safe and secure in your beds

preparing to do whatever run you do today

over familiar terrain

with assuredness of where you were

where you are going

and that at the end you will have a way home…


sixty something lonely souls were wandering through the darkness.

relying only on the sporadic internet connection

to look at a map on their phone

and hope they were finding the right roads.

memories of the daytime bear sightings along the course

playing in their minds

as they walk and run through the deep, dark woods.


two days ago they were abandoned

dumped, like unwanted puppies,

alongside the road.


for two days and two nights they have run with what they could carry.

gaps of unknown hours between the chance to find food

or drink.

an occasional gift of cold water

from a sympathetic stranger

bringing tears of gratitude to their eyes..

they have followed a map to wend their way through strange cities.

they have had to eat whatever they could find

(the che BP gets 5 stars)

sleep where ever they could.

on picnic tables

behind abandoned buildings…


church porches and post office floors are the ritz carltons of HOTS runners.



you lucky people 

living the luxury of having a home

knowing where you are

sleeping in a bed

and getting to eat or drink whenever you feel like it.


you could have been one of the lost souls of HOTS

there was room at the end.


you could have looked forward today

of running in the blistering sun all day

with success counted as reaching your third night

alone in the mountains

exhausted, sleep deprived,

with blistered feet and sunburnt skin

hungry and thirsty

with a half a flask of warm water to tide you over….


wondering if that noise in the woods is a hungry bear.

hell, wondering if the road you are on goes where you think it goes.

or maybe goes nowhere.


last night the intensity of the experience 

or physical injuries overwhelmed 7 more.

no one yet has been timed out


today we will gather them up 

and carry them to the rock.


and they will think their mournful thoughts

looking out the window

as we pass those poor bastards that run on.



they will be sorry that they are not among them.



things for the survivors will only get worse.

a tropical storm is approaching atlanta

on the way to batter them with rain and high winds.


only two runners have crossed dick’s creek pass

their high point in the appalachians.


and no one has yet reached the kimsey mountain highway.


carl drove yesterday’s drops over the kimsey.

their succinct review:

“oh my god…. i could never have done this”


we are two days in.


and the adventure has barely begun.


on the competitive side;

jim fleming is now alone at the front.

bev is out with injury.

jim winn is 25 miles back.

far from an insurmountable deficit

(altho he is still on the other side of dick’s creek pass)

kimberly durst is another 5 miles back

and in serious contention to win this monster.

curtis barton, matt jenkins, and jessica hardy are all strung out behind…

and in the running.


sleep breaks and terrain features are constantly juggling the lineup.

at the very least,

any one of those runners has a chance to win.


of course that thought is in their heads…


way in the back;

behind finding something to drink

something to eat

and the next turn.

Categories: HOTS