the sun is setting on the 5th day
and jim fleming is all alone at the front.
32 miles (and a climb up sand mountain) stand between him and the title “queen of the south”)
it doesnt sound like much,
just a sub 12 hour 50k (and change)
but he is unaided.
as he has been unaided for the last 4-1/2 days
there are flash flood warnings for his home stretch…
and there are 300 miles on those legs.
300 tough miles.
he has crossed the piedmont of south carolina.
he has crossed the appalachian mountains.
he has done the beast of kimsey mountain highway.
he has run through blistering heat
and fierce thunderstorms
he has even weathered a tropical storm.
and now he only need a 12 hour 50k (and change)
with a climb up sand mountain
and flash flood warnings along the way.
he still has a long night ahead.
behind him things are a little tighter.
jim winn currently holds second place.
matt jenkins is 3 miles behind him
and curtis barton another 7.
kimberly durst is 7 miles more (17 out of second)
but she is the only one who has taken a sleep break today.
can the others make it another 60 miles without sleeping?
if they dont, kim is coming.
the race for second should firm up overnight.
behind the podium racers
there are so many personal battles taking place.
battles for position
battles to reach the finish
battles to just survive.
and, at the very back,
the battle to pass the halfway point
before the race is half over.
diana and odie
melissa and tony.
they need 21 miles tonight
just to reach halfway.
they are all behind the grim reaper.
in the fight of their lives.
jamie and josh and billy…
they are barely ahead.
and the GR never tires
and never rests.
so those guys at the front,
racing for position.
they have it easy.
the ones who are barely going to make it halfway in 5 days
and now have to match that output in the next 5 days.
those are the ones who have it rough.
but they cant worry about the next 5 days right now.
if they dont nail the next 12 hours
there will not be another 5 days.
the meat wagon is waiting.