500 kilometers. 314 miles.
Cutoff is ten days.
Some runners are crewed, with friends and family providing support. Most are screwed.
The number of stops I made on the way to Wartrace was astronomical. Several times I woke up, still on my feet; and more than once I crumbled off the road as far from view as I could muster. Weird thoughts played in my head, over and over, wrecking my ability to think logically. I became paranoid and nervous-- of what? I don't know. But, the entire experience was brand new to me, and terribly unsettling. As the first strokes of the gloaming between night and dawn painted the sky with tones of hazy grey, the Beasleys passed me, dragging in a breath of relief. And, I wondered, almost out loud: am I the only person out here who doesn't want to be in the dark anymore? I made it to Wartrace a few minutes past 7, and crashed through the doors of the Marathon station like I was breaking the tape in an Olympic victory. Mile 234: I'd done it. I'd survived a hell of a night, and man...there were egg rolls for sale in this store. Egg rolls! I intended to eat them all. Armed with a cold pop and candy and a pile of egg rolls, I dumped my body into one chair, and used another for my aching, sore feet. Pete Peterson joined me a few minutes later, determined to make miles and not waste time. Me? I didn't care about anything but my egg rolls, and maybe getting to Manchester by check-in. It was only about 18 miles which had been my going rate for days during sunlight, and gave me plenty of time to sleep at the Whispering Oaks barn-- if I ever got there. It was only a 10 mile walk, but if there's anything to be learned about daylight hikes during the LAVS, it's that 10 miles can take almost half as many hours, even with the best intentions and middling talent.