Archive | July, 2011

The Last Fish

The big salmon swims wearily back and forth in a pool no bigger than a pickup truck bed, curving a body long as my arm to make the turnarounds. He is all alone, and it is the end of the line. He has come back home, to the place where he started, finishing a journey that started here in this creek, a journey that first delivered him to a lake and eventually to a restless home in the Pacific; and now, years later, it has finally returned him to this little pocket of water, a place beyond which he cannot go. He swirls, probing the walls of his bleak prison, his last home.

My son Rory and I stand looking down enthralled. We’ve been searching for this salmon a while now. Driving up this valley north of Seward, Alaska on an August afternoon, we stopped to watch the spawning run in this stream, aptly named Salmon Creek. The road departed a short ways from the creek. We bushwhacked our way through blowdowns and stands of devil’s club to the creek and then worked our way up the stream—unconventional taper for the marathon I’d come so far north to run. We stomped around rather casually at first—until I realized we were in the presence of a bear food bonanza. We have become a bit more watchful now. As the stream grew smaller, Rory, who likes to get to the bottom of things, suggested that we continue upstream until we found the last fish, the very uppermost salmon.

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

Posted in Running0 Comments

‘King of the Road’ Don Winkley’s Winning Vol State 500K Race Report

‘King of the Road’ Don Winkley’s Winning Vol State 500K Race Report

The Race

Last Annual Vol State Road Race. 314 miles – go as you please. It begins by riding the ferry in Hickman Kt across the Mississippi and depart in Missouri. We run 100 meters in Missouri and recross the Mississippi on the ferry. Then the race begins covering about 10 mile across the corner of Kentucky then NW to SE across TN, We leave the state near Nickajack Lake entering Alabama for about 4 miles before crossing into GA on a private ranch for just over 1 mile, The finish on a big rock at the edge of a 150 ft cliff overlooking TN…. Dorena Landing Missouri to Castle Rock Georgia.

The Training

I got involved with a project to save a home I own in Corpus Christi, TX from demolition. The house had been damaged by a hurricane and after working on it for a couple of months I simply deserted the project for about 6 years. First and foremost was the need for a complete reroof. Soffit, fascia, drip strip had to be removed first, remove the layers of buildup roofing, put cripples on rafter ends, install stained redwood fascia with copper nails, paint new drip strip copper color, install drip strip, lay base layer of roll roofing, then final cover coat of roll roofing. About 4-5 hrs per day (12AM to 5PM) in the heat of Texas.

The run training was pathetic, 6 miles each morning at 5:30 AM at such a slow pace. On Saturday and Sunday I ran 10-20 miles with friends at various paces depending.

The drinking. I realized I was well on the way to being an alcoholic so about 3 weeks prior to Vol State I switched to non-alcoholic beer. Drank lots non-alcoholic beer, now I could start drinking when I got up at 4:30AM before the morning run.

The Prediction

I had a really hard run the weekend before leaving for Vol State with a friend Clay Brieger who ran a 3:10 marathon just this past weekend.

I pushed Clay as hard as I could in the heat that arrived that morning at sunrise. Somehow this gave me confidence to announce (only to a few running friends in Corpus Christi) that I was going for all the marbles in Tenn – redline it. If the temperatures were extremely hot during the race I announced “This is a race I think I can win”. Can’t ever remember making such a prediction before.

The Experience Factor

I had run Vol State the prior three years in a row. For anyone with a memory you would know every turn, but you might also remember “it’s no cake walk”. I had never actually raced the race, my only experience reference racing Vol State was my war for 3rd place with Fred Davis last year. With about 80 miles to go, we raced about 30 hrs straight within sight of each other – I eventually broke Fred with only a couple of miles to go. It was my first experience in this race to run all night long.

The Start


I started easy – running a comfortable pace that I anticipated I could hold for a number of hours. I have had so many 24hr, 48hr, 3day, 6day, 1000mile runs. The experience factor, my body is very aware of what is coming. I think the body actually looks forward to the long hours of running. The mind at times rebels but eventually tunes out.

The Crew

Donald Brown was my crew for the 4th year in a row. He is more into the race than I. He would like a live videocam with live GPS for each runner. He wants to follow each runner step by step as they make the long trek across Tenn. He is simply crew EXTRONDINEER. After all our years together there is little need to give any instruction, Donald reminds me of sunscreen, bug spray, lube, helps tape my feet, knows my drink preferences – alternating protein, diet pepsi, pepsi, seamlessly. He also had the course memorized with little need to reference the maps.

The Change

I had been silent reference my feelings that I might actually be able to win this race. While many predicted they would have a sub 5 day performances – I simply listened in silence. I remember Donald asking Carl what he felt my odds of wining were. No comment from Carl. Carl is like the co-race director, himself a hell of a runner.

The first day, day became night and Donald said we had reservations at a hotel for the evening. I suggested that Donald cancel the reservation, I intended to run thru the night.  My plans still being withheld even from my crew.

When we finally got a room the next afternoon, Donald took in his computer and started to follow the race as he had done in prior years. We had taken hotels and stayed 8 hrs or more – time for me to watch Tour de France and for Donald to check up on e-mails ref the race and personal. We would leisurely go to hotel breakfasts, eating and talking.

Don gets testy. Remember I had not disclosed even to Donald my plans to redline the race. Now there were new rules. I told Donald the days of following the race on the computer before I reached the finish were over. My ability to run was totally dependent upon my crew pulling the duty of his life. To run 20 hrs per day is no problem but for the crew 20 hrs is next to impossible. Donald would need all the sleep he could get. The orders from me were to take nothing into the hotel except for a clothing change, toothbrush – We could either win or Donald follow the race but not both. From then on Donald got his updates from Carl by phone.

Actually he got some updates from Natalie his wife in France who would walk to a French internet café, check the Vol State web site and call Donald on the road.

Being First

I took the lead after about 100 miles and seemed to ascend to the throne immediately – never mind there was 200 – actually 213 miles to go. In several multiday races of old I had been in last place for several days watching the early leaders fade and then going for the jugular. When the dust settled I was high up on the leader board, actually winning a Sri Chinmoy 10 day race years ago after being in last place early on.

So I had little experience running in the lead. Actually running in the lead was not so hard – it was the expectation that I should or would hold the lead. Donald was paranoid that I was being caught.

Becoming Unglued

Donald and I had fallen into a rhythm. Running to the hotel mid day, taking a brief rest. I would eat on the run. I ran all night long and during the night Donald would drive 2 miles ahead and sleep. I would knock on the window when I arrived at the car. Donald would unlock the door, I would help myself to drink. He would drive ahead and catch another nap in the car. Our lead of 10-20 miles over 2nd place seemed relatively constant.

Heat Fest – Dehydration – Sleep Deprivation.    Was the Don Donald team about to be unglued?  Donald had complained of headache in a prior day but this day it seemed he was in bad shape. The day was early and I had hoped to run a few more hours before the real heat began. I myself was not feeling well. For the first time we drove ahead to a hotel to get necessary rest. I couldn’t run a step without crew, my race/our race being totally dependent upon Donald and his ability to aid me. Thankfully this unscheduled rest revived both of us.

The Final Push

Only 100 miles to go. I was reduced to about 2 miles per hr but started to run blocks of 10 miles then blocks of 6 miles punctuated by brief rests in the car under air-conditioning. Breaking the final miles into workable blocks of miles gave a mental image of reality. I could run 10 miles – but run 100 miles impossible. I have called what I did running, but I doubt any observer would say I was doing anything other than a power walk. I call it a waddle, developed over the many years of running really long distances. I remember when I could actually run some during my 1000 mile races. But those days – once running 72 miles/day for 14 days in 1997. But those days – are ancient history when dinosaurs dominated the landscape.

I hoped to finish in the daylight but it was not to be. My final miles were extremely slow – the climb up sand mountain to the finish – all I could do was make slow step by step progress. We arrived at the rock – first – 5 days, 14 hrs, 21 min 32 seconds King Don/Donald – a comfortable margin over second place at 5 days, 21 hrs and change.


I wish I had asked more questions of everyone. Laz, Carl are full of stories. In retrospect I always regret talking too much and listening too little. Everyone is and has a great story of how and why they have taken on this Rogue race flying under the radar. No entry form, no entry fee, no awards. What makes this race special is it’s about finishing, well actually starting the race must be very intimidating to a first timer. Anyone who steps off that ferry solo unaided. It’s unimaginable to me. To look at 314 miles of solitary running, day and night, only the sweep of Carl or Laz once per day. Perhaps the daily phone call to report your position. Where do you sleep, how do you find food, drink on those long stretches between towns, convenience stores closed at night? To the unsupported runner, this race should belong to you. My hats off!!

I wish I could/would have stayed at the rock to see all finish. I had no injuries, no blisters, actually Donald popped one blister on my little toe but it was basically well by the finish. For me, I only want solitary down time after races of this distance. I only want to be alone and sleep. So I retreated into my shell, sleeping on Abi’s couch for hours watching Tour de France. Never the less I love and admire each and every finisher. I hope everyone writes a race report.

Queen Juli

Queen Juli – Winner of Vol State 2010. You served the thrown with class. You wrote, “Every once in a while, at work, at the fitness center, or on a run, I tell someone about you all on the roads of Tennessee.

I’ve shown Don’s picture on my phone, telling them he is 73 and just won a 500k run across the state of TN. It makes me happy when they get excited and ask questions. Most can’t believe Don could be 73 years old…. I say, “We have to get older, but we don’t have to get old.””

‘Ultra’ Don Winkley (2011 Winner of The Last Annual Vol State 500K with a time of 5 days 14 hours 21 minutes and 32 seconds)

2011 Last Annual Vol State 500K Results

[Special thanks to Ultra Don for contributing his race report to Run It Fast for all of us to read and learn from. He was truly dominate out there this year.  I was happy to finish the race and witness his brilliance, on and off the road at the Rock!!- joshua holmes]


Posted in Race Reports, Running, Ultra Marathon, Vol State4 Comments

Joshua Holmes Spira del Sol I (yellow) Vol State 500K magical shoes

So What Shoes Did I Wear During The Last Annual Vol State 500K?

Some of you have been asking what shoes I used during The Last Annual Vol State 500K.

Well, here is a detailed answer to that very simple question:

I started in a pretty new pair of Newton Gravity running shoes that I’ve used successfully for several marathons and smaller ultra marathons. After 40 miles I had a blister and thought perhaps the raised rubber lugs on Newtons were helping to intensify this or creating it. altogether. It actually could have been several factors, but once that idea it got in my head it stuck there.

I then tried a pair of Spira del Sol II shoes that had about 200 miles on them. They were ok but still painful with the blisters. In an act of desperation I tried on an original pair of yellow Spira del Sol I shoes I had retired 3 years ago with 550 miles on them. The past 3 years I’ve used the shoes to mow the yard, hike in, and run errands to the store.

Bingo, they felt better and I could move comfortably in them. I used those for the majority of the rest of the race. I used the Spira del Sol II (white) two more times when the Spira del Sol I’s were wet from the rain. I did the last 40 w/ the Spira del Sol II because the del Sol I (yellow) were wet.

I had Blake (crew) set the Spira del Sol I (yellow) shoes out with 3 miles to go so I could pay them back the honor of finishing the race in them. I was in a mad sprint to finish the race and didn’t have time to switch back into them.  They will never be forgotten though.

Here is a mile-by-mile breakdown:

Newton Gravity 1-40 (40)

Spira del Sol II white 41-50 (10)

Spira del Sol I yellow 51-74 (24)

Spira del Sol II white 75-80 (6)

Spira del Sol I yellow 81-207 (127)

Spira del Sol II white 208-211 (4)

New Balance Lite 212 (1)

Spira del Sol I yellow 213-274 (62)

Spira del Sol II white 276-314 (40)

VS500 Totals

Spira del Sol I (yellow) – 213

Spira del Sol II (white) – 60

Newton Gravity – 40

New Balance Lite – 1

# of miles on them before #vs500k

Newton Gravity – 43 (now – 83)

Spira del Sol I yellow – 558 (now – 771)

Spira del Sol II white – 197 (now – 257)

New Balance Lite – new (now – 1)

It just goes to show that you never know what might work out during an extended ultra. The very last thing I threw in the car before taking off to begin this epic journey was the pair of Spira del Sol I (yellow) running shoes. I had retired them several years ago but would still wear them from time to time just to walk around in or to wear to the store.

My crew quickly realized the success I was having in them after trying them in an act of desperation. She sole of the right shoe developed a crack throughout it about half way through and my crew panicked. The shoe started to fall apart a couple other ways as well but it held tough and strong. The Spira del Sol was key to me being able to finish the 2011 Vol State 500K.

– joshua holmes

2011 Last Annual Vol State 500K Results

[image: Carl Laniak]

Posted in Running, Shoes, Ultra Marathon, Vol State2 Comments

Don Winkley 2011 Vol State 500K Winner

2011 Last Annual Vol State 500K Results

Here is a look at the full results from the 2011 ‘Last Annual Vol State 500K Foot Race’ that covered 314 miles through 5 states and the hot-oven that is the state of Tennessee.

73-year old Don Winkley, the Hemmingway of multi-day road racing, won the esteemed title of ‘King of the Road’ finishing the race in 5 days 14 hours 21 minutes and 32 seconds.

Naresh Kumar was the first unaided runner (without crew) to cross the finish line with a time of 7 days 55 minutes and 4 seconds. Naresh completed the brutal race wearing Vibram 5 Fingers the entire way.  He came in 4th overall.

Abi Meadows was the first woman to Castle Rock finishing with a time of 6 days 15 hours 45 minutes and 47 seconds. She finished third overall.

2011 Vol State 500K Final Results

  1. Don Winkley – 5:14:21:32
  2. Mike Matteson – 5:21:21:06
  3. Abi Meadows – 6:15:45:47
  4. Naresh Kumar – 7:00:55:04
  5. Sherry Meador – 7:15:09:01
  6. Fred Murolo – 7:23:42:46
  7. Joshua Holmes – 8:00:07:44
  8. Paul Lefelhocz – 8:04:15:55
  9. Sal Coll – 8:06:40:29
  10. John Price – 8:07:27:00
  11. Erika Matheny – 8:18:57:45
  12. Lynnor Matheny – 8:18:58:42
  13. Diane Taylor – 9:15:11:34


Started but didn’t finish:

  • Joe Judd – 252 miles
  • Fred Davis – 177 miles
  • Stu Gleman – 175 miles
  • Shannon Burke – 130 miles
  • Joe Ninke – 106 miles
  • Marvin Skagerberg – 76 miles

Congrats to all the finishers and to those who started as well. This is a very tough race that takes a very special and determined person to even show up at the ferry for the start at Dorena Landing.

‘King of the Road’ Don Winkley’s Winning Vol State 500K Race Report

Posted in Results, Running, Ultra Marathon, Vol State7 Comments

Last Annual Vol State 500K Results (2011)

Last Annual Vol State 500K Results (2011)

73-year old Don Winkley waddled his way to wining the 2011 Last Annual Vol State 500K with a time of 5 days, 14 hours, 21 min and 32 sec.

The first uncrewed runner to finish the line was Naresh Kumar from India.

2011 Last Annual Vol State 500K Results (C=Crewed)

  1. Don Winkley – 134:21:32 (C)
  2. Michael Matteson – 141:21:06 (C)
  3. Abigail Meadows – 159:45:47 (C)
  4. Naresh Kumar – 168:55:04
  5. Sherry Meador – 183:09:01
  6. Fred Murolo – 191:42:46 (C)
  7. Joshua Holmes – 192:07:44 (C)
  8. Paul Lefelholcz – 196:15:55
  9. Sal Coll – 198:40:29
  10. John Price – 199:27:00
  11. Erika Matheney – 210:57:45
  12. Lynnor Matheney – 210:58:42
  13. Diane Taylor – 231:01:34

Congrats to all of the starters and finishers of the 2011 Last Annual Vol State 500K.

Posted in Results, Running, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Vol State 2011 End

Day 9: The Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Vol State 2011 End

8:18:57:45 & 8:18:58:42
Erika followed by Lynnor The fightin’ mathenys!!!

July 22, 2011 John price’s 5th finish…. C

Mike Langille Epic job.

July 22, 2011 Sal coll is done C

Another race up sand mountain
So as Paul came in to the finish, we got a call from John price. “hey, who’s behind me…

July 22, 2011 Paul lefelhocz “I feel so impressed with myself right now”

From: Carl Laniak
Date: July 22, 2011 8:33:23 AM EDT
To: Vol State List , The ULTRA List Subject: 8:00:07:44

finish vol state 2011

Josh Holmes.
“I sprinted the last 15k”
“am I done?”


Posted in Events, Marathon, Race Reports, Vol State0 Comments

Front Page News for Vol State Runners 2011

Day 8: The Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Front Page News for Vol State Runners 2011

Naresh, Unaided Vol State 2011 WInner

From: Carl Laniak
Date: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 8:34 AM
Subject: 7:00:55:04
To: Vol State List , The ULTRA List

Naresh wins unaided category.
He crushed the opposition!


From: Carl Laniak
Date: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 8:16 AM
Subject: Casualties continue vol-state 18
To: Vol State List , The ULTRA List

Naresh: in cornfields
Sherry: montage 274
Sal: Pelham cafe, “feeling better, but I’ll fix that” 266
Josh h: 262 – ten marathons
The jp and Fred Murolo reported the same mileage, 255. Although they were unaware of each others’ presence.
Reports of Joe judd’s demise were premature….but not exaggerated, he has dropped at 252
Lefelhocz: sense of humor good, pain level high, 250
The fightin mathenys are trucking again, 245

Diane is still smiling and laughing, 235.

Naresh is coming around the corner….


Morning Day 8 Vol State

From: Carl Laniak
Date: July 20, 2011 8:12:09 PM CDT
To: The ULTRA List , Vol State List
Subject: If I felt like this any other time I’d go to the hospital vol-state 17

The kind of physical condition these people are in is beyond the scope of reason.
Each man and woman still on the course after 200 miles is suffering.
No one has looked good in the past 24 hrs.

They are:
Abi meadows- 300 miles- finishing before midnite
Naresh Kumar- 282- sub 7???
Sherry Meador- 260
Fred and Joe the survivors- 244
Sal- in Manchester sleeping
Jp- 241
Josh h- 236

some of them are hard to look at.
they’ve got to want it really bad.
at other races
you might have to be fast
you might have to be strong
but the volstate
is all about wanting it
really bad

the “it” they want really bad right now
is for IT to be over…


day 8 vol state sunrise

About 2am, Somewhere around Manchester Vol State 2011

The weather is uninhabitable, even for walking outside at 8am. It was already 94 degrees on our vehicle gauge. I don’t know how they are doing this.

Posted in Events, Injuries, Marathon, Running, Ultra Marathon, Vol State0 Comments

Vol State 2011 Winner

Day 7: The Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Winning TIme- First Runner to Finish in record time. It is a delicate balance for the runners: try to not kill yourself to finish but pace yourself fast enough to finish, and pretend it’s not a race. Keep telling themselves that it is enough to finish. Careful out there everyone! “It’s enough just to be nominated!”…


Vol State 2011 Winner

From: Carl Laniak
Date: July 19, 2011 10:02:25 PM CDT
To: Vol State List , The ULTRA List Subject: 5:14:21:32

Everyone know how to read that finish time??

King juli the lean’s reign is over.
King don has ascended to the throne.

From: lazarus lake
Date: July 20, 2011 10:14:24 AM CDT
To: ,
Subject: survival. it comes down to survival. vol-state 15

even as a lucky few are celebrating success…
or sleeping the sleep of the dead,

those surviving on the road are doing just that


some of them.

abi leads the survivors, in pelham at 266.
says if she sees us,she is dumping off her gear
and going for the rock.

naresh is in hot pursuit in hillsboro (app 260).
ok, he isnt in hot pursuit
he is sitting in an abandoned convenience store
with a bag of ice on his foot
says his foot feels like a brick attached to his ankle.
says he only hopes to wake up someday and not feel like this.
(there we go again. need another bio update.
the vol-state fairly breeds fantasy ultra goals)

sherry is somewhere in there,but has so far remained quiet.
we hope she is not waiting in ambush for us to drive thru.

sal has swept thru the survivors & is at 240,
on 16th model road

josh is also moving up,past shelbyville at 228

fred the surviving, is also past shelbyville at 225

paul at 216 leads john price at 215
each walking in their own personal hell

the waltzing mathenys are at 210
with erika injured,and 104 miles still to go.

diane is thru lewisburg, at 203.
cheerful as ever.
pretty unique right now.

joe, the surviving is still in lewisburg.
at 202.
seriously contemplating quitting.
a rumor surfaced that he is thinking of trying to go with fred, the surviving,
and share crew.
that would mean he doesnt know fred left last night & is now 25 miles away.
joe might be at a critical juncture.

stu gleman was at the edge of columbia
when it dawned on him that he didnt have to do this.
he is finished at 175.

with about an hour & a half total sleep last night,
carl is wavering.
do you believe those guys really timed out their finishes on purpose??
i swear, riding herd on this crew is genuinely tiring….

it just doesn’t hurt.


Vol State 2011 Road Temperatures are on Fire

From: lazarus lake
Date: July 20, 2011 10:58:26 AM CDT
To: ,
Subject: welcome to my oven

the course riders just poked our heads out.

it is like an f’ing oven out there.

if an oven had 90% humidity.

god help the poor souls on the road.


Fueling up, Road style- headed for the finish.

Day 7 Vol State 2011 GPS Location

Posted in Events, Marathon, Race Reports, Running, Timed Races, Ultra Marathon, Vol State1 Comment

Day 6 Vol State 2011

Day 6: The Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

OUCH! just got in. 201. 35 that stretch. Last 6 were the hardest, hottest miles I’ve ever put down. It took forever- Josh Holmes.

From: lazarus lake
Date: July 19, 2011 9:38:46 AM CDT
To: ,
Subject: so easy from an office chair; vol-state 14

it is so easy, looking at the mike-map
to think the whole thing is done at halfway.

ask a runner (any of them)
if they are almost sorry that it is about over….

and you will draw an incredulous stare.

even at 200 miles, the finish is an unimaginable distance away.

and it is so easy to ride about in my car
(i swear, i am tired… but i DONT HURT!)
or to sit in our office chairs
and watch the little flags march across the map.

out there it is real the whole time. very, very real.

and nothing is cerain.
the race is not almost over.
until you reach the cornfields at castle rock.

standings after 5 days:

1) don is at 278, around tracy city.
he has his 20 mile lead. but the heat is on.
he hopes to finish sometime tonight.

2) mike is at 258, somewhere around hillsboro.
can he mount a final charge in a heat advisory…
with two major hills to climb
(along with the most feared feature on the course,
the hellish descent into jasper)?

3)abi is past shelbyville at 227
4) sherrie is coming into shelbyville at 223
5) naresh is hot on sherrie’s heels at 222
6) joe is hovering behind the herd at 215…
like a wolf, waiting to pick off the old and weak.

7) sal is at 202… waiting for his wife to pick him up.
he has reached the end of the endless road.

8) josh is at 195, just past mooresville.
his nightmare continues.

9) john is in glendale at 184…
at the “bench of despair”
he, like so many vol-staters before him,
has come there to contemplate dropping.

10 & 11) the lovely & indefatiguable lynnor & erika at 180
are just leaving columbia.

12) fred murolo is at 179 in columbia, and moving
13) paul is stationary at 179, in columbia, and resting

14) fred davis is at 177, the columbia square.
and he is done.
ride arrangements are incomplete…

there is a reality check for you.
if fred is down, no one is safe.

15) stu is at 157, past the natchez trace & “celebrating” the halfway point.

16) we have a report of diane at 152. she was staying at a place around 158…
(the ridgetop inn; I would never climb the hill to that place at the end of a day)
and she always makes it to her indoor plumbing & bed with a mattress.
so i believe her to be at 158.

two more gone
and the heat has only just begun.

the battle of the vol-state:

they got on the ferry & they rode it to kentucky,
they were headed for a battle in the state of tennessee.

there was heat and pain a waiting, but they didnt waver
they were bound to make their way; to the castle rock, you see.
the sun went down and the runners kept a comin
there wasnt near as many as there was the morn before.

they ran thru the bottoms and they ran over ridges
they ran thru dry stretches where a camel wouldnt go.
the sun came up and the runners kept a comin’
there wasnt quite as many as there was the night before.

they ran so far that stray dogs couldnt follow
down the endless blacktop to the slopes of never more.
the sun went down and the runners kept a comin
there wasnt near as many as there was the morn before

they left their homes & they left their loved ones
to fight a hopeless battle in the state of tennessee.
but those who reached the rock down in georgia
found the prettiest sight that they would ever see…

the finish.


Subject: RE: forgot the drop

Yep- absolutely amateur hour out there. Pepper spraying myself. 5 miles off course.
You know the movie “Misery” with Kathy Bates? I would much rather have that block of wood between my ankles than continue down those TN back roads.
Yep- definitely an amateur.
-Shannon Burke (THE corydon candy arse that is currently looking to move as far away from lazarus lake and his races as possible.
Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

Vol State 2011 Bench of Despair

Mile 200 Vol State Road Race 2011

Today the heat increases to several warnings at at 8am, already 99% humidity.  Runners are going to have to take extreme care and get as many miles in under the cover of night as possible.

Day 6 Vol State Sunrise

From: lazarus lake <>

Date: July 18, 2011 8:56:17 PM CDT

To: <>, <>

Subject: the heat is on vol-state 13

those mild temperatures are about used up.

today was the first day the heat returned.

i pointed out to the runners who were willing to listen

that the road temperatures were over 140.

Heat Warnings Vol State 2011

most of them didnt want to hear it.

tomorrow is projected to bring on our first heat advisory since the start.

the runners ought to weather it pretty well.

everyone left seems to be pretty well road-hardened at this point.

everyone is hurt, in one way or another.

everyone fervently wants it to be over.

no one is showing signs of quitting.

status after 4 days & 12 hours:

1) don winkley-246 in manchester & moving

2) mike matteson-last seen in shelbyville at 223 early this afternoon.

if he is still there, don is in good shape.

every mile he is past that narrows don’s lead….

i’d give a lot to know just where he is right now

and just what he is doing!

(i bet don would, too)

3,4,5) sherry meador, joe judd, and abi meadows all in lewisburg at 202,

sleeping in the same motel. they all arrived within an hour.

after 200+ miles, who can sleep the least means everything.

6,7) sal coll & naresh kumar 199, in the edge of lewisburg.

will they hit the motel, or will they jump over the sleepyheads?

8) john price- 169 at the site of the famous watermelon incident

Day 6 Vol State Map

9) josh holmes-166 but gone to earth

10) paul lefelhocz-164 just past hampton

11) fred davis-163-at the top of a big hill, he can see 12, 13, and 14 strung out behind him,

in order they are:

fred murolo, lynnor matheny, erika matheny

they are all in mile 163

15) diane taylor-around the natchez trace at 154

16) stu gleman-short of natchez trace at 152, and resting

lots of close races after 4 and a half days.

it isnt just the temperatures that are fixing to heat up.


Josh Holmes Location 8am July 19, 2011:

Posted in Marathon, Race Reports, Running, Ultra Marathon, Vol State0 Comments

Josh Holmes and Crew Vol State 2011

Day 5: The Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

shannon burke became the third casualty after her 5 mile wrong-way exploit,
bailing out at about 130.


How bad is it that as Joshua Holmes’ Crew, Cal and I get more info about his health and mileage info from Facebook and twitter than we do from him…- Blake Heiman (Crew)

Naresh is resting at 180. Heading in. Now at. 167 miles total. 37.45 according to Garmin since left hotel last night. Felt really good. 12 hours 27 min on road. Time for ice, shower, foot soak, food, sleep.- Josh Holmes

Josh Holmes and Crew Vol State 2011

From: lazarus lake <>

Date: July 18, 2011 9:25:10 AM CDT

To: <>, <>

Subject: laughter is the best medicine vol-state 12

when your whole world consists of discomfort,

the only thing to do is laugh.

looking at the limping, bleary-eyed “runners” along the side of tenesse’s roads

we need to laugh a lot.

one of the lady runners (name withheld to protect the foolish)

after spotting a couple of shady looking characters parked beside the road

realized she had never tested her pepper spry.

so she reached down, pressed the trigger

and sprayed herself in the face.

the good news: it worked

more good news: “i needed a good cry anyway.”

another un-named participant told me;

“on day two i started to wish a truck would hit me.

i was imagining it just hitting me a little bit,

and only injuring me slightly…

so i would have a reason to stop”

i think this call for an updated list bio:

fantasy ultra goal: to be hit by a truck, and only injured slightly.

more misdirection?

stu & shannon got up this morning in linden,

dragged their aching bodies back to the road,

and stumbled 5 miles back toward parsons.

altho it seems incomprehensible,

this is a common error at the vol-state.

the first time i remember it,

dirt thompson (within single digit miles of winning)

stopped briefly (to remove a rock from his shoe, i believe)

then began walking back the way he had come.

when we came to naresh & sal during yesterday’s drive thru

they expressed concern about sherry.

“she threw up, she is not drinking enough,…”

when i asked where she was;

“oh, she left an hour before we did from (the last stop)”

we found sherry about 5 miles ahead, and moving strong.

if sherry is in trouble, what does that say for sal & naresh?

lynnor & erika are actually turning a profit in the vol-state.

for whatever reason,

people keep stopping them and giving them money.

erika is considering this as NEW a summer job when she gets home;

“this pays better than my job!”

lynnor, on the other hand, is starting to feel slighted;

“she has gotten $30 so far. i’ve got $1!”

another pair of runners staggered into a town long after the stores had closed.

famished, they went to the only open establishment;

a bar; full of drunks in the wee hours.

they figured peanuts & potato chips were better than nothing.

after talking to the bartender for a while,

she went & got the frozen pizza she had brought to eat after her shift;

“you need it worse than i do.”

sometimes road angels are the only reason the uncrewed runners survive.

i have to stop here, they are badgering me to get off the computer.

but the stories could fill a book.

don w is nearing war trace, at mile 231

during the night he extended his lead on

mike m, who is leaving lewisburg, at 202

abi & sherry are both out of columbia at 181 (but not together)

joe judd is at 180,

as are naresh and sal (who are, none the less, not with joe)

josh holmes has moved back up heading for hampton at 157

fred murolo is right behind him at 154

erika & lenore are leaving hohenwald at 145

fred davis is just ahead of them, also listed at 145

and john price is about 146

paul lefelhocz has come back & repasse diane taylor

paul is at 133, and diane at 129.

stu and shannon, after traveling 5 miles the wrong way,

are in linden ar 125…. again.

and it just keeps getting better.

dont you wish you could be here to see all the fun?


A Gorgeous Beginning to Day 5, Vol State 2011

Today begins day 5 of the Vol State road race and it seems that retention of runners is holding.

GPS location of Josh Holmes:

Posted in Marathon, Photos, Race Reports, Results, Running, Timed Races, Ultra Marathon, Vol State1 Comment

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