to 29

took a toll on them…

Anyone who didn’t learn a lesson about being caught

in the afternoon without enough fluids to reach the next town

has suffered high consequences today.

We have seen multiple runners leaving towns with full packs,

in addition to a gallon jug of fluids in their hand….

While at the same time we are learning of others who continued

into the South Alabama heat without enough fluids,

only for their race to end with calls made

to bail them out of dangerous heat stress.

Those calls were wisely made,

so that they can live to fight some other day.

Jim Winn kept the pedal down on the first half of the second day,

but John Clarke met him mile for mile, both covering 28 miles

during the 24 to 36 hour split.

There was some jostling in the second pack…

7 runners in a 7 mile stretch well back of the front.

The inimitable Kim Elliot won the day, back in 9th place,

covering an amazing 31 miles (!) in these 12 hours,

vaulting her from mid-pack to the tail of the front.

(Only a single runner covering 30+ miles in a 12 hour split should tell you something about how challenging this route and these conditions are!)

The Grim Reaper marched on, unphased by the heat

under his black cloak,

the humans in the back third of the field, meanwhile,

covered fewer miles and slipped behind him…

Hopefully they rested and resupplied for an

overnight assault that will bring them back on pace.

Tomorrow does not promise easier temperatures,

or services more mercifully spaced.

The resolve of even the strongest runners is being tested in fire.

The cool waters of the Gulf are a memory that could easily

have been a month ago…

The Rock is not even a figment of their imagination right now.

The successful runner knows only two priorities at this point:


and forward progress.

Those are the only things that matter for now.

They must live in the moment and do their best.

Anyone who can hold on another day

has the hope of slightly cooling temperatures on Sunday.

But until then these runners will have to

squeeze every bit they can out of their baked bodies

and broiled minds.

Things have gotten real quickly here at the HOTS in 2024.

Each tactical decision carries…

High Consequence.

Categories: HOTS 2024