vol stare toad race 60 hour update
how long has it been since i got on that ferry?
two and a half days is a lifetime.
all that extraneous stuff in your previous life has melted away.
the worries of 3 days ago seem frivolous.
what really counts?
something to drink.
something to eat.
a patch of shade…
moving is everything.
every minute spent not moving
is another minute your feet will hurt.
that is what feet do,
isnt it?
they hurt.
the skin hurts
the soles hurt.
the bones inside hurt.
each toe has its own individual pain.
feet just hurt.
the sun doesnt cause pain like it did while ago.
it seems to be setting.
have i walked and ran another entire day?
i guess i have.
funny how each minute goes so slow
but then the hours seem to melt away.
the traffic has let up.
i guess it is supper time in that other dimension.
where the normal people live
the traffic patterns are always the same.
soon there will be a little increase
as those people go out again
to their various evening destinations.
later on i will see little bursts just before the hours
like 2300, midnight…
kids beating curfews.
after midnight it is so peaceful out here.
the traffic dwindles to almost nothing
and i can walk and run out in the lane
where the tires have worn it flat and smooth
and there are no rumble strips.
eventually tomorrow’s traffic will start.
the bread and milk trucks will go by in the early morning hours
making their daily rounds.
i will wave at them as they pass
the road belongs to us in the hours before dawn.
tomorrow is sunday!
i wont see the hourly burst of workers in that other world going to their jobs.
i wonder if they know how predictable they are?
the ones who pass by early and in no hurry.
the ones who always arrive at work before anyone else.
the great mass that passes in a stream
and arrives on time
a little later comes the final group.
they fly past frantic.
late to work….
if i ran this road every day
i know i would see the same cars
doing the same thing
at the same time
every day,
later come the retail workers
the lunch rush
and finally the workers that passed me this morning
heading the other way,
going home.
sometimes one will stop to ask;
didnt i see you at XXX this morning?
and then it will be time that the people in that other world are eating supper again.
their world changes throughout the day.
they do different things according to the hour.
mine stays the same.
i follow the white line.
always wondering what will be around the next bend?
what is waiting over the next hill?
their world stays the same every day
doing the same thing
at the same places
at the same time.
mine is different.
going around a new bend,
looking to see what will be on the other side of a different hill.
today is sunday.
i have time to ponder the meaning.
no work traffic,
church traffic.
the after church restaurant traffic.
there is a lot of time to think on the side of the road.
a lot of time to observe that other world.
the one i was a part of
before i got on that ferry.
the vol staters are now spread out over more than 140 miles.
at the front,
the race is on the cusp of the decisive time.
ken opened up an 18 mile lead during the day.
bob obviously holed up somewhere and slept.
what we do not know
(only two people know)
is where each of them plans to start their final push to the rock.
can bob do it all the way from lewisburg?
that would be 112 miles.
this is the extreme limit of final pushes historically.
it does not seem possible that ken has already begun his.
but if he has,
then he has a big mileage advantage.
experience says that would matter little
when the crash came.
so it seems certain that ken has another sleep break coming.
we dont know how fast bob is moving right now,
but 5 mile hours would consume the lead if ken took a 4 hour break.
and it is night now.
the time to move fast.
it looks like the finish will probably come some time tomorrow night.
the next 12 hours are going to reveal a lot of the closing strategy of these two great warriors.
for two and a half days
over more than 200 miles
this has been a physical test.
setting the stage for the final showdown.
all challengers save two have been broken on the open road.
and now it comes down to the end game.
the strategies have been laid out.
that balance of sleep and hours on the road
that gets you to the rock in your best possible time..
the perfect place to start the final push.
where the last iota of your strength runs out in the corn
and not at the base of sand mountain!
60 hours in and only the two know what each one’s plan is.
over the next 24 hours it will be revealed to us all!
140 miles behind the leaders
a very different battle is playing out.
oprah is slowly grinding down the trail pack.
she has closed within 3 miles or less of the last 11 runners.
there is no mystery as to her strategy.
oprah will move at exactly the same pace every minute of every hour of every day.
she takes no sleep breaks
she does not shelter from sun or storm.
she does not even stop at angel stations.
the runners trying to hold off oprah know the challenge for tonight.
anyone who has not made the turn in lexington by morning checkin
will be riding the meatwagon to the rock tomorrow.
while you sleep fates are being decided.

Categories: Vols2023