(8 days to go)

Beat the Heat.

“We’re gonna try to BEAT THE HEAT.”
“Ummm, I don’t think that means….what you think it means.”

Two runners were commiserating early this morning.
One was pretty sure he was gonna make the call for a ride (DROP)
The other was looking for a way to keep going despite the difficulty. (CONTINUE)

“I don’t see how I’m gonna make this work.
It’s too hot in the day to move, but we need miles to stay on pace.”

“We’re gonna move ahead to the motel and rest for a while.
then we can beat the heat!”

“What time will you leave the motel?”

“Like, two o’clock or so.”

“You’re going to ‘BEAT THE HEAT’ by leaving the motel at 2pm????
I don’t think ‘BEAT THE HEAT’ means what you think it means!!!”

Now, I don’t know about you, but at first I was with DROP.
I always thought “beating the heat”
meant that you would AVOID the heat!

But then I pondered it for another minute,
and I realized that HOTS runners are special people.
Let’s face it,
these people go looking for a struggle!

When he said, (you already knew it was a guy, right?)
“we can beat the heat,” by leaving at 2pm…

He was saying that he was going to leave at two,
and face the heat mano a mano,
in a no holds barred contest,
when his opponent would be at his best.

He was going to BEAT THE HEAT,
by facing it head on!

So now you know what BEAT THE HEAT really means.

What you do with that knowledge is up to you 🙂

As for the rest of the day…
The meatwagon was full,
We drove a total of 16 drops to The Rock,
it was a long day, we only arrived in Kimball with enough time to grab a quick dinner and get to the hotel to see what had transpired while we were driving!

Jim Winn must have finally taken a short rest,
because Addison and John made up some distance with big daytime miles.
But Jim is still in command….for now.

It sounds like at least 4 more made the call this afternoon,
during what was most likely the worst heat to be felt for the duration of the race.
And there are at least two more that did themselves in
by falling significantly behind the reaper.
We may be scheming about logistics again tomorrow.

The middle of the pack shrank slightly this evening,
but for the most part they are hanging tough.
After 60 hours on the road, they are reaching a steady state (of misery?)
Tomorrow’s slightly cooler (but still blazing hot) temperatures
should feel more bearable for them, with the knowledge that
their bodies have managed so much, so far.

As they near Montgomery they’ll still have some supply deserts,
but they’ll also start to see some stretches with aid more reasonably spaced.
A 7 mile stretch tomorrow,
Will feel like a smorgasbord
compared to the 19 mile stretch yesterday!

A word about road angels…
There have been dozens of report of local people
taking it upon themselves to help these runners.
They have no doubt saved many races already.

We heard today about a racer who was in a desperate mental state.
Her race seemed all but lost, the suffering was too much.
This race is insane and no one should do it!
A road angel appeared and opened a church door.
An hour later, revived by both the air conditioning and the kindness,
the racer was praising both the angel,
and the race itself.
These people along the way have been nothing but loving and helpful.
There can be no doubt that the people of South Alabama
epitomize the Heart of the South.
All the runners and those who care about the race are grateful!

Categories: HOTS 2024