Day 5: 2012 Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Day 5 of the Last Annual Vol State! Saturday they had wild rain, yesterday they had steamy heat…what will be in store for our small band of runners today? I’ll be updating today’s live blog throughout the day so check back to see all the happenings. Here are the first 4 Days if you didn’t get a chance to read them:

Day 1      Day 2      Day 3     Day 4

And don’t forget, you can always:

-See what Joshua (@bayou) is up to on twitter or search the tag #VS500 on twitter.
-Check out The Last Annual Vol State Road Race page on Facebook.
-Check out the Vol State 2012 Map to see where the runners are (updated 2x per day w/ last location).
-Carl Laniak is adding photos to his album if you’d like to check those out as well:  Vol State 2012 Album
-Naresh is at the Vol State now and taking photos! Check it out: Naresh’s Vol State 2012 Album 

So far today:

 Update of runner status by Laz at 10:38 pm

 vol state update 9: 4.5 days, the hammer comes down

i always get frustrated at the “horror moves” where the victim gains the upper hand,
then immediately turns her back on the villain,’only to be grabbed again when the villain comes back to life.
once you knock them down, you are supposed to make sure they never get back up.
i always coached basketball by the same theory.
it wasnt that i believed in running up a score,
but when you get the upper hand you keep hammering until you know the opponent is not coming back.

the feral fox apparently comes from the same school.
he opened a small lead at 3.5 days.
blew it open at 4.
the surviving contenders tried to answer.
but fox was like a runaway train.
by 4.5 days, he had the race in hand.

42 miles thru the east tennessee mountains isnt exactly a formality.
it falls short of being a victory procession.
but with a 27 mile lead, the feral fox can almost feel the crown on his head….

after his call-in from the top of mointeagle mountain,
we watched as an intense electrical storm descended on his position.
lightning was hammering the top of the mountain,
huge bolts that ran from ground to sky like dancing pillars,
some lasting 4 or 5 seconds.
dan had lost his rain gear 12 hours earlier, while making his 4-day call-in.

i reckon he will have an entertaining night to tell us about when he arrives.
we expect him to reach the rock sometime tomorrow morning.

dan’s lost raingear was part of an all-male attempt to cut into the women’s lead in the battle of the sexes.
the men tallied 2 sets of lost raingear, a lost phone charger, and a drop.
the women answered with a lost phone charger, a lost pair of pants (!?), a couple of lost hats, and another drop.

and we havent even counted sunglasses.
we saw one woman, who had lost her sunglasses on day one, running with several spare pairs hanging from her pack.

however, no one may be able to match the performance of sulaiman and jay.
after running off course in the wee hours of the morning, and unwittingly taking a room in a motel far from the course,
they awoke to find themselves on a road that they could not reconcile to their maps,
and spent 6 hours circling lewisburg on the bypass…
a new twist on the concept of the endless loop.

11 hours in lewisburg.

we received several frantic phone calls from the wayward duo during their treadmill experience.
but we couldnt figure out where they were, either.
we finally came across them during our afternoon drive thru…
only a mile short of where they called in from that morning.

lets see the women top that one.

standings after 4.5 days

1) dan fox- 272 (monteagle)
2) paul lefelhocz- 245 (he finally had to sleep)
3) joshua holmes- 244.5
4) juli aistars- 244 (and starting to lean)
5) thomas mikkelson- 235.5 (waiting in his car for the electrical storms to subside)
6) sulaiman sericki- 212 (off the treadmill)
7) jay dobrovinski- 211 (still dizzy from circling the bypass)
8 ) charlie taylor-207.5 (just passed jp)
9) john price- 207
10) sherry meador-202 (rest break!)
11) richard westbrook- last sighted at mile 200 (might b e as high as 8th place)
12) psyche wimberly- 195
13) rita barnes- 185 (dropped at the bench of despair)
14-15-16) jan silverman, dusty hardman, and shannon burke- 179 (rest break in columbia)
17) sal coll- 156 (gone home)
18) diane taylor- 144 (short break in hohenwald, then a big push to get back on track)
19) fred taylor 125 (gone home)
20) marvin skagerberg-125 (linden rest break)
21) oprah- 124
22) erika matheny/adam vess relay- 122 (gone home)
23) mike melton- 121 (gone home)
24) abi meadows- 100 (gone home)

there is no way to tell all the stories.


Posted by Joshua at 10:32 pm

Posted by Joshua at 10:27 pm

Naresh added a bunch of photos to his Vol State 2012 from the weekend. Check out the rain they were dealing with and the “bench of despair” (see Email from Laz at 7:25 am on Day 4)! Naresh’s Vol State 2012 Album Thanks to Naresh for letting me share some of them here.

Email from Carl at 2:00 pm

Fly 5

Melton is picked up.
121 miles in 103 hours.


Email from Carl at 11:29 am

More tails from the road…

In shelbyville, juli was hiding from the sun under her umbrella, when I semi went by and blew it inside out. It was destroyed by the blast.

She had just climbed a rise past the dollar general…but, oh, the effort to go back down the hill for a new sunshade!

She went in the convenience store where she was, and sweet talked her way into purchasing the clerk’s umbrella, for $10.

The great added benefit?
“This one is prettier!”

Now, tell me, would you rather get online and order a $300 garmin watch, or get yourself to shelbyville at mile 226 and scavenge an umbrella off a startled and confused quick-mart clerk???

Welcome to volstate!


Update from Carl at 11:09 am

As an update, we just received word from jays family, and then directly from sulaiman by text message, that those two are currently sleeping in lewisburg at 202.


Email from Carl at 11:04 am

As we head out for the LONG drive thru today (the runners are spread from 113 to 250, and we will drive that twice!) it is hard not to start getting excited about the race charging towards the rock.
It seems the contenders are down to the Ohioans. The Fox and the Hocz.

Paul called us from wartrace, wondering where he could go down for a major rest. When he learned that he was second by less than 10 miles, his voice wavered between excitement and despair….. “oh no! I guess I’ll just take a quick nap on this bench and then keep going.”


Driving backwards on the course, we’ve just seen a hunched over figure operating at a semblance of a jog. It was juli aistars, coming in to shelbyville just before 11am.

The sun is heating up the roads, these runners are in for a baking hot day, where their brains will be as hot as their feet.

From the shimmering heat of Pelham for the leaders as they press towards monteagle mountain….to the mortals who are toiling in the no mans land between Columbia and culleoka, all those runners still on the course can truly say that they know what it means to push themselves to the brink.

For those of you on the edge of your seats in your air conditioned offices….get out your number 2 pencils and start planning for vol state 2013. The Tennessee roads will welcome you just like they have Thomas mikkelson, (who we just passed in Wheel, TN) with a warm (stiflingly warm) embrace.


Posted by Joshua at 9:07 am

 Update of runner status by Laz at 8:45 am

vol state update 8: what comes down must go up

vol staters may be consistent with their performance,
but their emotional state is a different matter.
part of running the vol-state, at least successfully,
is surviving the crushing emotional and physical lows that accompany the effort.
sitting at home (or even putting in endless miles up and down the route in a car)
it is easy to say that every low will pass,
that highs
(such as one can feel a “high” after a couple of hundred miles, with over a hundred remaining)
will be in the future.
at the time when it is only with the greatest effort one can trudge along at 30 minutes a mile,
it seems like this is the state that will last forever.
that, if anything, it will get even worse.
the ever-present pain seems to crescendo,
until it’s cacaphonous screaming wracks your body and fills your head.
the mind can only calculate the endlessly depressing slow progress,
which will never get you to the finish.
the downward spiral disappears into the mists below you.
the freefall can only end when you crash to earth in a total collapse.

to succeed at the volstate
you must preserve a spark of hope deep inside.
you must persevere thru any depression.
it will not always be that way.
there are still times in the future when you will move strongly,
and you will feel invincible,
as if you could go on forever.
and somewhere out there in the future is the rock.
the reward for never losing sight of your goal.
the incredible power of that moment,
when you step on, touch, or kiss the rock,
and all the pressure ends cannot be described.
it can only be felt.
and the memory of that moment will last a lifetime,
with a power that could not be, if it were not for the hopeless, horrible lows.
so easy to understand on the sofa,
so hard to believe on the road.
what comes down must go up.

standings after 4 days:

1) dan (feral) fox- 243 nearing manchester. dan is putting together an astonishing uncrewed run.
2) paul lefelhocz- 230 nearing war trace. these guys are writing the book on running crewless… and competing.
3) joshua holmes- 221 fixing to take a break
4) juli aistars- 210 moving, after finally taking a nights sleep
5) thomas mikkelson- 209 moving
6) john price- 185 moving
7) charkley taylor- 181 moving
8 ) sherry meador- 180 moving
9) richard westbrook- 179.5 moving

10-11) sulaiman sericki and jay dobrobluski were last reported resting at 179. they might have started and not had cell phone reception to check in…

12) psyche wimberly- 175 she was forced off the course by a cop in columbia last night. back on course this morning.
13) jan silverman – 161 moving
14) sal coll- 156 (gone home)
15) rita barnes- 152 moving
16) dusty hardman- 151 moving
17) shannon burke- 147 moving
18) dian taylor- 126 moving
19) fred davis- 125 (gone home)
20) erika matheny/adam vess relay- 122 (gone home)
21) marvin skagerberg- 115 (across the river!) moving
22) oprah- 114 moving
23) mike melton- 108 moving (?) describes seeing oprah blow past as “emasculating”
24) abi meadows- 100 (gone home)

Email from Laz last night at 10:13 pm

possibly the greatest race photo ever taken



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- who has written 717 posts on Run It Fast®.

Lisa (RIF Club Member #5) has completed 27 half marathons, 13 marathons, 5 50Ks, 2 12 Hour races, and 1 100K. Her favorite races to date are the Disneyland Half Marathon, the Leading Ladies Marathon, the Bataan Memorial Death March, and the Jackson Jackass 50K. You can follow her on Twitter @runlikeacoyote

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One Response to “Day 5: 2012 Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog”

  1. Nathan Bass says:

    Thanks for all the updates. I am obsessed!


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