HOTS Update 2 days 12 hours
naresh was making his way down the road to russell springs in the morning of the third day.
he was closing in on 115 miles and famished.
meals on the open road happen when they happen.
and he had not come across any place to eat since the previous afternoon.
the magic phone is the journey runners friend.
naresh had already located a mexican restaurant on the course ahead.
not only that,, he had ascertained that it opened at 10:30
and even scanned the menu,
planning out his meal in detail.
the starving journey runner’s enhanced visualization had his mouth watering,
and naresh picked up the pace
to assure a timely arrival in russell springs..
timely being exactly when the restaurant opened.
however, as he approached he could see something was wrong.
no cars in the parking lot.
lights off and no open sign.
he checked his phone again to see if he had somehow misread the time.
nope; he had the time right, it was 10:30 on the nose….
then the time suddenly switched to 09:30.
naresh had crossed the from eastern time to central time.
he wept.
he would not have that long awaited meal until jamestown.
life on the road is very different.
you only find what you find…
when you find it.
so you dont pass up anything.
but that doesnt prevent some extended periods of deprivation.
every runner in HOTS has their stories to tell.
things like eating food from trash cans
and drinking the last water from discarded bottles found in the ditch.
once you have experienced having nothing
you never look at homeless people quite the same.
you look at things we take for granted every day
thru whole new eyes.
and realize just how lucky we are.
bev abbs and john clarke started the day in the same motel.
bev was just leaving
when john had just gotten his room.
even tho they were consistently 3 or 4 miles apart at checkin
there had not been a 12 hour period when they had not,
at some point,
been in the same place.
that may change tonight (the third night).
bev made a big move today.
she entered tennessee at static junction
and then went thru chanute, forbus, and pall mall
before tackling the brutal climb up the cumberland plateau to jamestowen (the tennessee version).
at checking time she was in the outskirts of jamestown,
13 miles ahead of john clarke,
who had just reached the forbus general store.
still 145 miles and several mountains from the finish
bev has not yet won the race…
but she has seized a definitive advantage.
13 miles behind john,
brian trinkle, in the center of albany held 3rd by only a mile over a resurgent james turner.
henry lupton and kimberly durst were next,
just having left snow.
this is the point in the race where standings can be deceptive.
everyone has to sleep sometimes.
and the timing and amount of sleep of each individual can cause standings to make wild swings.
by tomorrow morning all of the leaders should be on or near the cumberland plateau.
strategy is going to be key over the next couple of days,
as the runners fighting for position at the front try to set up for the final push.
of course the majority of the 71 surviving runners are not fighting for position.
their goals have been condensed into one single objective…
perpetually aware of oprah,
‘even if she is not close.
fighting a losing battle with myriad twinges and tweaks
which are being turned into chronic issues
by the endless miles,
their focus has long since been pulled from the rock.
the journey has been reduced to:
reach the next city
stay alive till the next checkin
make their water last until the next gas station
find something,
to eat!
survive to fight the next battle.
everyone is aware of the struggles of the runners who can hear oprah’s clicking heels in the pavement.
everyone has fingers crossed that they will not be next.
pamela smith has cut a 10 mile deficit to 3.
after having to beg for a chance this morning
she has shown a trajectory that earned her a shot at holding on for one more night.
everyone is pulling for her.
for gina kimrey it has been the death of a thousand cuts.
she has been able to avoid any dramatic failures,
but has been grudgingly giving up ground a little at a time.
2 miles behind oprah going into the third night
she needs to find some magic to stop her slide.
our hearts are with her.
but this is a battle she must fight alone.
back where gina is
that first monster climb is still a couple of days away.
but she has to not only stop the slippage
she needs to find the magic to gain at least a small cushion by the time she reaches it.
oprah never slows down.
not for anyone
not for anything.
gina is going to have to find something special if she is to reach the rock…
she is in trouble
but she is fighting still…
but doesnt that really describe them all?

Categories: HOTS