Subject: one spot on the podium
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2017 02:26:31 +0000
one spot on the podium.
greg armstrong (yes, the man whose vs record will stand another year) has been crewing for francesca and kevin at night.
he called me this afternoon with a question…
what about ties?
there is a funny thing about the finish at the vol state.
only one person fits on the rock at a time.
there are no ties.
if we have a race to the finish line,
we have a finish line about 10 yards away,
and at right angles to the trail in to the rock.
the first person there,
gets to be the first on the rock.
if you have seen pictures of people finishing at the rock,
you might have noticed some bushes just past the finish…
those are not bushes.
they are the top of 100 foot tall trees.
if you run past the finish line at the vol state,
not the place for a sprint finish!
at the vol state you literally run until there is no where left to run.
but the individual races are decided 10 yards earlier.
after 314 miles,
it rarely comes to that.
but we keep waiting for that day,
when two people reach the base of sand mountain together,
with the crown hanging in the balance…
it will be fun to watch.
of course, that was not the crux of greg’s question.
francesca and kevin have been together for a couple of days now.
and, when you go thru this kind of hell together
it is only normal that a powerful bond develops.
greg had more or less assumed that one or the other would be stronger and pull ahead.
but, last night one of them had a foot problem,
and the other waited.
so i told greg how it works at the vol state.
there are no ties,
and there is only one podium spot.
there can only be one king.
there were really several choices.
they can just keep going,
and when one of them is stronger…
put the hammer down.
they can stay together,
and when they reach the base of sand mountain.
they can race to the finish
(every vol state veteran just had a cold chill run down their spine)
it might be the greatest hell ever experienced at the vol state,
but it would be fun to watch.
or, as a last choice,
they could simply pick a winner between themselves.
lots of people do that….
but that is for 27th and 28th place,
not 1 and 2.
there is only one podium spot.
i noticed that francesca was 2 miles ahead at tonight’s call in.
the race might be on.
60 miles to go.
this should be interesting.
back there with oprah;
marvin has caught up with oprah, but only a mile ahead of her.
the clicking of her high heels on the pavement would be tormenting him
(if he were not deaf as a stump)
during the day she caught paul heckert.
the cheerful astronomer is a favorite,
with 4 finishes to his name.
number 5 is in jeopardy.
he has to be in linden by morning,
or she has him.
and now, diane taylor can hear those high heels clicking on the asphalt behind her.
oprah plays no favorites.
and she never tires.
at the front, and at the back,
the stakes are higher
but every vol stater is in the battle of their lives.
almost everyone has mentally quit more than once.
some have sat on the side of the road and wept.
but those with pins still on the map
have gotten back up,
and gone on.
tonight, the fourth consecutive night on the road,
will decide a lot.
and only the katydids will be there to bear witness.