vole stare toad race
day 8 update (part 2)
more math
broke this update in half.
the laptop is struggling,
and remaining charge is unknown.
i only hope there is enough left to finish the job this 12 hours.
we will worry about the next update when the time comes.
the math at base camp is not much better.
it has been 100 hours since we came up here to man the finish line.
during that time we have seen 7 rain events,
including 3 major storms.
almost everything is wet.
especially us.
we feel proud to have kept the vital stuff dry.
but charge for the electronics has become a scarce resource.
it is still monday for us.
a hellish monday where the sun keeps coming up and going down.
and we are either freezing in wet clothes
or being steamed like clams in the same ones.
we look forward to happy minute each sunrise
(unless we are getting pounded by rain and thunderstorms)
earlier before the sunrise we celebrated entering the final 50 hours of this nightmare monday.
surely we can make it to the end now!
sleep has come when breaks in the stream of finishers make it possible.
an hour here,
an hour there.
sitting in chairs.
i feel like i have had an acceptable amount of sleep in total.
excessive by no means,
but acceptable.
unfortunately it has come at odd times with no pattern.
and i know we are going to have to sleep for two days when this is over.
meals come when the transport schedule
(dictated by the arrival of runners needing transport)
allows it.
i definitely have not gotten enough to eat.
it is always cold by the time it gets here
and things have fallen in such a way that 4 of the 5 meals i have eaten today (100 hour monday)
have been breakfast.
carl has gotten this chance to make a run to town
and i sort of look forward to my 6th meal….
only sort of.
it will be breakfast
fantasies of going to a mexican restaurant
and eating a burrito the size of my thigh
smothered in sweat inducing hot sauce
and served on a sizzling platter
dominate my thoughts right now.
we have had 48 finishers so far.
24 have dropped.
that means 41 of the 113 starters are still on the endless road.
the race has 48 hours to run.
so we can expect a runner to arrive about every hour and 10 minutes.
with luck there will be enough variation in the finish pattern to allow another sleep break or two before this is over.
i pray for sleep breaks created by the finish pattern
i dont want to get sleep breaks because more runners have given in.
they have come so far
and endured so much
it is painful to see anyone drop now,
because i know they can make it.
but they are fighting periods of darkness
that grow darker with every new onset
i know the darkness will pass,
but i remember what it was like to go thru them after more than a week.
sleep deprived, exhausted, blistered, chafed, sunburnt, covered in insect bites, with stiffened muscle tissues and shredded nerve endings.
the darkness seems it will be permanent or only to grow darker
it is impossible to imagine that things can ever get better…
but i know they can make it,
if they can only find that last bit of will
to reach down to the core of their soul and find that something extra that they never knew was there…
this is the moment they have come for.
but it is more horrible than they ever imagined.
it sounded so good at home
reading race reports from those who had taken this demanding test
and passed.
this is the moment they came for
but it is not a test that everyone passes the first time.
i know they can do it.
but they must face the demon alone.
no one can help them when the time of the deepest darkness comes.
if they were all to make it,
i would gladly give up those few (hoped for naps)
for us waiting on the rock
this is the reward that makes it worth all of the bad math.
to see the faces of those who have reached the impenetrable wall
and come out on the other side.
the ones who have found something in themselves
when the moment they came for arrived
them done and endured more than they ever thought possible.
we have been seeing those faces this whole 100 hour monday.
and we feed on the power of their joy.
it elevates us just to be there to see those who have found their inner greatness.
whether they win the race
or reach the rock with minutes to spare
finding the limitlessness of their potential is the greatest victory any man can achieve.
and so we will go on with out math exercises
us on the rock
and the runners on the road.
everything can be reduced to a math problem…
but the calculations must be paid for in blood.

Categories: Vols2022