up on the mountain again.
waiting on jeffrey smith and steve landis.
they are engaged in a slow motion race to the rock.
jeffrey is about 6 miles ahead
and he has been increasing that lead.
having broken into a dead sprint…
the last 5 miles took him only a little over two and a half hours.
steve is having navigation issues.
alone in the dark,
his brain fried from fatigue and sleep deprivation
he is stopping repeatedly to study his map
and what he can see of his surroundings with a flashlight beam.
not that he can be blamed.
that turn at south pittsburg to head for no hope is a tricky one.
the first two times i came that way in a car in the daylight
i messed it up.
and more than one runner has gone thru that intersection and come out headed for stevenson alabama instead of no hope tennessee!
steve is through it,
but his confidence is shattered.
he has about 9 miles to go.
we are hoping he can negotiate them before sunup.
jeffrey and steve are spending tonight in their own personal hells.
speaking of no hope,
back in the realm of oprah,
terrie and diane taylor are a mile behind.
this is actually good news for terrie in a way.
after being hammered by a giant storm in lewisburg,
terrie was expecting to be a couple of miles down.
of course her overnight assignment is to get thru farmington and wheel to reach the outskirts of shelbyville.
wheel is well known to vol staters
for its abundance of large loose dogs.
nobody likes to go thru wheel at night.
of course during the day it is known for the unfettered sun
that will peel off a runners skin like a paring knife.
and no one relishes the wheel section during the day.
any way you cut it,
wheel is fun fun fun!
shenoa has put on a blistering charge
with 22 miles in the past 12 hours to move a mile ahead of oprah.
now she just has to not let up,
because oprah never lets up.
at least they have company,
as there are 4 more runners within 1 or 2 miles of oprah.
tomorrow morning the surviving vol staters will reach the end of a full week.
it hardly seems like a week.
it seems like a lifetime.