vole stare toad race
6.5 day update!
the first half of the 7th day the real vol state came to visit.
the 63 runners remaining in the race found themselves running right thru the gates of hell.
the humidity from yesterday’s rains hung in the air in a heavy haze,
and the sun hovered over them like a malevolent spirit.
for the first time we saw “real” vol state weather.
those up on the cumberland plateau got off light.
the heat index was a comfortable 98.
the runners back with oprah had it the worst,
with the heat index reaching 119 by midafternoon
(no telling what it topped out at)
for those coming down off the plateau
entering jasper was like climbing into a blast furnace
108 degrees is not 119.
but it is plenty hot!
you could almost hear a collective groan from the field
as the july heat hit them like a solid wall
and paces sagged universally.
karen jackson and bo millwood were the last to slip out onto castle rock
before the day turned into a blazing inferno.
it is now getting near midnight
and still no one has picked up another tracker at 300 miles…
perhaps they are intimidated by the 90 degree temperature at midnight?
they could be waiting for it to get down around 80 by morning?
the prospects for the remainder of the race are grim.
it is only expected to be 105-108 from thursday thru saturday.
it would be more,
except for the predicted thunderstorms each day.
by the end of today’s furnace follies 8 runners were behind oprah.
if tomorrow meets the very real possibility of being even hotter than today
half the field could be on the cusp of elimination by nightfall.
there is no sign yet that people are moving thru the thick soupy heat of the night
but they better be.
no matter how cooked they are from the day
no matter how hot it is right now
everyone not adding some safety margin tonight is at risk…
tomorrow is going to be worse!

Categories: Vols2022