|This is your prize for finishing 314 miles|
That's right, it's time for Vol State again. It starts on July 10th at 7:30 am in Hickman, Kentucky and about 80 of us have ten days to get to Castle Rock, Georgia. We can do the 314 miles in any time frame we want as long as it's complete in ten days. I completed this race in 2012 and DNFed at 208 miles in 2013. It's hard. It hurts. There are people who do it in four days and people who do it in ten. The suffering of everyone is just that, suffering.
Tomorrow, I'll post about injury, meds and the challenges I'm going to face in this race. It will probably be interesting to people with adrenal insufficiency.
|Mississippi River seen from the ferry|
You might ask, "Why would you want to suffer?" The answer is simple and not so simple. Completing 314 miles on foot is an extraordinary accomplishment that makes you feel like nothing else regardless of whether you are at the front or back of the pack. Seeing Tennessee on foot is amazing. The kindness and curiosity of strangers is overwhelming and makes you feel like everything is right in the world. Being around 80 or so other sickos who have trained (you'd hope, right?), thought about this, want to complete this run as badly as you and will share a unique experience is priceless. To even WANT to do a race like Vol State puts you in a special category of crazy that creates an instant bond.
On Tuesday, July 8th, 2014, I will be headed up to Kimball, Tennessee. I will join a group of people that I consider family and some that will instantly become my family. Yes, dysfunctional family at times but family none the less. We will laugh, cry, pee, eat, give advice, sleep on the ground together and share our most inner thoughts over the next week and a half. Sometimes, we will act as the protector (thanks Brad!) and sometimes we will mother others through their difficult moments. We will encourage and give shit to each other. In the end, finish the race or not, we will have a lot to talk about (like Jan and I at Lake to Ocean or Shannon and I at Frozen Head). No matter how painful any of it was mentally or physically to go through to get to the end, the remembrances will be full of laughter and smiles. I can't wait.
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 the shuttle leaves from Castle Rock, Georgia and drives us to Union City near the start. That night we will have what is called The Last Supper at Ryan's and then retire to our rooms to nervously arrange and rearrange our meager gear, tape our feet and probably not sleep.
Thursday, July 10th, 2014 the buses will drive us from Union City, Tennessee to Hickman, Kentucky where we will ride the ferry from Hickman, Kentucky (this is going to sound really silly), I think we get off the ferry on the other side of the Mississippi at Dorena Landing, Missouri, get back on the ferry and go back to Hickman, Kentucky. At about 7:30 am, Lazarus Lake will light a cigarette and we will be off running, walking and crawling to Alabama via Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.
If you are interested in following my progress or the race's progress:
- The race: Google spreadsheet, make sure you check out the tabs at the bottom which include standings, updates, links, press releases, etc. Spreadsheet will be updated every twelve hours.
- My twitter feed: @notfastsoigofar I will be posting each time I pass a town or something noteworthy. Tweets by @notfastsoigofar
|Written on the road by Joe Fejes' crew. My kind of people.|
|Classic Laz. Usually has a smoke in his hand too.|