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This info is coming from Carl Laniak, I’m coordinating this year in Laz’s absence (if you’ve been under a rock for the past 2 months, Laz is trekking across the country on foot).
Just a quick introduction about me: I’ve been running or co-facilitating at volstate for the past 15 years. The first time I ran solo (2005), three of us started, and two of us DNF. The sole finisher, Barry Crumrine, was the King of the Roads! This year we have a shot at 100 finishers! Amazing.
After two DNFs in ’05 and ’06, I finally finished, and won, the race in 2007 at the ripe young age of 26, in a hard fought duel with our elder statesman and only 10+ time finisher, John Price.
I really enjoy the first timers, who find within themselves something they maybe didn’t know was there, and enjoy a very special glow upon reaching the Rock.
I missed volstate last year (2017) for the first time in these 15 years for the birth of my second kid, so some of you recent veterans I haven’t met, but I know most of the repeat offenders fairly well.
I urge all of you to approach the run with excitement, patience (LOTS OF PATIENCE), and stubbornness. You CAN do this, and I promise you will be SO happy when you get to stop up on that Rock. Your #1 priority is safety, and your #2 priority is finishing!
Also helping tremendously this year will be:
Laz’s wife Sandra Cantrell (she’s seen it all!!)
Jan Walker (LAVS FINISHER, and many-time meat wagon guru).
Mike Dobies (Mike will not physically be here, but he’ll be putting a ton of work into the vacation… website and the Tracking Sheet)
Ok, enough of that. Here is this installment of pre-race info. We are 1 week out!!
Please familiarize yourself with vacationwithoutacar.com
All this info, and other updates, will be posted there as well.
Know the rules, and your responsibilities.
1800 hours, Wednesday the 11th
Ryan’s buffet in Union City, TN.
Mandatory runner meeting. You are not required to eat at Ryan’s, but you do need to be there and nearly everyone does eat. Dinner is on your own dime and is something like $11 for the all u can eat buffet. Gratuity is usually not included in the price and the servers really appreciate our group taking care of them with friendly tips.
At the Last Supper we’ll socialize, have last minute information sharing, and introduce past winners and important race personnel. We will also hand out race bibs, and anyone who didn’t get their shirt at the Next to Last Supper can get it there. Family, crew, friends, future volstate hopefuls…all are invited to join.
0700 hours, Thursday the 12th
0700 the ferry leaves Hickman Ky for Dorena Landing. You’ll need a dollar for each crossing of the river. $2 total. The buses will leave the Quality Inn in Union City at 0600 if you want to follow us to the ferry.
1800 hours, Tuesday the 10th
The next to last supper will be at the Kimball China Buffet, in the Walmart complex right off the interstate at 1800 Tuesday the 10th. There is no need to arrive exactly at 1800, we’ll be there til at least 2000 to socialize, answer questions, hand out race t-shirts, and eat. Runners, crew, family and friends are welcome. This is very informal. Just Drop-In.
0630 hours, Wednesday the 11th
Meet at Castle Rock by 0630 Wednesday the 11th.
Expect to take 30 minutes to drive there from Kimball, TN.
Bus pulls out from The Rock at 0700
We do not wait for stragglers.
You’ll drive to the end of county Rd 132, past the buses, through the gate, about 200 yards on your right is our parking lot, a mowed grass field. You’ll need to park your car, ready your bag, and walk back to the buses before 0700.
Please do not stop to socialize as you drive in. The past couple of years we’ve blocked the driveway and the folks on the ranch have been blocked in when trying to leave for work. This is a black eye for us with an otherwise great relationship with the ranch owners. If someone stops to talk to you…remind them that they should park now and get on the bus, you’ll have 9 hours to socialize on the way to the start!
What can/should I bring on the bus???
These buses are not full size tour buses. You need to plan to have only a small bag with you. We cannot transport your luggage back from the start to the finish while you run. If you bring it on the bus you should be planning to either discard it in Union City, or start the race with it on your back. Leave everything else in your car. Most people get on the bus wearing their race attire, only carrying their fannypack or backpack they plan to run with.
The bus will stop several times for snacks/lunch/bathroom breaks. Usually we stop in Manchester (gas station / convenience store), Culleoka (BBQ lunch at the Bench of Despair Market, which is provided to those who’ve paid the screwed entry fee, and is not vegetarian/vegan/gluten free), and Parkers Crossroads (Dairy Queen / convenience store).
When we arrive in Union City we will go straight to the hotel to check in and get settled.
1745 hours, Wednesday the 11th
At 1745 the buses will load up and leave for the 5 minute drive to Ryan’s for the mandatory runner meeting and Last Supper. You are not required to eat at Ryan’s, but you do need to be there and nearly everyone does eat. Dinner is on your own Dime and is something like $11 for the all u can eat buffet. Gratuity is usually not included in the price and the servers really appreciate our group taking care of them with friendly tips.
At the Last Supper we’ll socialize, have last minute information sharing, and introduce past winners and important race personnel. We will also hand out race bibs, and anyone who didn’t get their shirt at the Next to Last Supper can get it there. Family, crew, friends, future volstate hopefuls…all are welcome to join.
From dinner, one bus will take screwed runners to Walmart for last minute supplies, while the other buses head back to the hotel.
0600 hours, Thursday the 12th
Buses leave the hotel at 0600
If you aren’t there, you can Uber (ha, good luck with that!) or run to the start. We leave at 0600 sharp. We will not miss the ferry for a straggler.
0700 the ferry leaves Hickman Ky for Dorena Landing. You’ll need a dollar for each crossing of the river. $2 total.
About 0725 we’ll disembark the ferry in MO and walk the 50 yards to the starting line. The cigarette will be lit and we’ll board the ferry for the easiest first three miles of an ultra you’ll ever have…then….we’ll see you at The Rock.
I’ll send out hotel roommate assignments in a couple days, so people can verify they’ve gotten their requests, or find out who their random assignment is.
Information on how to check in during the race will go out in a few days…so the smartphone challenged can have a couple days to practice before the race.