All along the road last night, the runners marched alone, in couples, and in packs. The impact of the town aid stations was apparent again this morning. At 24 hours the count was
10 runners at the Farmers Market in Dresden
16 runners in the Fire Station in Gleason, and
13 runners at the market in McKenzie.
There is just something about the hospitality of these fine rural Tennesseans. Even the Canadian runners are saying, “These people are so nice, they make my neighbors back home seem mean!”
The back of the pack was entirely out of Martin by check-in time, a great performance by those near the caboose. We usually have several that are already fighting with Oprah at the start of the second day.
At the front of the field, Greg Armstrong slipped slightly behind Johan Steene’s record screwed pace with 103 miles, but he is leading the race over the crewed Australlian, Grant Maughan, who’s at 99. Two ladies, Andrea Kooiman and Regina Sooey had stellar first day performances, beyond 90 miles.
After one day, we still have 112 runners on course. Amazingly, we only had one drop by the end of the first day. Kevin G., who took second place last year went out at what should have been a sustainable pace, but aggravated a kidney stone and was forced to retire at 23 hours, after half a day of waiting to see if it would subside.
This morning, Curtis Barton had the misfortune to mix his sore, slow moving, feet with a car speeding through a red light in Martin. Apparently he managed to dive to safety, but the result of his barrel roll into the ditch is that he has also withdrawn. Sometimes life is just not fair. But if we get back up, another chance awaits.
We are already a few hours into the second day, at 11am the heat index is 101. Today promises slightly warmer temperatures, what else can this course serve up for these tenacious runners?