With a few exceptions, every volstater is having the following thoughts flow through their mind this morning….
“I need to make miles,
I need to eat,
I need to sleep,
MY FEET HURT,
OH GOD, THERE’S THE SUN AGAIN!
At this point, the road feels like all they’ve ever known. The Ferry ride was eons ago, and The Rock is still light years away. All they have is the comfort of knowing their life is simple. There is no family, there is no profession, there is only their existence on the white line.
Yesterday afternoon, some low pressure systems began moving thru portions of the course. A few runners got cooled off and wet. But right now, the front/middle of the pack is getting hammered. The Natchez Trace crosses the course at the half way point of the race, on a long exposed divided highway leaving Hohenwald. That whole area shows up dark red on the doppler radar right now. Columbia too, and The Bench of Despair. The weather went after the runners who weren’t ready for the heat, and now it’s taking aim at those unprepared to be wet. Reports are trickling in that Lexington and Parsons got wet last night and this morning everything is a steam bath. Humidity is around 90% and it’s creeping towards 90 degrees.
As far as the race at the front, Grant is maintaining his average of 40 miles each 12 hours….he is through Wartrace and pulling away again.
Alan Abbs nearly managed 200 miles in 3 days, a stellar performance without a crew, but Brian Trinkle and JT Hardy are hot on his heels.
The back of the pack only shrunk by 1 over night, as former King Don Winkley retired. The rest still have a slim margin on Oprah. It remains to be seen whether they are barely hanging on, or gaining strength…
Fortunately the temperatures are forecast to come down a bit today.
UNfortunately, the humidity is so high that the heat index is still going to be over 100 degrees for those “lucky” enough to wind their way through the storms.
These folks are truly running the gauntlet. It’s going to take serious gumption to finish this year.
Aside from quitting and going home with nothing, they have no other choice but to push on.
This is who they are, this is what they do.