and left for home and work and all the trappings of “normal” life.they will long for the simple days,
when a single peach could be a treasure,
and a drink of cold water the stuff of dreams.
when indoor plumbing stood alongside air conditioning,
as man’s signal achievement.
voice-mail boxes long filled,
e-mail accounts with pages of unread messages.
their 21st century lives have called them back from a simpler time.
when the heart of a warrior was the only thing.
fancy cars and prestigious jobs meant nothing.
big homes and social status afforded no mercy.
the stuff of life was water, food, and shelter…
the skills of living were stark.
the skills that stood between those lonely figures beside the road,
and an ignominious ride to failure.
treating blisters, finding food and water,
sheltering in the fiercest storms and staying alive in blistering heat.
these were the measures of a man…
that and the heart of a warrior.
for there is no easy path from the ferry to the rock.
all must pay the price to walk thru the corn.
the vol state is a race with winners,
but no losers.
even those who ride off in the “seat of dishonor” have something.
they showed the courage to face the lion.
and as they sit at home and read about the few warriors remaining on the road,
they tell theirselves;
“that could have been me.”
most will ride the ferry again,
and find their way to the rock.
but for today, 5 lonely figures move slowly down the road.
their dream drawing ever closer,
the dream of the ultimate reward….
being able to stop.
4. Juli Aistars 6:04:18:34
5. Sulaiman Seriki 6:10:49:44
6. Richard Westbrook 6:20:13:55
7. John Price 6:20:29:56
8. Jay Dobrowalski 6:20:46:15
9. Charlie Taylor 6:22:56:05
10. Sherry Meador 7:13:42:10
11) dusty hardman 282- beyond tracy city. aiming to reach the rock tonight.
12) shannon burke 280- entering tracy city. aiming to reach the rock tonight.
13) psyche winberly 275- past monteagle. she is so hurt we are afraid to mention the rock just yet. but she fights on.
14) diane taylor 250- getting up from breakfast in manchester. tomorrow night calls.
15) marvin skagerberg 225- hammered by yet another storm, taking refuge in shelbyville.
he is back on the road as time grows short in his quest for “one more big thing.”
the odds are against him.
marvin has a lot of skins on his wall. he had proven himself as a warrior in times long past.
before the memories of this generation of ultramarathon warriors.
the years have stolen the speed from his legs. his vision has dimmed and his hearing faded.
but the heart of a lion remains, and he continues his relentless pursuit of “one more big thing.”
is there an old-timer who can keep from following his progress?
he may fail, but he will not lose.
the clock might catch him, but it will find him fighting to the end.
16) oprah 224- everyone keeps asking; “who is oprah?”
you know who oprah is.
she is the spectre that trails the pack at the vol state.
she is the “real” world. where celebrity is the most important thing,
and there are no lonely figures alongside the road, chasing dreams.