Day 5: 2013 Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Bench of Despair

Yesterday saw the crowning of a new King of the Road. Joe Fejes was this year’s winner and he set a course record while he was at it! He shaved over 9 hours off the old record and completed the VS500K in 3 days 8 hours 10 min 16 sec. 9 hours! Only in a race like this could that be conceivable. The old record stood for 8 years and you have to wonder how long this one will stand. The race is gaining in popularity so more and more “fast” people may have a go at it.

Who will finish today? Check back throughout the day to find out!

Links you might find fun/useful:

To catch up on previous days: Day1   Day2   Day3   Day4  

Last Annual Volstate 500K Spreadsheet & Map – for runner tracking (updated twice a day).
Carl’s 2013 Last Annual Volstate 500K AlbumDay 2 Drive Thru, and Day 3 Photos

RunItFast: @runitfast
Joshua Holmes: @bayou
Shannon Burke: @s4121burke
Dallas Smith:  @smithbend
VS500: #VS500 or #VS500K

UltraJoshua – Facebook page for Joshua Holmes
Last Annual Vol State Road Race – Facebook page for VS500K

So far today:

Lisa: Here are the Top 10, Top 3 Women, and Team Standings as of the 108 Hour Update:

Top 10
1. Joe Fejes – 314 miles (Done! 3 days 8 hours 10 min 16 sec)
2. Alan Abbs – 314 miles (Done! 4 days 11 hours 31 min 27 sec
3. Sung Ho Choi – 308 miles (Now done! 4 days 13 hours 39 min 52 sec)
4. John Fegyveresi – 300 miles
5. Jim Ball – 262 miles
6. Sal Coll – 250 miles
7. Joshua Holmes – 241 miles
8. Brad Compton – 233 miles
9. Ray Krolewicz – 223 miles
10. Richard Westbrook, Roy Tamez, Tim Purol, Jeff Kasal – 222 miles

Top 3 Women
1. Sherry Meador – 218 miles
2. Psyche Wimberly – 203 miles
3. Dusty Hardman – 186 miles

1. Team Stinky Feet – 314 miles (Done! 2 days 19 hours 14 min 17 sec)
2. Team Country Gentlemen – 314 miles (Done! No time posted yet though)
3. Team Two Step – 311 miles
4. Team Saturday – 190 miles

A flurry of finishes today! And more should be coming in any minute now. What a day!

Email from Mike Dobies at 10:05 pm:

Vol State – 108 Hour Update

Tracking Sheet:


Lisa: Congrats to Bruce for being 3rd to the rock!

Email from Carl Laniak at 9:21 pm:

4:13:39:52 – Bruce Sung Ho Choi

“Can I get a ride”


Lisa: Alan Abbs is 2nd at the 2013 Last Annual Vol State 500K…and he did it uncrewed and set a new uncrewed course record! Congratulations Alan!

Email from Carl Laniak at 7:15 pm:

Alan Abbs – 4:11:31:27

Sub 4.5 days!


Lisa: That’s one way to deal with the dogs! That or pepper spray.

Tweet from Dallas at 7:06 pm:

Lisa: Did you see Laz’s reference to Oprah in his email this morning?

but it is the way of the world.
the strong cannot carry the weak forever.
sooner or later the choice is whether one will survive,
or both will fall to oprah.

There have been other references to her throughout the race as well. So you may be wondering what’s going on with Oprah. Well, I mentioned before that there is no money or bling prize for winning or completing the Last Annual Vol State 500K. In fact, there isn’t even an entrance fee. You just show up at the ferry. And while this is a pretty laid back race, you do still have to meet cut-offs because you only have 10 days to finish it. In this screen capture of the 2013 VS500K map, the runners are represented by numbers and then there’s the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper is the pace you must stay at to complete the race in 10 Days. If you’re behind him…adios!

Now, I’m not saying the Grim Reaper and Oprah are one in the same but here’s an excerpt from one of Laz’s emails from last year:

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.


Spectre…Oprah…Grim Reaper…same difference! Don’t fear the reaper but you better keep moving!

Instagram post from Josh at 2:53 pm:

Lisa: Tweets from Dusty Hardman (@notfastsoigorfar) and Dallas Smith about life on the road in the VS500K:

Sometimes, it’s about enjoying the simple things in life! Also, in the last tweet by Dallas, he mentions the location of hotels being important. That’s because uncrewed runners are not allowed to accept rides to/from hotels. They must get to them using their own two legs and since no one wants to add miles, you either sleep in a hotel when you get to it or find somewhere else to sleep…like a cemetery!

Make sure you follow Dusty and Dallas so you don’t miss all the fun out there!

Lisa: Abi Meadows was kind enough to share her pics of July 13 -14 with the list. Check them out!

Email from Laz at 9:25 am:

Vol State – 96 Hour Update

vol state trivia:

on day one we suggested jim ball consider calling 911,
after he collapsed in a ditch.
he waved off the suggestion.

check out who is in third among the screwed runners.

laz (do not try this at home)

Lisa: Here are the Top 10, Top 3 Women, and Team Standings

Top 10
1. Joe Fejes – 314 miles (Done! 3 days 8 hours 10 min 16 sec)
2. Alan Abbs – 282 miles
3. John Fegyveresi – 266 miles
4. Sung Ho Choi – 264 miles
5. Jim Ball – 230 miles
6. Sal Coll – 223 miles
7. Joshua Holmes – 218 miles
8. Ray Krolewicz – 208 miles
9. Brad Compton – 206 miles
10. Charlie Taylor – 196 miles

Top 3 Women
1. Sherry Meador – 192 miles
2. Psyche Wimberly – 178 miles
3. Dusty Hardman – 161 miles

1. Team Stinky Feet – 314 miles (Done! 2 days 19 hours 14 min 17 sec)
2. Team Country Gentlemen – 300 miles
3. Team Two Step – 250 miles
4. Team Saturday – 149 miles

Looks like we will be seeing more finishers today! Team Country Gentlemen could be there as I write this and Alan Abbs is right behind them. No drops overnight so that’s a good thing. Let’s hope they all have good days out there!

By the way, did you know there is no prize or medal for this race? And that the only title that matters is King of the Road? The people who run this don’t do it for the glory or the money or the bling. They do it to see if they can and to find out what they are made of!

Email from Laz at 9:20 am:

human dynamics after 4 days on the road

you might not expect it,
but the vol-state is an excellent place to study human behavior.
4 days into this ordeal,
and all the pretenses have been stripped away.

with a world reduced to concerns for food and water,
a safe place to shit,
and maybe, on a good day, shelter for sleeping,
people soon become who they really are.
after 4 days on the road,
everyone is who they really are.

it is refreshing that most rise to the challenge,
rather than sink to the situation.

group dynamics;
runners pair up.
sometimes, maybe most of the time,
they combine their strengths,
each providing an extra facet to the other.
humans can be stronger together,
than the sum of the parts.

their weaknesses play off one another,
and the team dynamic pulls them into a vortex of failure.
the stronger member has to realize that they must abandon their companion
(because forming a weak team does not prevent growing attached)
humans together can be weaker than the sum of the parts.

sometimes, even in a good team,
the strong must abandon the weak.
it is sad,
but it is the way of the world.
the strong cannot carry the weak forever.
sooner or later the choice is whether one will survive,
or both will fall to oprah.

relays, and crew-runner teams plan to be together from the start to the finish.
the crucible of the vol-state either forges unbreakable bonds,
or melts away the bonds that connect the runners.
relay runners are likely to embrace at the rock.
or they may pull me aside when I stop to check on them;
each telling me that the other;
“has lost his mind.”

the crew can watch their runner persevere;
to suffer from severe discomfort, fatigue,
and feel this growing pride inside for what the runner has accomplished.
regardless of place or time
because what you accomplish out here is not measured by where you finish.
no one prolongs the ordeal in order  to “make it easier”
the longer it takes, the harder it is.
what you accomplish is measured by where you get.
every runner who reaches the rock
is, in that moment, greatness.

the runner either sees the crew as saviors,
as angels whose presence makes this hell bearable.
or they can grouse and complain about the crew’s failures.
failures to anticipate their needs,
and have exactly what is wanted,
exactly when it is desired.

of course there is no magic provision
that will take away the reality of 4 days and nights on the road.

but it is the screwed runners who reveal themselves under the brightest lights of all.
the screwed vol-state is an unimaginable test of will and endurance.
no one who drops can be faulted by those who were not there.
there are,
once you get out of the ferry’s shadow,
countless reasons to stop….

all of them are good reasons.
the vol-state is not kind to your body or your mind.

there is but one reason to continue;
you set out to do this thing,
and you refuse to be stopped.

and this is the only thing it takes to finish the race;
the refusal to be stopped.

all the little veteran tricks of the trade,
you will learn.
no one will have to instruct you.
the road is an effective teacher.

all the smiling faces, and happy voices we see and hear
during call-ins, and drive-thrus;
I cannot explain them.
I get why they are so joyous at the rock.
the hell is over.
they DID IT!
but how can they be so cheerful,
when an end to the hell is not even within reach of imagination?

there have not yet been enough vol-states
to get the human dynamic,
which makes them happy in the face of intolerable conditions.

maybe one day I will understand those people.


Email from Mike Dobies at 8:54 am:

Vol State – 96 Hour Update

Tracking Sheet:




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This post was written by:

- 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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