and so we begin day 9.
the staff is happy (in relative terms)
having gotten a 2 hour nap after the last day 8 finisher.
heading into the last 48 hours doesnt hurt either.
us and the runners,
we can smell the barn.
matt burke gets the award so far for the most tragic mis-estimation of his final push.
starting in manchester at 2300 wednesday night
he ran all the rest of wednesday night
and all thru the day on thursday
on thru thursday night and into friday morning.
the motor began sputtering during the last 14 miles,
as he was running on fumes.
slower and slower he went
across the blue bridge
through no hope
and then turning up sand mountain.
the last fumes must have been exhausted when he turned onto castle rock road.
because we waited
other runners come in.
still no matt
finally we get word he has reached the gate.
it is easy to calculate in your head
matt is moving under one mile per hour.
ok. waiting is painful
but it is probably worse out there in the dark.
it sure takes a long time before we get word he is in the corn.
hell, that is only another 0.3 miles.
images of a grim faced matt burke moving like a glacier dance in our heads.
we speculate whether his motion can be detected by the naked eye.
at last he appears coming out of the woods.
he is supporting himself with a big stick
he takes a step,
then drags the other leg stiffly across the ground.
another step with the good leg.
he finally finishes
then drags himself to his thrown….
for a few moments he looks at the ground in silence.
at last gathering himself to speak:
“when does entry open next year?”
these people are not right.
back in the back oprah has made her move.
she has a mile on shenoa and terrie.
diane taylor is 5 miles in the hole
and michelle chauvin is a hopeless 11 miles behind.
michelle has brought in a crew
and is making one last ditch attempt to close ground.
she has 12 hours
(a mile an hour to make up???)
diane is under a microscope as she tries to pull it out
terrie and shenoa
well, they have been there before.
today in the heat they get to make up distance.