It seems like we’ve been out here forever.
4 days is a long time to run.
But we’ve only just had our first finisher!
In the end, King Grant came solidly under the 4 day mark, with a 3:22:02:59, becoming the 5th fastest performer on this course.
He said, somehow, this 4 days felt longer than some 6 and 7 day races he’s done. Something about staying up the entire time, with no nap longer than 2 hours (and that was an accidental “over sleep”) made it feel like one REALLLLLY long day.
Grant’s crew entered the realm of the all-time great crews. Susan crewed solo, with no breaks from the road. 94 hours from Missouri to Georgia. To my memory, only King DeWayne’s crew, Brent, has ever crewed solo for a sub 4 run. She kept things together through an accidental locking of the doors with the keys inside (found a local to break in) and navigated no less than 5 police inquiries. Those who have both crewed and run know, crewing is just as hard as running with one key difference….your feet don’t hurt!
While Grant passed through Monteagle 12 hours ago, Andrea Kooiman appears to have played the game smartly and has moved into second for the first time since Friday, having made the climb to mile 274. Smoker and Sooey had been trading the top ladies’ spot. Now, close to the end, is Kooiman timing her push perfectly? Will these ladies push hard and fight for a sub 4.5 day finish to beat the other two?
The feral screwed leaders, Abbs and Trinkle are within sight of each other, with 50 miles to go!
Talk about a pressure cooker!
At least the forecast up on the Jasper plateau looks to be below 90 degrees today…
JT Hardy, Doug Long, and Rich Flint all have a shot at a high quality sub-5 finish, if they dig deep.
The reaper is threatening several veterans at the back of the pack. John Price and Paul Heckert both reported that they’d over slept and plan to make up the miles on Oprah over the next couple days…but if they don’t pick it up soon, they’ll be out of reach. Tim Hardy has flip-flopped between withdrawing and continuing. Terrie W and Garry P both appear to be in control.
Remy Brandefalk came all the way from Sweden to avenge his dnf from several years ago. He’s been plotting his success ever since. He knows what he has to do….and he’s executing, nearing Hohenwald. “HEJA SVERIGE!”
The middle of the pack is bunched around the Natchez Trace and the half-way point.
These middle days are where the successful mid-pack volstater finds something, anything, to keep them moving…the finish is still impossibly far, but their desire to finish this beast must be greater than the overwhelming temptation of stepping off the road.