the sun has set again after a very active day.
for the runners out on the road it is day two that really begins to define their path forward.
up front, it is the path to victory that is being defined.
bev and jim really have control over the race with a third of the distance in the bank.
they are at 136,
looking at their 12 hour splits of 58/47/31
it is clear that they found someplace to hole up and sleep for a few hours during the day.
having not been seen during the drive thru sort of confirms that.
at this point it looks like a 2-man race.
but there is so much left to come.
so many ways that everything could change.
so many obstacles still in front of them.
they are just hitting the start of the appalachian mountains.
the crossing of the appalachian mountains summit still looms ahead.
the kimsey mountain highway lies waiting
and the sheer punishment of 200 more miles of roads and trails.
with 136 miles already on those legs.
this is far from decided.
jim winn and jessica hardy have moved back into second and third,
as the next 5 places have been bouncing around all day.
they have passed kyle, kimberly, and colin
who all seem to have holed up in a motel in wahalla to get some sleep
(the wahalla hotel is not a place you will just hang out for the hell of it!)
so when they return to the road,
the entire race could change.
kyle was hitting a real low point going into wahalla.
but sometimes a nights rest works miracles.
for all of those next 5 runners,
the mountains are not far ahead.
things will get juicy when the big climbs start!
strung out behind
over the next 63 miles
singly, in pairs, and small clusters
66 runners fight their own individual battles.
from the ones who are within 10 miles of the contenders,
hoping to find a gap to slip in among them
waiting on someone to falter.
back to 65th and 66th,
who have no room to falter.
who now face a 12 hour challenge to reach the minimum distance
and keep from being pulled off the course.
a challenge that will most likely be repeated every 12 hours for the next 8 and a half days.
and way back at the peach,
glenn dell just started out.
a work schedule alteration prevented him from starting with the field.
he knows the score right now.
starting 36 hours behind he has to catch the cutoff to be counted in the race.
our staff is stretched as thin as we can stretch just covering the current span of 89 miles (which grows with every passing minute)
and arranging transport to the rock for the fallen.
if he can catch the cutoff
then he has to stay ahead of it to keep from being pulled.
nine runners have already thrown in the towel.
they will not be the last.
who will be the next to fall?