84 hr update
(a week to go)

Apologies for the short update, the long meatwagon drive meant I couldn’t visit with any of the runners still on the course.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Journey racing in the summertime can be a merciless pursuit.
Runner after runner has cried uncle.
The HOTS has truly lived up to its name.
Heat indices have hit or topped 100°
on each of the first 4 days.

These sustained high temperatures,
coupled with the stretches in South Alabama with no services
have wreaked havoc on the field.

Just a third of the way into the race,
we have lost more than half of the entrants.

The meatwagon has been busy.
Today’s trip was 10 driving hours.
From the finish, back to mile 160,
multiple pickups, and then 9 more runners to The Rock in the van.

Blisters, sleep deprivation, chafing, stomach woes, and heat exhaustion…
all have claimed spots on the road.

…and yet,
26 runners are still out there.

Jim’s lead has shrunk each of the past 3 check-in periods.
Is he recovering from his early blast off,
or is he deteriorating faster than his competition?
Unfortunately all the meatwagon driving has meant
that I haven’t had the opportunity to drive through and
get a personal look at the leaders.
We will just have to wait til tomorrow to see what happens!

The course gets hillier, but also shadier, as the leaders continue forward.

As the middle and back of the pack reach Montgomery,
they will find that while there are still some deserts remaining,
there are far more stretches with less than 7 miles between aid.
I think we’ll see them responding well to this shift!

Maybe there’s a chance that morale will improve and the frequency of the beatings may decrease?

The runners’ ability to endure this has been exemplary thus far.

No one deserves this much punishment.
…unless they asked for it!

Categories: HOTS 2024