Tag Archive | "Last Annual Vol State 500K"


Day 3: 2013 Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Dallas and Laz 2013 Last Annual Vol State 500K

The runners are starting their 3rd day today at the Last Annual Vol State 500K! There was a lot of running going on through the night and Joe Fejes laid down some big miles – 58! Everyone else is moving steadily along. It’s going to be another warm and humid day out there. Wish them luck!

Make sure you check back throughout the day to see how things are going out there!

Links you might find fun/useful:

To catch up on previous days: Day1   Day2  

Last Annual Volstate 500K Spreadsheet & Map – for runner tracking (updated twice a day).
Carl’s 2013 Last Annual Volstate 500K Album.

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: Carl’s email is a good way to end this blog so that’s it for day 3’s live blog! I hope you’ll come back tomorrow and follow along on day 4. It should be an interesting day!

Email from Carl Laniak at 11:20 pm:

Re: FW: resilience (2.5 days)

I will just add that the second half of the race is quite remarkable.
There is no despondency in these runners. They are positive to a fault.
Whether they are nearing the half way mark, or still looking for a 100 mile split, they are pushing forward and upbeat.
(at least that is what I see when I stop to say hello…perhaps a friendly face in the middle of a rough afternoon is skewing my perception?!)

This year’s weather is a special occurrence, and the runners are really taking advantage.

i believe we’ve confirmed that there’s a slight typo in john’s book, the first gas station in hohenwald is 4-5 miles further than stated. Runner’s headed that way, stock up at the gas station where hwy 100 splits to the left and the course goes right. If I am wrong (i don’t have my book in front of me) it won’t hurt too much to be stocked up there.

well done!

Email from Laz at 11:08 pm:

resilience (2.5 days)

I have been relegated to the same view of much of the field,
as the people at home.
the race has become so strung out that carl and I had to split up.
I got to see the people at the front.
carl is witness to the mayhem in the back.

with fewer people to see,
I got to spend more time talking to them.
one thing stood out,
both in the screwed runners’ comments,
and in the descriptions of the crews.

the successful vol-stater must have remarkable resilience.
everyone has gone thru dark periods;
yet somehow come back. (again and again)

this is one reason for the fruit basket turnover we see
every time the standings are updated.

abbs was, at one point last night,
reduced to scouring a construction zone for partially consumed water bottles,
and drinking what was left.
the old man relay team saw him staggering down the road,
seemingly near his end.
an hour later he was running again.

I missed fegys entirely,
as he was sleeping behind a tree when I passed….

I see in the standings that he not only returned to the road,
but has closed back in on those in front of him.

schick said of fejes;
“he will look like he is absolutely on his last legs,
then he lays down for a short while,
and comes back as strong as he was on the first day.”

I see we had a third drop today.
37 of the original 40 are still on the road
(altho several are locked in a life and death struggle with oprah)

if everyone who had been thru a period of hopelessness had dropped;
no one would be left.

I went and scouted the finish line,
preparing for the first relay to come in some time tonight
(and fejes sometime in the morning)

the big mudhole in the woods has reached record size.
(no one is getting past that sucker dry this year)
the recent monsoons have left the roads on castle rock ranch virtually impassable.
those who survive the first 313 miles have a real treat in store.


Email from Carl Laniak at 11:04 pm:

vol state day 3 photos

from hohenwald back thru the field.

Lisa: Crazy weather. wild dogs, Road Angels…yep, they are getting the full VS500K experience!

Tweet from Josh at 9:34 pm:

Lisa: Here is the Top 10, Top 3 Women, and Team standings as of the 60 Hour check in:

Top 10
1. Joe Fejes – 230 miles
2. Alan Abbs – 185 miles
3. Sung Ho Choi – 184 miles
4. John Fegyveresi – 178 miles
5. Joshua Holmes – 152 miles
6. Jim Ball – 151 miles
7. Ray Krolewicz – 148 miles
8. Tim Purol – 145 miles
9. Jeff Kasal – 145 miles
10. Sal Coll – 144 miles

Top 3 Women
1. Sherry Meador – 132 miles
2. Psyche Wimberly – 128 miles
3. Dusty Hardman – 110 miles

1. Team Stinky Feet – 280 miles
2. Team Two Step – 200 miles
3. Team Dancing Bears – 196 miles
4. Team Country Gentlemen – 190 miles
5. Team Saturday – 57 miles (they started today)

There’s been one more drop from the VS500K – Robert Woodall dropped at 82 miles. There are now at 37 runners and 5 teams out on the Tennessee roads.

230 miles! Joe is a beast! Will Joe’s legs hold up? Will he have another big night? Tune in tomorrow morning to find out!

Email from Carl Laniak at 8:57 pm:

Re: Vol State – 60 Hour Update

the folks i marked at 91 miles are all in the Days Inn in lexington by 7:30….just so everyone understands…

I will post all my pics from this afternoon in a little bit (most of them were sent out already)

Email from Mike Dobies at 8:52 pm:

Vol State – 60 Hour Update

Tracking Sheet:


Instagram post from Josh at 8:05 pm:

Lisa: Great to see Road Angels at work today for the runners out on the course! FYI – A Road Angel is a stranger that offers help to the runners. If a runner is uncrewed (or Screwed), they must carry everything they will need or buy it along the course and cannot except help from anyone they know but they can accept the kindness of strangers. Of the 40 runners that started the race, 7 runners were using crews and 33 runners were Screwed. Can you imagine running 314 miles uncrewed? What an adventure!

Tweet from Dallas at 7:50 pm:

Email from Carl Laniak at 6:32 pm:

Diane B – back on road and lookin good

Email from Stu at 5:48 pm showing more good will towards the VS500K runners:

next to the bench of great joy

this is waiting for you in culleoka!


Instagram post from Josh at 5:11 pm:

Email from Carl Laniak at 4:17 pm:

Holmes and ball nearing hohenwald

Email from Carl Laniak at 4:12 pm:

Rayk at 143.5

Gifted some pizza by generous folks from union city who saw the runners Thursday in union city and “really admire what we’re doing out here!”


Tweet from @keithdunn at 3:02 pm:

Facebook post from Phil (Diane Bolton’s crew) at 2:43 pm:

Email from Mike Dobies at 11:12 am:

Re: Vol State – 48 Hour Update

Just an fyi:

When two runners are at the same mileage, the pins will have the exact same coordinates and only one will be visible on the map (the other is beneath the first). If you click the name on the left margin, then you will see where the hidden icon is on the map.

Thanks for pointing this out Josh.

I’m adding the Course Record (Unaided) pace information to the Tracking Sheet and map now. This record is also being seriously challenged.

Lisa: Here are the Top 10, Top 3 Women, and Team standings thru 48 hours:

Top 10
1. Joe Fejes – 196 miles
2. Alan Abbs – 154 miles
3. John Fegyveresi – 145 miles
4. Sung Ho Choi – 143 miles
5. Joshua Holmes – 133 miles
6. Ray Krolewicz – 127 miles
7. Jim Ball – 124 miles
8. Joes Gat – 124 miles
9. Joseph Nance – 120 miles
10. Sal Coll – 117 miles

Top 3 Women
1. Sherry Meador – 107 miles
2. Dusty Hardman – 92 miles
3. Psyche Wimberly – 83 miles (didn’t check in at 48 hours though)

1. Team Stinky Feet – 229 miles
2. Team Dancing Bears – 150 miles
3. Team Country Gentlemen – 145 miles
4. Team Two Step – 144 miles

Just a reminder that the course record is 3 days 17 hours 42 minutes and 12 seconds. Joe certainly looks like he’s on target to beat that! I wish I was there to see it too. Like Laz said: “the real fun is just beginning.”! Stay tuned!

Email from Laz at 10:33 am:

fegys v choi update

choi was, indeed, on break at 48 hours.
he was at 143 miles, so fegys had moved into third (145).

choi is back on the road and has retaken third at this time.

more later.


Email from Laz at 10:21 am:

it is a multiday now (vol-staters pass 48 hours)

fejes put on one of those fabulous stretches
that will be spoken of at the last suppers for years to come.

58 miles between 36 and 48 hours.
he barely missed 200 in two days.
I feel privileged to be here to see his race.

carl and I discussed this morning,
the possibility that he might put on a surge
that carries him past 300 miles within 3 days.
however this ends,
it is going to be something to see.

and it isn’t like abbs is not putting on a performance for the ages.
people have discussed for years,
whether it is possible for a screwed (crewless) runner to break 5 days…

at 48 hours, abbs was only 3 miles over 4-day pace.

with choi’s whereabouts unknown at 48 hours
(assumed to be taking a break)
fegys might have moved into third.

holmes had put some distance between himself and the k during the night
(133 to 127)
but holmes was just starting an extended break at 48 hours.

it is a safe bet that k is taking over 5th place as I write this
(if he has not already done so)

gat (124), ball (124), and nance (120) have emerged from the pack
to threaten moving into the top 6.

we are starting the third day.
this thing is now officially a multiday.
the real fun is just beginning.

with 38 runners on the road,
every time someone takes a nap,
they are going to lose multiple places.


Email from Mike Dobies at 9:40 am:

Vol State – 48 Hour Update

Tracking Sheet:


Tweet from @keithdunn at 9:27 am:

Tweet from Josh at 7:24 am:

Lisa: Overnight happenings…

Tweet from Josh at 4:21 am:

Tweet from Josh at 2:40 am:

Facebook post from Dallas last night:

Day’s highlights: A lone pigeon cooed in the dark beams as I passed under a bridge at 5 a.m. At 6 a.m. the sun was barely up. It cast my shadow 50 yards long across the rows of a low soy bean field. That thin wafting shadow measured my puny motion in precise 32-inch intervals. There was the Korner Kafe in Gleason where I had eggs and bacon – and caught four competitors. Finally, the road angel, a high-school-age young woman who drove up and with the help of who I took to be her young brother gave me a snack and a frosty bottle of water just when I needed it.

Main strategy tomorrow: Minimize damage.

Posted in Running, THE CLUB, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (0)

josh at 100_vs500

Day 2: 2013 Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

RIFers Before VS500K

The first day is in the books! 40 runners and 4 relay teams set out yesterday to run 314 miles in the heat and humidity of Tennessee. That is the largest number of runners to start in the races history. The previous high was 22 runners. So cool to see so many people taking this challenge on this year. We are very proud of the 6 Run It Fast Club members who are running it this year. If you didn’t get a chance to meet them or would like to know more about them, check out this post.

And then check back throughout the day to see how things are going out there! I will be updating this post with emails, tweets, and photos as they come in.

Links you might find fun/useful:

To catch up on previous days: Day1  

Last Annual Volstate 500K Spreadsheet & Map – for runner tracking (updated twice a day).
Carl’s 2013 Last Annual Volstate 500K Album.

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: Ok, here are the Top 10 and the Teams as of the 36 Hour Update:

Top 10 Solo
1. Joe Fejes – 138 miles
2. Alan Abbs – 124 miles
3. Sung Ho Choi – 122 miles
4. John Fegyveresi – 117 miles
5. Joshua Homes – 104 miles
6. Ray Krolewicz – 103.5 miles
7. Jim Ball – 102 miles
8. Tim Purol – 98 miles
9. Jeff Kasal – 98 miles
10. Joel Gat – 97 miles

1. Team Stinky Feet – 182 miles
2. Team Country Gentlemen – 144 miles
3. Team Dancing Bears – 139 miles
4. Team Two Step – 138 miles

Little bit of shuffling in the top 10 but Joe still has the lead! I wonder if it will change by morning? What do you think? I hope you’ll come back and follow along on Day 3.

Email from Laz at 9:48 pm:

animals with attitudes (vol-state 36 hour report)

as we spent the day making our way thru the field to the back,
and then returning to the front,
one thing stood out above all else…

this family of vol-staters seem to possess an unbreakable positive attitude.
we have lost only a couple,
and the 38 survivors have smiles on their faces,
and are undeterred by the intimidating distances that lie in front of them.
more than a few have weathered crises which had us waiting for their call…

only to find them recovered and once again moving efficiently down the road.

even jan and diane t, who found oprah on their heels at the end of day 1,
have buckled down,
and are making a valiant push to get back on track.

the odds are against them;
nothing is harder than falling behind the line on day one,
and having to increase your output
with fatigue dogging your steps.
but they have made a statement:
they will not lie down beside the road and wait on oprah.
she will have to come and get them.

at the front, fejes is showing what we already knew.
he is an animal;
cranking out miles with no sign of slowing down…

but the race is not over.
abbs is an animal.
without benefit of any crew at all,
he has stuck to the road with unbelievable tenacity.
36 hours in, his persistence has pulled him within 14 miles of the lead.

2 miles behind abbs is choi.
choi has seen some ups and downs.
but nothing has taken the smile off his face.
every time we think he is flagging,
he comes back strong again.
choi is an animal.
of course he almost has to keep coming back.
he has fegys on his tail.

fegys is only 5 miles behind,
and equally crewless as abbs.
fegys, who finished barkley in just under 60 hours,
by never resting at all,
is not a man you want on your heels.
he is an animal.

and it isn’t quite time to write off holmes,
13 miles back of fegys, at 104 miles.
holmes has a couple of vol-states under his belt.
he knows the hell that waits in those next couple of hundred miles.
josh is perfectly capable of making a move.

holmes is capable of being an animal.

and he has motivation on his heels as well.
ancient krolewicz is less than a mile behind.
relentless forward motion has carried the k
from the very back into contention in only 36 hours.
the calendar might indicate that his day has passed.
that doesn’t mean anyone will be taking him lightly.

he is an animal.

and on it goes, all the way thru the pack.
every runner has fought for their position.
and every runner will have to fight to keep it.

it is a safe bet that those top 6 names will not remain in that exact order.
they probably will not even all be in the top 6,
when the names are called at the rock.

36 hours in, and the race has taken shape.
now the fun part begins.


Lisa: Mike is referring to Shannon Burke who dropped at 64 miles and Ryan Brazell who dropped at 48 miles. Hopefully, the Last Annual Vol State 500K won’t claim any more victims in the coming days.

Email from Mike Dobies at 8:50 pm:

Vol State – 36 Hour Update

Tracking Sheet:


Note: I still need to mark Burke and Brazell as dropped……

Tweet from Dallas at 7:04 pm:

Facebook post by Josh at 6:28 pm:

Email from Carl Laniak at 5:30 pm:

vol state day 2 drive thru pics


Instagram from Josh at 3:24 pm:

Facebook post from Diane Bolton at 3:17 pm (apparently it’s a little bit warm out there!):

Lisa: 5 more hours until the next check-in. I wonder what’s happening out there! Hoping everyone is having a good day and that the stomach issues/blisters problems have gone away.  I wish there was a live video feed to watch! The suspense is killing me. 😉

Email from Carl Laniak at 1:17 pm:

Lockard & wingard – 61

Email from Carl Laniak at 12:33 pm:

Dallas smith – 53.5

Tweet from Josh at 12:14 pm:

Email from Carl Laniak at 11:40 pm:

Mouskateers – 75

Laz, Purol, Gat, Kasal, Stephens.


Tweet from @keithdunn:

Lisa: Ok, here’s the top 10 from the 24 Hour Update and the team standings:

Top 10
1. Joe Fejes – 107 miles
2. Alan Abbs – 91 miles
3. Sung Ho Choi – 84 miles
4. Joshua Holmes – 82 miles
5. John Fegyveresi – 81 miles
6. Ray Krolewicz – 76 miles
7. Joseph Nance – 70 miles
8. Sal Coll – 68 miles
9. Jeff McGonnell – 68 miles
10. Jim Ball – 68 miles

The team standings:
1. Team Stinky Feet – 124 miles
2. Team Country Gentlemen – 106 miles
3. Team Dancing Bears – 96 miles
4. Team Two Step – 82 miles

Lisa: Running a little late today so still have to catch up on some pics and tweets from the night. But here’s the important emails to get you started! Thanks for following along. 🙂

Email from Carl Laniak at 10:08 am:

Fejes at 119.5

Running strong, and joking around.


Email from Laz at 8:31 am:

(24 hours) as the competition goes…

after getting far ahead of all the solo runners,
we assume team stinky feet has hit the sack,
we have no 24 hour status for them.

fejes has moved out to a commanding lead in the race;
in parsons, at 107 miles.
this is one of the best first days in vol-state history
topped only by the record 110 mile first day back in the early 1980’s.

alan abbs, making the turn in Lexington, at 91 miles,
is certainly still in the chase.
and the feral fox has to know his screwed (uncrewed) record is under threat.
we are giddy at the thought of seeing a sub-5 by a screwed runner…

white trash might be giddy for other reasons.
such as the thought of crossing the Tennessee river and starting the long climb to linden.

sung ho (bruce) choi is next at 84
holmes (82), fegys (81), and krolewicz (76) round out the top 6.

that’s right.
the k.
the ancient, out of shape lister,
who was way back in the pack 12 hours ago
is now up with the big boys.

experience can be valuable.

now lets see what the second day brings…

carl and I are off to bring cheer to the footweary,
hope to the despairing,
anything but an easy ride to those who want to quit…

and a hook for anyone caught by opra.


Email from Laz at 8:11 am:

the morning of hope

the second day has dawned bright and cool,
with as low a humidity as has been seen in these parts recently.

accordingly, the runners are doing well.
only one casualty so far.
shannon burke found a too-willing volunteer to retrieve her from the road.
how often your worst enemy comes in the guise of a friend!
(me and carl were sure we could get another day out of her)

5-day has reported a tiny blister,
hardly any bigger than a golf ball.
that should help him stay alert today.
hopefully it will heal during his 4 remaining days.

other than that,
only the usual stomach issues,
and moderately sore feet.

big backpack was sighted crawling from a ditch before martin,
yesterday afternoon.
he appeared to be having serious difficulties,
so we averted our eyes and drove quickly past….

turned out to be the right choice,
because he is now well up in the field and moving well…

certainly he has to have enough supplies to propel him down the road.

it doesn’t get any better than this….

at least it is not going to.


Email from Mike Dobies at 8:29 am:

Vol State – 24 Hour Update

Tracking Sheet:


Posted in Running, THE CLUB, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (0)

12HR map vs500k

Day 1: 2013 Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Hi all, it’s Lisa. I’ll be updating this post throughout the day with tweets, pictures, emails, maps, and links about the 2013 edition of the Last Annual Vol State 500K.

Check back throughout the day to see how things are going out there!

Links you might find fun:

Last Annual Volstate 500K Spreadsheet & Map – for runner tracking (updated twice a day).
Carl’s 2013 Last Annual Volstate 500K Album.

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

UltraJoshua – Joshua Holmes
Last Annual Vol State Road Race 

So far today:

Lisa: That’s it for today! I hope you will check back on Run It Fast tomorrow for Day 2’s live blog and see who took “a little bite” out of the Last Annual Vol State 500K!

Email from Laz at 11:06 pm:

inspiration, perspiration, and a sniff of the vol-state

49 runners along with assorted crew and family on the ferry was really something to see.
remembering the years when we might not have but 4 people,
we never thought the vol-state would look like this.

there was so much energy coursing thru the field as we cruised across the river,
unknown adventures hiding amongst the trees on the approaching riverbank.
hope and fear mingled, especially for the multi-day virgins among us.
it was impossible not to feel the inspiration.

after the traditional counting of the runners at the Mississippi river overlook,
there was little for carl and I to do but drive up thru the field,
and wait to take the splits at the 21 mile mark.
there were far too many runners on the road for us to stop and chat with each one.
the best thing for us to do was remove our own vehicle from the congestion on the road.

as we watched everyone pass thru the 21 mile mark,
happily informing nearly the entire field that they were on “course record pace”
we talked about where the runners really stood.

at 21 miles they had broken the wrapper on the vol-state.
they could catch just a sniff,
a hint of the smell of the real thing.
they had not taken a bite of vol-state yet,
not even a nibble.
hell, they hadn’t even peeled the wrapper back.
they had just broken the seal,
and maybe, just maybe, caught a hint of the smell.

the 12 hour results are on the map now.
fejes has taken a lead.
choi is 7 miles back, followed closely by abbs, holmes, and fegys.

none of this, of course, means anything as we head into the first night.
who will rest? who will run on?
who will get stronger? and who will falter?

the one thing certain is,
the 24 hour standings will little resemble the 12 hour’s.
the vol state is a race that takes a while to fall into place.
those who want to fight for the crown
must work hard to secure a spot among the contenders.
for those who get that work done,
in a couple of days the serious racing begins.

among the many newbies to this nasty game,
the passing of the first 24 hours includes another test.
how will they respond to messages from their body that it has had enough?
between tomorrow morning and the rock will come many next steps that seem impossible,
sheer will, and the refusal to surrender will be all that drives them on.

in the movies,
the hard work would be represented by a few minutes of visually stimulating clips,
accompanied by inspiring music.
the ultimate victory would go on forever in slow motion….

real life is very different.
the hard work is goes on forever,
with an end nowhere in sight.
the view changes slowly, and dramatic moments are few.
the closest thing to inspiring music is the slap of your shoes on the pavement,
and the sloshing of water in your bottles.

tomorrow morning we will see who has what it takes to tear open that wrapper,
and take a little bite.


Email from Carl Laniak at 10:42 pm:

the volstate album is updated


this afternoon’s pics are shadowy, but you can’t blame me for sitting in the shade for the 6+ hours we waited for most of the field to pass the traditional “20 mile” split under the bridge….I mean, it’s a little warm out there.

they’re still out there, mostly moving. they’re going to start feeling like they’ve “actually gotten somewhere” soon.


Lisa: So, at the 12 Hour Update, the top 10 solo runners were:
1. Joe Fejes – 60 miles
2. Sung Ho Choi – 53 miles
3. Alan Abbs – 49 miles
4. Joshua Holmes – 47 miles
5. John Fegyveresi – 47 miles
6. Roy Tamez – 45 miles
7. Jeff Kasal – 45 miles
8. Tim Purol – 45 miles
9. Joseph Nance – 44 miles
10. Ray Krolewicz – 44 miles

And here are the standing for the relay teams at the 12 Hour Update:

1. Team Stinky Feet – 70 miles
2. Team Two Step – 57 miles
3. Team Dancing Bears – 55 miles
4. Team Country Gentlement – 54 miles

This is what the map of the runners looks like at the 12 Hour Update:

Cool to see how much they have spread out over just one day! Joe Fejes is still in the lead. There’s been some speculation on the email list that he might not keep it so we will have to see how it plays out!

Email from Mike Dobies at 8:52 pm:

Vol State – 12 Hour Update

Tracking Sheet:

Instagram post by Josh at 8:31 pm

Tweet from Dallas at 6:51 pm:

Tweet from Dallas at 6:48 pm:

Instagram post from Josh at 5:36 pm:

Lisa: Did you see that Joe Fejes is currently in 1st? He is the pre-race favorite and might even break the course record for the Last Annual Vol State 500K this year! The current record is 3:17:42:12 and Joe set the 72 hour mark by running 329.64 miles at the 2012/2013 Across The Years. Piece of cake, right? Of course, he had much cooler temps there but it will be exciting to watch what happens! Not only with him, but with all the runners.

Email from Carl Laniak at 2:36 pm:

Re: 21 mile vol state splits

Still waiting on:

Diane Taylor
Jan walker
Tj nagies
Marcia Rasmussen
Paul Heckert


Email from Carl Laniak at 2:10 pm:

21 mile vol state splits

1) joe fejes 3:09
2) sue (team stinky feet) 3:23
3) Alan white trash Abbs 4:04
4) Claude (team two step) 4:05
5) Joshua Holmes 4:06
6) sung ho choi 4:06
7) sal coll 4:21
8 ) Tim purol 4:30
9) Jeff castle 4:31
10) John fegys 4:35
11) Roy tamez 4:36
12) Marv Skagerberg (country gentlemen) 4:40
13) Charlie Taylor 4:40
14) Patrick binienda (dancing bears) 4:42
15) John Adams 4:46
16) Joel gat 5:09
17) joe F nance 5:10
18) dusty 5:19
19) Shannon 5:19
20) Texas Jeff 5:20
21) rayk 5:42
22) brad 5:42
23) Jeff mcgonnell 5:42
24) Jim ball 5:42
25) Diane Bolton 5:43
26) sherry Meador 5:44
27) Jeff Stevens 5:51
28) Wayne mccomb 5:57
29) jp 6:02
30) Dallas smith 6:17
31) psyche 6:18
32) joe co-alski 6:20
33) Robert Woodall 6:24
34) Scott tater krouse 6:24
35) giant backpack curro 6:29
36) 5-day brazell 6:29
37) dave wingard 6:33
38) Becky lockard 6:33


Tweet from @keithdunn at 11:03 am:

Email from Carl Laniak at 10:31 am:

Here is an album with a pic of each starter going past the overlook above the Mississippi River this morning (mile 2).

The sun was in the wrong place for more scenic pictures…
40 solo runners started their 500km journey run.
4 relay teams started.

Instagram post from Josh at 9:43 am:

Instagram post from Josh at 7:13 am:

And so it begins…

Email from Laz at 8:56 pm on 7/10/13:

twas the night before vol-state
and in all of the rooms.
not a person was stirring,
not even the doomed.
all of the runners were off in their beds,
with visions of ferries dancing in their heads…

except for the room that carl and laz share
where wagers are being taken;
who quits first, and where?


Posted in Running, THE CLUB, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (0)


Run It Fast At The 2013 Last Annual Vol State 500K

Last Annual Vol State 500K 2012

The Last Annual Vol State 500K begins this Thursday, July 11th. What is the Last Annual Vol State 500K? It’s a 314 mile foot race across Tennessee…in July. Because running 314 miles isn’t crazy enough, you have to do it in the refreshing heat and humidity of the south in the summer!

The Last Annual Vol State 500K is the brain child of Lazarus Lake (Gary Cantrell). It starts in Dorena Landing, Missouri with a boat ferry ride, runs across Tennessee, and ends atop a mountain at Castle Rock, Georgia. The runners can do this crewed or uncrewed (Screwed) or as a relay. If you are doing it in the Screwed category, you must carry everything that you will need and can only accept handouts/help from the kindness of strangers.

This year, 6 Run It Fast Club members will be running the Last Annual Vol State 500K, 3 veterans of the race and 3 newbies. 2 RIFers will be doing this crewed and 4 will be Screwed. Think only super humans can do this kind of run? Think again! Below you will meet 6 every day people…just like you and me…who happen to be embarking on a 314 mile journey to see what they are made of. Check out their stories below and then check the bottom of the post for links to follow them.



Diane has completed 2 Last Annual Vol State 500Ks and will be running her 4th this year (her first attempt was derailed by blisters). She will be running it uncrewed again this year. The past 2 years (since running 314 miles across Tennessee was not enough), Diane drove to the finish line and started her race early by running towards the start line. Last year, she was picked up in Lewisburg as others headed to the start so she added about 100 miles on to her journey in 2012! We asked Diane why she keeps coming back and she said: “I can’t explain it but I would like to do it every year as long as I’m physically able. There are others who have run/are running this who are in there 70s so I hopefully I will be able to do it into my 70s as well.”

Since Diane is running this Screwed and has to carry her own pack with what she needs, we asked her if she brought anything extra with her. She said this year “everything in the pack is just what I need. It weighs 9 1/2 pounds without water and another 6ish pounds with water so it will weigh about 16 pounds when full. Last year, I carried/wore a badge that Shannon (RIF #171 Shannon Burke – see below) made to honor our friend Angela Ivory.”

Screwed runners are not allowed to accept help from anyone they know or from the crews of other runners but can accept help from random strangers, Road Angels. We asked Diane if she had encountered any Road Angels and she said: “many times strangers stopped to give me water/soda and twice Road Angels asked me what I needed and then went to get water and bring it back to me.”

Next we asked Diane what she learned about herself while running the Last Annual Vol State 500K and she said: “I guess you learn when you want something bad enough, you are capable of doing a lot more than you thought. If you really, really want it, it can happen.”

Finally, we asked Diane if she had any advice for newbies to the VS500K or for anyone who was thinking about doing it and she said: “Tell everybody that they can do this. You don’t have to be a super athlete or runner. Anyone can do it.”

Diane used herself as a reference for that last questions, saying that if she, who was an average person, could do this then anyone can. We don’t know about you, but we think Diane is pretty amazing! Good luck Diane!



Shannon will be running her 3rd Vol State 500K this year and will be running uncrewed. The first year she ran it, she hadn’t even done a 50 Mile or 100 Mile race yet! She didn’t finish that first year but came back determined last year and finished in 8:13:13:36. We asked Shannon why she decided to run this race when her longest previous run was only 42 miles (only with a race like this can you say “ONLY” and 42 miles in the same sentence!) and she said: “I didn’t look at it as 500K as much as a grand adventure.  Laz (Gary Cantrell) has a way of writing that sucks you into his world.  I followed Vol State during 2010 and knew I wanted to try it.  And I am gullible and have a group of fellars that encourage me to try these races.”

Then we asked her why she keeps coming back and she said: “Vol State truly is a race that anyone can do.  It all depends on how bad you want it.  After I failed in 2011, I spent the next year wishing for the ferry to get my chance at redemption.  (It was a really long year!)  It is truly a journey run and you learn a lot about yourself.”

And finally, we asked her what the best and worst parts of the race are for her and she said: “The best: reading a Laz post that lifts your spirits when they were bottomed out, the open road, learning so much about yourself and your strength within, napping on a porch swing after a wonderful lunch, and the chance to stop when you reach the rock.  The worst:  going to bed knowing you have to get up the next day and go again, relentless rain that chases you under a bridge just to get a little bit of silence, and the pain and despair you find at times and don’t feel like you will ever reach the rock.”

But we do know that Shannon reached the rock and we are sure she will again this year! Good luck Shannon! You can follow Shannon on Twitter: @s4121burke and you can check out her blog Yellow Bus Adventures.



Josh has run over 90 marathons and ultras and will be running his 3rd Vol State 500K with a crew supporting him. Last year he was 2nd Overall and shaved more than 2 days off his previous year’s time! We asked him what makes Vol State 500K different from the many other races he’s done and he said: “It’s a grand epic adventure that gets in your blood like a bad virus and never leaves it even once the race is over and you’ve finished it. You think about it almost daily and the bond you make with your fellow Vol State runners is almost a fraternal bond that brings about a special spark when you see a VS alum at another race.”

Next, we asked Joshua about his huge PR last year and if it was training or mental preparation that made the difference and he said: “We had some crew issues in year one and I went in just wanting to finish the race. I was conservative and I kept an eye on my crew, my 15-year old cousin, as much as he kept an eye on me. We had a grand time and we both learned a lot along the way. I was a stronger runner going into my second attempt, but more so I knew what to expect and the layout of the course having run it before. I also attacked it like one of the wild dogs you sometimes meet along the way.”

Then we asked him if the running 314 miles seemed less intimidating after having done it twice and he said: “At this point I know what it takes to finish it, but I keep raising the bar of what I expect out of myself and what time goals I set for myself. It’s 314 miles no matter how you slice it. If you are going to be intimated by a race before it starts then it’s likely this one or you’re an android.”

Finally, we asked Joshua what lessons he’s learned from Vol State 500K that he’s been able to apply to other races/life experiences and he said: “Mental toughness, physical toughness, blister toughness…about every form of toughness imaginable. The downside is that almost every race since Vol State is a bit of a let down, because Vol State is such an epic adventure.”

We are excited to watch Joshua tear it up out there this year! He’s a beast! Good luck Josh! You can follow his adventures on Twitter: @bayou or on his Facebook page: UltraJoshua. Also, Joshua is raising money for charity: water and if you would like to donate to his campaign, click here: 2013 Vol State 500K Endurance Run. In 2011, Joshua and RIF #2 Naresh Kumar (@iamarunr) raised $6,205 while running VS500 that year and they helped fund a well in Ethiopia! Let’s help him top that this year!



Dallas has run many, many marathons, ultras, and Ironman races. He’s qualified for Boston numerous times and holds a boat load (58 and counting) of State Records for ages 63 to 72 in Tennessee for everything from the 5K to the marathon. He will be running his first Vol State 500K this year and he is doing it uncrewed.

We asked Dallas why he decided to take this challenge on and he said: “The answer is I don’t think I know why. I am always ready for adventure & a new experience & VS certainly is that. What I don’t like to face is that I may be seeking redemption for failing on a similar run in Spain. That failure was a spirit breaker in its abject totality. I was whipped. As broken ad Cool hand Luke. It haunts me yet & I guess I’m looking for a 2nd chance.”

And since everyone can use a bit of luck, we asked Dallas if he was taking a good luck charm with him and he said: “I hadn’t thought about that til now, but actually I am taking a good luck charm, a pair of Kalenji socks I bought on that same Spain trip. Practically every race I’ve run since, I’ve worn those socks, dozens & dozens. They seem indestructible & I’ve always said they were the best socks I ever owned. Not too romantic, I’ll admit, but when I was deciding on socks they had to go in. They connect this race to my failure in Spain.”

Since Dallas first answered that last question, he was given a good luck charm to carry by his daughter which we think is appropriate for the VS500:

Finally, we asked Dallas if he was nervous or excited about any part of this journey he was starting on and he said: “I’m not nervous. Strange to say – because I’m quite timid – I’ve never been nervous before a race. I am surely not bragging about that but merely expressing reality and a bit of amazement at it. I AM anxious, anxious in the sense that I want to see what will happen. Kinda like after a marathon finally starts and you say to yourself, finally dammitt we can run. This race holds many mysteries for me. A big component is the dirtbag-life on the road. Separate from the mere running is the continual foraging for food, water and shelter. All that is a problem in itself and I am curious to see how it all plays out.”

We cannot wait to hear all about the adventures Dallas has out there and are sure it would make for a great book! (If you don’t know, Dallas is an accomplished writer and a wonderful storyteller. You can find links to his books on his blog Turnaround and follow him on Twitter: @smithbend)



Diane is a racing machine. She just recently completed her SECOND round of marathons in 50 States. She will be running her first Vol State 500K this year with the help of a crew. We asked her why she took on this challenge and she said: “Why..actually I’ve been asking myself this too..ha,ha. Actually, RIF has been instrumental in having me challenge myself. With this in mind Vol State offered me a challenge totally out of my comfort zone. I’m not afraid of not finishing but would regret if I didn’t try. That said, I will take it day by day learning much about my threshold as well as the wonderful adventures in ultra endurance running.”

Next, we asked her what she was most excited and/or nervous about and she said she was: “Most excited about the knowledge I will gain learning so much more from some fascinating very accomplished ultra runners. What I’m most nervous about…everything! I’m such a rookie here. But thankful for the many people helping me on this journey. Most importantly my guardian angel crew chief Phil Min (RIF #286). None of this would have been possible had he not offered to crew me, giving up his scheduled marathon and extra days to be part of this epic event. I hope he’ll still call me friend when this is all over. “

Lastly, Diane had this to say about the coming days: “Also worried I’ll get lost. This is an unmarked course. I get lost on my last loop of a 9 times around course! 🙂 One thing I know for sure…I’m going to laugh and I’m going to cry. None of this would have been experienced had it not been for the gentle push by some in this wonderful Run It Fast family.”

We know Diane is going to be just fine! And we are excited that she is taking on this challenge. Go Diane!



David will be running his first Vol State 500K this year and he will be doing it uncrewed. He’s run almost 100 marathons and didn’t start running until he was 52. Not only does he run, but he raises money for the Lazarex Cancer Foundation as well. You can learn more about David on his website Run David Run.

We asked David why he decided to do VS500 and he said: “I only decided about 10 days ago to do this race. When I did the Jackal Marathon series a couple of weeks ago, some of my close enablers, oh, I mean friends, explained to me why I needed to run this race.”

Next we asked David if he had done anything like this before and he said: “The longest race I have done so far is Camrades (54 miles) twice. I plan to do my 1st 100 mile racin in August – the Leadville 100.”

Finally, we asked him what he was most nervous and excited about the next 314 miles and he said: “I’m most nervous about having my 1st DNF. I am most excited about running a new race with my friends and running further than I have ever run before.”

Good luck David! We have no doubt you will do great and that this will be great training for your next big adventure! (David is planning to go for the World Record for hiking the Appalachian Trail in June 2014 – you can find more info about that on his website as well).


I hope you’ll join us in wishing good luck to all of our Run It Fast Club members and all the others running the Last Annual Vol State 500K. Once again, it starts at 7am Central Time on Thursday, July 11th. We will be posting daily blogs/updates here on Run It Fast so make sure you check back here or follow us on Twitter @runitfast. You can also do a Twitter search on the hashtag #VS500 to see all the tweets about this year’s Last Annual Volstate 500K.

You can also like the Last Annual Vol State 500K Facebook page here: Last Annual Vol State Road Race.

And finally, you can also check on the runners at this link to the Last Annual Volstate 500K Spreadsheet & Map. It will be updated twice a day with each runners position/miles as they head to the finish.

Don’t miss out on the fun! Who knows, maybe next year people will be asking you “You’re going to run how far?” 🙂

[photos courtesy of Joshua Holmes, Naresh Kumar, and Lisa Gonzales]

Posted in Running, THE CLUB, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (0)

Joshua Holmes – Denmark Dash 5K – Feb 2012 – Run It Fast

42 Mini Race Reports: Joshua Holmes’ 2012 in Review

42 Mini Race Reports: Joshua Holmes’ 2012 in Review

Here is a quick look at the 42 races I ran in 2012. That total is comprised of 32 ultras and marathons that averaged 50.50 miles and ten shorter races consisting of 10k’s, 5k’s, etc.

2012 Marathons and Ultras for Joshua Holmes

  1. Walt Disney World Marathon (26.2) – 3:32:23 – One of my faster marathons. Great training with James Krenis leading up to this race to help him to reach his goal of running a sub-4 hour marathon. If you had to train for one marathon and really wanted a big, grand experience with a lots of sights and people then the WDW Marathon should be on your list.  – January 8, 2012
  2. Maui Oceanfront Marathon (26.2) – 3:37:58 – I broke a couple of ribs surfing two days prior to this race. I could only take half breaths and rib cage/chest/arm became extremely painful the last 15 miles. Couldn’t lift arm afterwards without extreme pain in ribs. Always fun catching up with the speedy RIF #70 Chuck ‘Marathonjunkie’ Engle. Maui Oceanfront is a beautiful marathon with amazing views the last 18 miles along the coastline. – January 22, 2012
  3. Jackson Jackass 50K (31.0) – 6:29:29 – A race I decided to put together to help a friend run his first 50K. I was nursing a broken rib so I was cautious throughout the race, yet still slipped and fell 10x on this very muddy and messy course from heavy rains the night before. A very challenging yet fun day. – February 4, 2012
  4. Carl Touchstone Memorial 50 Miler (50.0) – 10:22:07 – This was a very muddy and wet course. Over 80 water crossings, most thigh high and extended for 20-30 feet at a time. A tough day with the conditions but solid performance considering the conditions. The joy from this one was helping RIF #3 Jonathan Bobbitt train for this race and successfully complete it.  I also enjoyed running part of the race with RIF #12 Kevin Leathers and RIF #24 Emily Conley.  – March 3, 2012
  5. Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon (26.2) – 3:59:41 – Drove down to NOLA immediately after finishing the MS 50 Miler the night before. Big thanks to RIF #38 JD Favara for picking up my bib for this one.  I was horrible, sluggish and not very good for the first 18 miles. I was on a 4:15 pace to finish yet came alive the last 8 miles to slide under 4 hours. I enjoyed catching up with several RIF members from Jackson after the race including RIF #35 Todd Shadburn. – March 4, 2012
  6. Land Between the Lakes 50 Miler (50.0) – 9:25:33 – A new 50mi PR after setting one the prior weekend down in Mississippi. I felt pretty good for most of this race. It was cold at the start yet bearable. I pushed hard at the end to go sub 9:30. It turned out to be a comfortable and beautiful day to run. It was good seeing my good friend RIF #2 Naresh Kumar before, during this race, and at our post-race meal at the po’chop place.  – March 10, 2012
  7. Savage Gulf Trail Marathon (26.2) – 7:25:52 – An inaugural event that no one knew anything about. The most difficult and most beautiful marathon I’ve run to date. Lots of the course was un-runnable due to intense roots and boulders. A must do for the serious marathoner than is not afraid of a challenge. You will only PR at SG if it’s your first marathon ever. Met RIF #18 Rick Jarvis during the early miles of this one.  – March 17, 2012
  8. Umstead 100 Miler (100.0) – 23:36:11 – This was another 100 PR for me, and I had the chance to share the course with good friends RIF #57 Trent Rosenbloom, Beth McCurdy, RIF #88 Hideki Kinoshita, RIF #92 Steven Lee, etc. I was strong for the first 50 then my legs started to fall apart a bit. I walked most of the last loop and was happy to finally have a sub-24 hour 100 mile finish. It concluded a crazy March of racing. – March 31, 2012
  9. St. Jude Country Music Marathon (26.2) – 3:34:17 – I have historically ran very poorly at this event in the past. It was my only race scheduled for April and maybe that helped me some this time. I was coming off some minor injuries from Umstead but felt semi-healthy. This is the first race I ran in Hokas. A lot of people faded during this one due to the heat, but I stayed pretty strong throughout. Ran into RIF #63 John Hudson and RIF #35 Todd Shadburn shortly after finishing. RIF also had a large number of members show up for the pre-race photo. – April 29, 2012
  10. 34th Annual Strolling Jim 40 Miler (41.2) – 7:34:43 – Another event I haven’t performed extremely well to date at. I was off to a good day as it was overcast and cool the first 15 miles to start this one. Then at my mile 15 drop bag I downed 3 Boosts and a couple of other things. At about that time the sun came out to play and my stomach was never the same. I spit up various things for most of the last 25 miles but pushed hard, especially the last 10 miles, to have a relatively strong finish. Always a great party after the race and I enjoyed spending time with several RIF members and friends. – May 5, 2012
  11. Scenic City Trail Marathon (26.2) – 3:57:31 – I ran this race in 4:27:34 the previous year. So I went in wanting to go sub 4-hours as my goal. I pushed the pace early on the first loop and was able to keep it close to the first loop pace on the second loop. I was strong until the last 2 or 3 miles but being so close to sub-4 helped me push to finish under my goal. A great race put on by the Rock/Creek people. – May 19, 2012
  12. Run Under the Stars RUTS (10 Hours) – 55 miles – My most miles put down at RUTS in my three years running this race. This is a great event and one of my favorites. It’s like a party within a race or a race within a party. About 20 Run It Fast – Club members ran this one and helped make it a blast. Enjoyed watching good friend RIF #151 Chris Estes put down 63 miles. – June 9, 2012
  13. The Jackal Trail Marathon (26.2) – 4:32:32 – Another event that I put together that went off really well. It was a very hot mid-June day in West Tennessee that upped the degree of difficulty a bit. I felt good throughout, finishing third overall, and used it as heat training in case I decided to run The Last Annual Vol State 500K in July. – June 23, 2012
  14. The Backass Jackal Trail Marathon (26.2) – 4:52:51 – I ran the previous day like it wasn’t the first of back to backs. I ran about 2 miles before the race as I was trying to set up water coolers and find Sulaiman before the start. My legs were tired from the prior day, but I was competitive as RIF #151 Chris Estes and I battled throughout the day for the win which he ended up with. Five of us finished this one after doing The Jackal Trail Marathon the day before.  – June 24, 2012
  15. The Last Annual Vol State 500K (314.0) – 5:17:04:04 – An epic race that I did for the first time last year. I wanted to just finish the race in 2011, but this year I wanted to be competitive and see how well I could perform over this grueling slugfest that covers 314 miles on hot asphalt in Tennessee and touches several other states.  The weather was a chill 85 degrees the first day, and I decided to take advantage of it and see how many miles I could put down before finding rest. I recorded 93 miles in 23-hours before heading to the hotel where naturally I couldn’t really sleep.  During the next day I covered 49 very slow miles. To make a long story short I was in fourth place after four days and ended up with a mad fury of miles on the last day and sped up Sand Mountain to finish second place overall with a time of 5 days and 17 hours.  Special thanks to RIF #13 Mikki Trujillo, RIF #2 Naresh Kumar, RIF #183 Kirk Catron, and RIF #143 Scott Flowers for helping crew me for all or parts of this epic race.  – My Full Vol State 500K Race Report – July 12, 2012
  16. Blister in the Sun Marathon (26.2) – 3:58:16 – A challenging race in Cookeville, TN that good friend Josh Hite has put on the last three years. It’s a 5-loop course on what is usually a very hot day. I was still recovering from Vol State but didn’t want to miss this one since I’d get to see many of my best marathon running friends.  I ran a bit better than I thought I would considering my Vol State rust. I originally thought I’d take it easy and run something over 4 hours. I got in a groove though among RIF #79 Dallas Smith,  RIF #196 Bill Baker, and RIF #186 Danny Staggs and pushed probably harder than I needed to but was honored to finish just a few seconds behind the great Dallas. – August 5, 2012
  17. Pikes Peak Marathon (26.2) – 7:59:23 – For a West Tennessee boy from the flathills this turned out to be quite the challenge. I’m sure I was a bit dead-legged coming in but this turned out to be a really tough, dizzy, and staggering day for Cosmo.  The run starts at around 6,500 feet and goes up to 14,115 feet at the halfway point before gravity pulls you back down to the starting line to finish. I did pretty well the first 10 miles going up but then the altitude gave me a headache, made me a bit dizzy, and I started staggering like a drunk. If you trip to the left going up then you fall several thousand feet to your death. I took it easy as I didn’t feel right the miles leading up to the summit and for several miles on the way back down. I ran pretty well the last 4-5 miles. It was a beautiful climb and view from the top of Pikes Peak, but from a running perspective I did nothing that day that should be put into a time capsule. I did enjoy spending time with RIF #83 Brad Box who had a good race.  – August 19, 2012
  18. Lean Horse 100 Miler (100.0) – 22:41:28 – Leanhorse happened to be just a week after Pikes Peak, but I felt pretty good going into it. This was my second time running this race so that was worth something. This race takes place in beautiful South Dakota.  I stayed at a hotel close to the convention center where the buses would depart from for the starting line at 5:30am. I mistimed walking over that morning and missed the buses. Luckily, I was able to hitch a ride with an older couple at the hotel next door that was going to the starting line 15 miles away to see their daughter start this one.  Leanhorse has the best running surface I’ve run on at any race. It’s a very finely crushed limestone/dirt mixture that is smooth and easy on the legs.  Being late to the starting line, I forgot to take a pre-race Roctane and a couple of other things. Luckily over the course of a 100 miles you have time to remember that and catch up without falling too far behind.  I ran well at Lean Horse for a majority of the race. My bottle went dry a couple of times during the hottest part of the day and my stomach got a bit upset, but a sweet woman from Canada and Lanier Greenhaw gave me some ginger during the race and it settled it down. My goal was to improve upon my 26:30 time from the year before and go sub-24 hours.  I tired over the last 20 miles but kept pushing and was able to finish LH with another new 100 mile PR of 22:42:28.  A great 100 I’d recommend to anyone looking for a new one or for a place to run his or her first 100.  – August 25, 2012
  19. Tupelo Marathon (26.2) – 4:05:33 – Tupelo was the week after Lean Horse, but I had signed up for it months before and wanted to run it again and see many of my running friends.  Tupelo is a rolling course with some minor hills that starts at 5am in the morning, in the dark, before it gets too hot and humid. However, the heat never really came this year but it was extremely humid from the opening bell.  I felt like I struggled and had a mediocre first half but after a quick pit stop and reversing direction for the second half I ran well and passed many people.  I realized I was pushing too hard to go sub-4 during the last 5 miles or so. I finally realized I would likely miss sub-4 by a minute or two so I pulled back a bit and played it safe to finish.  I was still really drained and tired but enjoyed the food and fellowship after the race as a few others and myself waited at the finish line for everyone to finish. – September 2, 2012
  20. Endure the Bear 50K (31.0) – 6:29:46 – This was a first year race that took place in Big Bear Lake, California, which is high up in the mountains in a very beautiful Gatlinburg-esque town.  I had no clue what to expect going in to this one. What’s new, right?  RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales met me at the start with some Roctane (since I was out), and we caught up for a bit before this one started. It was a straight up-hill climb for the first 5 miles or so then it had big hills up and down throughout the day. One of the more challenging 50K’s I’ve run. I was very tired at the end but pleased with my effort overall. – September 9, 2012
  21. Big Sur Trail Marathon (26.2) – 4:07:02 – I gave RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales a ride up to this race since it would be way too risky and dangerous riding with her.  Big Sur was a beautiful marathon that took you up towards the heavens for the first 3 miles before dumping you amongst the big trees with sneak peaks of the blue Pacific Ocean from time to time.  I ran stronger and faster with nearly every mile and with the intense descent back down to the finish for the last 3 miles I blistered a couple of sub-7 minute miles to finish 10th overall and with a pretty fast time on a challenging trail marathon course. I also tweaked or did something to my left knee during those last couple of miles as well.  – September 29, 2012
  22. Yellowstone-Teton 100 Miler (100.0) – 21:23:55 – This race was a lot of fun and amazing on several levels. It’s only the second race I’ve ever had a crew to help me out with. I was very thankful that RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales made the trip to Idaho/Montana to crew me for this one. She was really a great help outside of finding me a cheeseburger.  I have to admit it was a bit daunting at the start of this one. The race started in West Yellowstone at 6am. It was pitch black and 9 DEGREES. It was briefly overwhelming to be that cold, that dark, that early in the morning knowing I had 100 miles to run.  Three miles in my handheld was frozen solid. I ditched it and would only drink water when I’d see Lisa.  The sun finally did come up and the temperature did a bit as well.  It got up to about 46 during the warmest part of the day before dipping back down to the low teens once the sun hibernated again.  I was having a great day for about the first 30 miles then I tore something in my left knee that progressively got worse for the next 12 miles.  At about mile 42 it was so painful and uncomfortable that it was a struggle to walk much less run. I was about 98% sure I was going to drop when I decided to change shoes and put this compression sleeve around the knee. I then rolled the sleeve up and down until the pressure was so intense that I could barely feel anything.  The knee was still painful but with every step thereafter I was able to block it out more and more.  I then began to run more and walk less and thoughts of dropping started to recede from my mind with each mile I was able to click off.  I think the extreme cold helped once the sun went down. It was distracting and helped take my focus off my knee. I knew I likely could do serious damage to my knee and be out of commission for awhile, but I was on a PR pace and in the Top 10 for most of the day so as a stubborn ultramarathoner I kept ‘falling forward.’  I wasn’t fluid with my running over the last 60-70 miles, but I gave it everything I could.  I was able to finish with a new PR, a top 5 finish, and an age group win.  – October 6, 2012
  23. Javelina Jundred 100K (62.0) – 16:33:34 – This was by far my worst race of the year and perhaps my life.  I signed up for the 100 miler yet had only been hiking since Yellowstone since my knee was still jacked up and on strike. I think my meniscus was torn.  So my first step of JJ was the first I had run in almost a month. I didn’t know how my knee would hold up or respond until landing that first time.  I found out it wasn’t 100%, but it was never a concern for me on this day as too many other things turned out to be more pressing and depressing.  My first loop and a half (roughly 21 miles) I was great and ran extremely well. Then when I hit my second drop bag on the second loop everything went south. Like south of Hades south!  I drank a couple of Boosts, had some food, and switched water bottles since my strap had broken on my main one.  I don’t know if it was the JJ water or food poisoning but over the next few hours I visited the porta-potty about 15x and in a not to be shielded from the intense sun kind of way.  From that mile 22 point for the next 5-6 miles I was in a bad place.  I felt like I was getting stabbed in my stomach to the point I couldn’t even walk. Someone or something was holding me hostage within my stomach and they weren’t exactly abiding by the constitution. All I could do was bend over to my toes and wait for it to subside a bit so I could slowly walk some more.  At one point there was no porta-potty for at least 3 miles and I needed one bad so I wandered off into the desert (no trees) and finally found a small incline that would have to suffice as a prop.  From there, which was pretty low, I didn’t think it could get any worse but it did.  A few minutes later I was on all 4’s between two cacti puking once then twice. Dozens of runners passed, some laughing, as I was just happy to still be alive.  The puking helped a little. I was able to walk slowly after that. All I wanted to do was get to the aid station at 28 for porta again and then walk the 2 miles back to headquarters at 30 and drop. So I’m walking slowly towards 28 when I scoot over slightly for a runner to pass when I suddenly feel this piercing, striking pain in my right thigh. I look down and this cactus ball had jumped off the cactus and stapled itself through my shorts with over 100 of it’s barbed needles.  I had no words. I tried to pull it off and it wouldn’t come off.  I then decided to run with it before deciding better that I needed to get it out or it might cause some sort of infection or be poisonous.  So i finally grabbed the bottom of my shorts and ripped them away from my skin as hard as I could and it violently came off leaving 60-80 needles still lodged in my skin. I stopped to take them out one by one as I was literally shaking my head in disbelief.  Finally, un-barbed, I began my march again.  The Garmin data would later tell me I put down a 48-minute mile during this stretch. My stomach was still a mess, ginger wasn’t helping, and I was trying to get back to mile 30 so I could drop and go back to the hotel.  I finally finished the loop and I was still sick yet for some odd reason, instead of heading to the car, I took that first step onto the third lap (walking) as I did slowly for the next six miles. Finally, I started to feel a bit better and ran pretty well from 36 to about mile 50.  That is when the sun started to set. I also realized that due to my stomach that I had not consumed any calories in hours.  That reason along with the tricky footing in the dark among the rocks made me start to reevaluate my goal.  I didn’t want to injure my knee worse, and I also knew I’d have a hard time catching up on calories.  I then decided to make it back around to the headquarters and take the 100K finish that is offered for finishing 4 loops and count my blessings that I was able to push through for 40 more miles and finish 100k after my intense brush with the dark side earlier during the race.  I felt pleased with my effort and what I had overcome on this day to accomplish a meager 100k. One that will never come close to the personal record books but that will never, ever be forgotten. – October 27, 2012
  24. Catalina Eco Marathon (26.2) – 4:40:32 – This was a very beautiful race on Catalina Island. It’s a small island that takes 1-hour to get to from Los Angeles. If you can survive the ferry ride without losing your breakfast then that’s half the battle.  This was another race where we gained around 1,500 feet the first 4 miles before it leveled for some fun and scenic running. It was extremely windy throughout this one and it felt at times as if it was going to blow some of us off the cliffs.  I ran well until around mile 18 or 19 when I hit the Catalina Crush. I was already starting to be crushed before it, but the CC is a climb that can’t be run by us mortals. It’s extremely steep as you can only stare at the heavens as you walk up it.  I managed over the next 3 miles or so and then ran strong down the semi-technical trail for the last 3 miles back to the finish.  A must-do race if possible or within your budget. I’ll be back to this one at some point for sure.  I enjoyed meeting RIF #69 Nadia Ruiz Gonzales and Aaron Nowlin on the ferry over to Catalina. – November 10, 2012
  25. Malibu International Marathon (26.2) – 4:21:15 – RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales picked me up and hauled my tired legs and body to the start line of this one in Malibu. The first 10-12 miles is inland and boring. My legs were bored and tired as well from the beating they took the day before at Catalina. But around mile 12 we reached the ocean and ran on the Pacific Coast Highway along the ocean all the way back to Zuma Beach in Malibu. It was beautiful, scenic, and I saw a couple of dolphins jumping in and out of the water as I was running. It’s flat with a handful of medium sized hills near the end. – November 11, 2012
  26. Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon (26.2) – 3:49:30 – My favorite road marathon of the year and one of my all-time favorite races. I had to start with the early-starters due to a death in the family.  I missed out on some of the festivities having to do that but still had a lot of fun running this race on what turned out to be a cold November morning.  I was the first across the finish line (of the early starters 😉 ) Many more finished ahead of me from the regular field. This race is such a great homecoming of great runners and friends from across the South.. The post-race spread is worth the price of admission itself.  Big thanks to RIF #57 Trent Rosenbloom for all the hard work he puts into making this event great. Thanks to RIF #151 Chris Estes and RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales meeting me before the early start. – November 18, 2012
  27. Black Diamond 40 Miler (40.5) – 6:22:48 – Another race I put together that went extremely well according to those that took part. RIF #65 Jonathan Harrison set a blistering pace for the first 30 miles as I couldn’t catch him. Then as we approached Humboldt I started to gain ground and passed him once we made it into the city. I felt good for the first 34 and PR’d 50K and other splits.  I ended up winning this race by about 9 minutes (and a new 40 mile PR). I had such fun watching several RIF club members set PL’s (personal longs) in knocking back 40 miles for the first time. – November 23, 2012
  28. Death Valley Trail Marathon (26.2) – 3:57:02 – There was great weather this year for the Death Valley Marathon after the wind cancelled the official version last year. This race has a slow gradual climb up until about mile 12.5. From that point it drops from 5,300 ft down to sea level (0) at the finish.  It was all about the Quad City DJ’s on that intense downhill. I left everything on the course and ran it as if I didn’t have another marathon scheduled for the next day.  I’d highly recommend this one to anyone who loves a challenging race with unique and powerful views along the way. – December 1, 2012
  29. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon (26.2) – 4:14:51 – Dead legs and just an overall cranky body from the Death Valley Trail Marathon the day before made for a miserable first 16 miles in Sin City. I ran into RIF #114 Rigoberto Tellez at mile 16 and seeing a fellow RIFer, that I was not expecting to see, among the masses picked up my spirits. We ran together and paced each other for the next four miles. I picked up the pace from there and finished with a decent overall finish. I had calculated around mile 15 I was on pace for a horrible 4:45 finish so I was pumped with how it ended up turning out. I also enjoyed meeting and talking to RIF #20 Laura Raeder before the start of the race. RNR did a great job fixing the problems with this race from the year before. – December 2, 2012
  30. Lookout Mountain 50 Miler (50.0) – 10:24:06 – LM50 was my first 50 miler a couple of years prior. I had no clue what I was doing that day back in 2010. Luckily, I’ve raced a lot since then and learned a lot along the way. I was curious to see how much I had improved since that first time on Lookout.  I came in with tired legs and a couple of nagging things but overall I felt pretty good.  Two years ago I ran this race in 13:02:23.  I ran well for the first 25 miles and had a nice split, but from 28-38 something didn’t feel right. I was off and struggled through those miles. However, I was able to sew it back together, and I finished strong over the last twelve miles and was very pleased with my time, knocking almost 2 hours and 40 minutes off my 2010 time.  However, my favorite part of this race was getting to run it with several RIF members including RIF #57 Trent Rosenbloom and RIF #65 Jonathan Harrison and  seeing RIF #83 Brad Box, RIF #221 Karl Studtmann, RIF #166 Nathan Judd, and RIF #185 David Pharr complete their first 50 miler.  It was a great event, and I hope to be back again next year.- December 15, 2012
  31. Trail of Fears (10 Hours) – 43.0 miles – A race I put together based on Laz’s Big Dog Backyard Ultra with a few tweaks and changes to it. The basis of the race being that runners have 60 minutes to complete a 4.3 mile trail loop. If they couldn’t then they were eliminated or if they didn’t toe the starting line for the restart of the race every hour they were eliminated as well until one runner remains standing.  The time was dropped by a minute after four loops/hours and eventually got down to 50 minutes for the last loop. I got in 10 loops/43 miles and was pleased with my effort. I could have done a bit more, but I wanted to take over as RD and cheer my friends along and enjoy the show.  A great day and event as I got to witness many friends and Run It Fast – Club members go further and beyond distances they had done before.  I was 85% sure it would be my last race of the year.  – December 22, 2012
  32. Across The Years (24 Hours) – 100.8 miles in 19:49:39 – Well it turned out I had one more race in 2012 to run. I felt like I needed one more long tune up before the HURT 100 in January so I decided to drive over to Phoenix for the ATY 24.  A race I’d been eying for several years. I had wanted to do the 72-hour, but I knew I needed to play it safe and run the 24.  This is a great event where a lot of really cool runners show up to hang out and put down a lot of miles. I enjoyed running with RIF #66 Robert Boluyt and RIF #121 Ed Ettinghausen. I put down some fast splits for the first 30 miles then struggled mightily from 30-40. Mostly it was just tired legs and a bit of fatigue. During this time, Vikena Yutz gave me some great advice that helped with my dead/tired legs the rest of the way.  For several miles from 30-40 I just hoped to get to 50 so I could call it a day, but I hit 50 and kept going. I was on a PR/sub-20 pace and I kept nailing my splits as I crept towards the century mark.  It helped drive me that I had never gone sub-20 hour before for a 100.  Long story short is that I had it timed perfectly to go sub-20. Then another runner reminded me for the math to work right I’d actually be going 100.8 miles.  So I pushed hard the last 10 miles to make up for that extra 0.8 and ended up hitting 100.0 in 19:39 and 100.8 where I stopped in 19:49:39.  I could have easily kept going or walked the last four hours and won the event (as it turned out), but I did well to keep my focus on the HURT 100 and not getting hurt at ATY. Another great event that I hope to be back at in 2013.  – December 29, 2012
All the Smaller Races of 2012

  1. Denmark Dash 5K (3.1) – 19:50 – Ran pretty well. Finished 8th overall, 2nd age group. – February 25, 2012
  2. Run for Haiti 5K (3.1) – 20:47 – Finished 3rd overall, 1st age group. – April 14, 2012
  3. Milan Glow in the Dark 5K (3.1) – 20:47 – Pretty warm nighttime 5K. Finished 2nd overall, 1st age group – April 19, 2012
  4. West TN Speech & Hearing 5K (3.1) – 21:50 – Cold and very windy. Ran poorly. 8th overall, small field. 1st of 2 races on this day. – April 21, 2012
  5. Leadership Jackson 10K (6.2) – 44:08 – Ran well after doing a 5K right before this one.  Finished 2nd overall, 1st age group. – April 21, 2012
  6. Strawberry Festival 10K (6.2) – 43:11 – Planned to take it easy. I was in 10th place after three miles then everyone in front of me peeled off for the 5K finish so I had no choice but to Run It Fast and win this one. – May 12, 2012
  7. Zoom thru the Zoo 4 Miler (4.0) – 28:25 – A very hot and humid afternoon in Memphis. I gave a strong effort and finished 31st out of about 1,200 runners.  – May 24, 2012
  8. Buford Pusser 5K (3.1) – 20:57 – One of my favorite 5K’s in West TN.  It’s always hot, humid, and very sunny for this one.  I finished 6th overall, 1st in my age group.  – May 26, 2012
  9. Milan Knock Out Cancer 5K (3.1) – 21:02 – Small field of 20 runners. I won this one. It was hot and humid and no one was close to me for the last 1.5 miles. 21:02 should never win a 5K though, even in the Sahara.  – May 28, 2012
  10. Bluesfest 5K (3.1) – 19:32 – Hot June day. I ran well and scored a new PR while finishing 4th overall and 1st in my age group. – June 2, 2012

I want to thank all the great people in the Run It Fast family, my friends, and especially my family for all of their support in helping make 2012 such a great success for me. Remember that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. The mind is stronger than the body. – joshua holmes

Posted in Marathon, Race Reports, Running, Ultra MarathonComments (1)

Day 9: 2012 Last Annual Vol State Live Blog

Day 9: 2012 Last Annual Vol State Live Blog

There are only 5 runners left on the Vol State 500K course. Some so close and a few with a long way to go still but they continue to keep moving forward. I saw a post on Facebook about how a lot of the running websites/blogs follow a race just until the front runners come in. Forgetting the fact that there are runners out there until the very end, whether it’s a 48 hour cutoff or a 10 day cutoff. Run It Fast isn’t just about being fast. It’s about pushing your limits and going farther…and sometimes faster…than you’ve ever done before. It’s about seeing what you are made of  and the runners in the Last Annual Vol State 500K certainly embody that. They aren’t in it for the comfort of a cool, flat, fast marathon. They are there to face their fears and weaknesses and find out what strengths they have inside.

Please join me in sending a TON of Run It Fast vibes to these hearty runners who are giving it their all to reach the rock!

Once again, I probably won’t be adding as many updates but check back later just in case. :)  If you didn’t get a chance to read the live blog for any of the previous 8 days, you can check them out here:

Day 1      Day 2      Day 3     Day 4       Day 5      Day 6       Day 7       Day 8

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:

Email from Shannon at 8:38 pm

#12 Shannon Burke


Carl can you please post to ulist (laz is taxing my abilities- finish the race and report my own results)

Email from Carl at 8:35 pm

 Re: Vol state update 17 – 8.5 days – still running

Correction; just heard from psyche, she’s at 297, not 300


Email from Stewart at 8:00 pm

8pm report

marvin is on sixteenth model road (can anyone tell me the actual way ninth model and sixteenth model roads got their names, authoritatively, accurately, without making up or repeating bullshit?) four miles from rte 41.

i think we are going to get a motel in manchester, then get a one am start. i think he is about ten miles off pace, holding steady there. i might start pushing gently tomorrow.

Update of runner status at 8:00 pm

 Vol state update 17 – 8.5 days – still running

As another mammoth thunderstorm rolls in to make sure the runners get a full measure of fun…..

With most of the miles covered, we ALL wish it was us….

12) Shannon Burke 311 (it feels real now, atop sand mountain)
13) Psyche Wimberly 300 (a little while ago, not sure if still moving)
14) Diane Taylor 272 (monteagle til early morn)
15) Marv Skagerberg 242
16) Oprah 241


Email from ultrarunningmom at 6:35 pm

#11 – Dusty Hardman

8 days, 11 hours, 4 minutes, 47 seconds

Email from UltraJohn at 2:15 pm

Re: vol-state update 16- 8 days (the heart of a warrior)

At 1:45pm Dusty Hardman was just leaving Kimball and had passed the interstate and started the short climb to South Pittsburg and the second crossing of the Tennessee River!

Shannon Burke had just reached the turn in Jasper to head to Kimball and looks to be on pace for a 8 to 9pm finish! Sure beats making a wrong turn at 124 mile and quiting like last year 😉

I’m heading back in the car in a few to find Psyche and see her progress I’m betting she is either off the mountain or nearly so!


Email from Stewart at 12:02 pm (Come on Marvin!)

on the road again

marvin is moving again, through shvl

it took him seven hours last night to make ten miles, so we bagged it at three am.

i woke up when gary called me and can only hope i made sense

the chemo headache kicked in, and i kinda just lay there until ten, when marvin started rustling

i opened the door to go out to the car and find something to eat and drink, which woke marv up

we drank the motel coffee (which is not coffee, and none of the ingerdiments are listed…it is ersatz, postum) ate a bagel and salami and swiss cheese sammich, and hit the road.

marvin redressed his foot, put on copious sunblock, and started trudging from the inbound shevil sign. he is rested, and ok i think. we will see what happens.

i am waiting at the kangaroo station, wher the gas is cheap and the ice is twice the normal price.

there were two dead horses along the way to svl yesterday. this is a terrible thing to do to a lavs runner. maybe they were walking horses and when they saw the lavs walkers, they figured out the logical consequences of this walking stuff, and just died.

we are on the road again


Update of runner status from Laz at 8:35 am

vol-state update 16- 8 days (the heart of a warrior)

five lonely figures move alongside the road.

the kings and queens have basked on the rock,
and left for home and work and all the trappings of “normal” life.

they will long for the simple days,
when a single peach could be a treasure,
and a drink of cold water the stuff of dreams.
when indoor plumbing stood alongside air conditioning,
as man’s signal achievement.
voice-mail boxes long filled,
e-mail accounts with pages of unread messages.
their 21st century lives have called them back from a simpler time.
when the heart of a warrior was the only thing.

fancy cars and prestigious jobs meant nothing.
big homes and social status afforded no mercy.
the stuff of life was water, food, and shelter…
and perseverance.
the skills of living were stark.
the skills that stood between those lonely figures beside the road,
and an ignominious ride to failure.
treating blisters, finding food and water,
sheltering in the fiercest storms and staying alive in blistering heat.
these were the measures of a man…

that and the heart of a warrior.
for there is no easy path from the ferry to the rock.
all must pay the price to walk thru the corn.

the vol state is a race with winners,
but no losers.
even those who ride off in the “seat of dishonor” have something.
they showed the courage to face the lion.
and as they sit at home and read about the few warriors remaining on the road,
they tell theirselves;
“that could have been me.”
most will ride the ferry again,
and find their way to the rock.

but for today, 5 lonely figures move slowly down the road.
their dream drawing ever closer,
the dream of the ultimate reward….

being able to stop.

11) dusty hardman 282- beyond tracy city. aiming to reach the rock tonight.
12) shannon burke 280- entering tracy city. aiming to reach the rock tonight.
13) psyche winberly 275- past monteagle. she is so hurt we are afraid to mention the rock just yet. but she fights on.
14) diane taylor 250- getting up from breakfast in manchester. tomorrow night calls.
15) marvin skagerberg 225- hammered by yet another storm, taking refuge in shelbyville.
he is back on the road as time grows short in his quest for “one more big thing.”

the odds are against him.

marvin has a lot of skins on his wall. he had proven himself as a warrior in times long past.
before the memories of this generation of ultramarathon warriors.
the years have stolen the speed from his legs. his vision has dimmed and his hearing faded.
but the heart of a lion remains, and he continues his relentless pursuit of “one more big thing.”
is there an old-timer who can keep from following his progress?
he may fail, but he will not lose.
the clock might catch him, but it will find him fighting to the end.

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.


Posted in Running, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (0)


Day 7: 2012 Last Annual Vol State Live Blog

Who knew a 314 mile race could be such a nail biter! Yesterday we saw Dan Fox win in 5:03:09:33 and break his own record. Then there was a fierce battle for 2nd. Not to mention the rest of the runners battling the TN heat and then a crazy, crazy monsoon/hurricane like storm! Waiting for the updates or any info on the runners made me a nervous wreck! 🙂 Check out all the happenings on Day 6! It is a can’t miss read!

Once again, I’ll be updating today’s live blog throughout the day so check back to see all of today’s happenings. If you didn’t get a chance to read the live blog for any of the previous 6 days, you can check them out here:

Day 1      Day 2      Day 3     Day 4       Day 5      Day 6

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:

Email from Carl at 8:03 am

volstate finishes overnight

sub 7 days were:

richard westbrook 6:20:13:55

john price 6:20:29:56

jay dobrowalski 6:20:46:15

charlie taylor 6:22:56:05

Update of runner status by Carl at 8:25 pm

vol state update 13 – 6.5 days, the peloton approaches

the podium has been established
and even the other 2 breakaways have made it to the rock.

but the peloton is now making its way towards the finish.

at the end of each 24 hour period, the time rolls over to a new day.
as a runner, that roll over (at 18 minutes past 0700 in the morning in this case)
is the most important minute of the day….
it is the difference between a finishing time of 6:XX:xx:XX
and 7:XX:xx:XX

tonight the peloton has to push to keep their finish under 7 days.
500km for a week in the logbook has an irresistible draw.

there are 5 on the road in from tracy city
with a shot to keep laz and the cheering squad at the rock awake all night.

1-5) dan fox, joshua holmes, paul lefelhocz, juli aistars, sulaiman seriki 314

6) jay dobrowalski 300 (eating at mcdonalds and going down for a sleep, getting up early for sub 7?)
7) sherry meador 290 (in jasper and moving, she just wont stop)
8 ) john price 287 (headed down the mountain in the last remaining light)
9) richard westbrook 287 (with john shooting for sub 7)
10) charlie taylor 277 (out of monteagle after a long rest, and shooting for sub 7)
11) dusty hardman 250 (got into manchester early feeling good)
12) shannon burke 250 (right on track)
13) psyche wimberly 248 (struggled to manchester, but picked up a crew and is GOING to FINISH)
14) diane taylor 206 (back ahead of schedule, contingent upon an early morning tomorrow)
15) marvin skagerberg 177 (determined)
16) oprah (steadfast)

17) thomas mikkleson 250 RIP
18) jan silverman 218 RIP
19) rita barnes 185 RIP
20) sal coll 156 RIP
21) fred davis 125 RIP
22) erika matheny/adam venn 122 RIP
23) mike melton 121 RIP
24) abi meadows 100 RIP

Email from Carl at 6:24 pm

6:10:49:44 – #5 Sulaiman Seriki (SS)

Happy to be done!

Carl (who is almost home in SC for the real world tmrw)

Posted by Joshua at 5:16 pm

Some of Naresh’s photos which he was kind enough to let me share:

Email from Naresh at 2:46 pm

Re: Vol State 2012 – Pictures from the road

I have never been in a thunderstorm this bad in my whole life. Nature did put on a beautiful electric show followed by a torrential downpour. It was like as if Hell had diarrhea and it crapped the hell out on Tennessee. Broken branches and debris were all over the sand mountain. Just one of those moments where I think “Thanks God I am not running it this year”

Josh and Paul’s finish line pictures updated in my album.  http://tinyurl.com/buvwot4  (Scroll down all the way)
Paul Lefelhocz celebrated his victory in style. Check it out for yourself 🙂

(Whose friends refuses to get in his car anymore)

Posted by Joshua at 12:02 pm

Email from Carl at 11:37 am

6:04:18:34 #4 – juli aistars

No lean!


Update of runner status by Laz at 8:40 am

vol state update 12-day 6, give ’em blood

word is, the vol-state fans want blood.
we gotcher blood fer ye.

jan silverman is gone. she solved the problem of how to get back on the course…
she aint going.

psyche did get taken in last night.
dusty awoke in the night, and heard someone crying outside her window.
it was psyche, and she let her in.
what did we say about living like a stray dog?
this morning psyche said she is “trying to figure out how to walk”
and she will let us know about her vol-state future.

juli survived the storm.
she is one remarkable woman. resilient, resourceful, and determined.
my own sleep (the time i now call happy hour) was interrupted by a great comedy routine.
one end of a phone conversation between carl and juli.
carl was addled by lack of sleep,
juli was addled by lack of sleep.
she had stopped at mcdonalds and couldnt figure out which way to go.
carl couldnt figure out where she was.
after several phone calls and much discussion,
they finally figured it out.
she was 100 yards from where we were sleeping.
yes fans, even carl has become a casualty.
(people who actually need to sleep nearly every day should avoid the vol-state)

i am losing carl to work responsibilities, and with him the ability to post.
as soon as i finish this, i am going back to the rock for juli’s finish.
this will be (probably) the last complete update.

1-3) dan fox, joshua holmes, paul lefelhocz 314

4) juli aistars 303 (crossing the tennessee river)
5) sulaiman sericki 287 (starting down monteagle mountain)
6) jay dobrowalski 274 (leaving monteagle for tracy city)
7) charlie taylor 265 (pelham, at the foot of the mountain)
8 ) john price 264 (right behind charlie, and doesnt know it)
9) sherry meador 252 (leaving manchester)
10) richard westbrook 258 (hillsboro)
11-12) psyche wimberly and dusty hardman (in war trace, psyche may not go on)
13) shannon burke 223 (leaving shelbyville)
14 diane taylor 194 (nearing lewisburg)
15) marvin skagerberg 175 (in columbia, and fighting for his race with the heart of a lion)
16) oprah 174

17) thomas mikkleson 250 RIP
18) jan silverman 218 RIP
19) rita barnes 185 RIP
20) sal coll 156 RIP
21) fred davis 125 RIP
22) erika matheny/adam vess 122 RIP
23) mike melton 121 RIP
24) abi meadows 100 RIP

it was a happy band that stepped off the ferry a lifetime ago.
some have already tasted the sweet kiss of the rock.
some will yet succeed.
many have failed.
and more may join them.
none will forget the call of the open road.

the vol-state is the most achievable of challenges.
but victory will come with a price.

i will try to get word out, about the fate of those who fight on…

however i can.


Posted in Running, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (0)


Day 3: 2012 Last Annual Vol State 500K Live Blog

Sorry for the late start. I had a half this morning and just got a chance to catch up. Looks like it’s been a wild day for the VS500K runners. Check out below to see what happened during the day and check back for any updates.

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.

Or check out this map to see where all the runners are. The runner’s locations are marked with “stickpins”. The map is updated twice per day and shows their 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! He’ll be adding to it over the weekend. Check it out:Naresh’s Vol State 2012 Album

So far today:

Posted by Joshua at 10:52 pm

Posted by Joshua at 10:50 pm

60 Hour Update of runner status from Laz at 8:46pm

vol state update 5: it’s all downhill from here
the front end has turned into a desperate struggle.
whoever takes home the crown will have earned it the hard way.

1) paul lefelhocz 161. thru hampshire and running
2) dan fox 158. running
3) juli aistars 156. natches trace. running.
4) joshua holmes 151. struggling at times, but moving forward.
5) jay dobromowski 150. stopped at walmart in hohenwald to cobble together blister kit. lost 4 places doing it. back running.
6) thomas mikkelson 149. stopped for a rest break.
7) sulaiman sericki 142, entering hohenwald. he has a heel blister that looks like a crater. says he no longer feels it thru the pain in his knee. moving.
8 ) richard westbrook 130. on the way to hohenwald, moving.

there are several at various points in rest breaks at 125 (commodore hotel in linden):

9-12) charlie taylor, sal coll, psyche winberly, sherry meador

13) john price 124, in linden, not stopping
14) dusty hardman 124, in linden, stopping at 125
15) fred davis 115, crossing the tennessee river. moving.

16-18) holed up at the pine tree motel on the wrong side of the river: rita barnes, shannon burke, jan silverman

19) erika matheny and adam venn relay team 108 and taking a break
20) abi meadows 100 and dropped.
21-22) mike melton and diane taylor 92: gone to earth in lexington days inn.
23) marvin skagerberg: 90 and taking a break. briefly caught taylor and melton earlier today. gunning for them tomorrow.
24) oprah 89

besides the deluges (parts of the course are now under a flash flood watch)
the watchword of the day is pain.
everyone is hurting somewhere.
the constant moisture is destroying feet.
the constant running and walking is breaking bodies and crushing wills.
and there is still so far to go.
dont let all the people on evening breaks fool you.
the breaks are short. the days are long.
while you sleep the footwarriors fight on.

the score in the battle between the sexes:
women, 1 doused cellphone, two lost chargers. 1 drop.
men, all cellphone systems intact. full field intact.

just saying.


Email from Laz at 4:50 pm

all hell is breaking loose
and the heavens are opening up.

no more showers for the vol-staters.
today the rains steadily increased in frequency and strength,
until we saw some monumental deluges.
conditions are terrible,
with deep puddles covering the roads,
as the rain came down faster than it could run off.

we wont know for sure, until call in
(we couldnt locate dobronewski)
but it looks like lefelhocz has seized control,
with about a 4 mile lead on fox.
(both have passed the halfway point, and are running strong… not walking)
paul made us promise again not to reveal his position to his wife.
good thing he can trust me & carl.

juli looked like a strong maybe third, coming out of hohenwald
and joshua holmes is experiencing one of those special times,
but still moving in 4th and at about 145, in hohenwald.


Update from Carl at 12:36 pm

Driving thru the course, we can update that reports of Rita Barnes’ demise were greatly exaggerated. She is on course and moving into Parsons.


48 Hour Update of runner status by Laz at 8:53 am

Vol State Update 4: emerging from the mists
while most of you slept, the vol-staters trudged onward.
it took 2 days, but the competition is taking shape….
and the competitors are becoming clear.

too many people are too close together to do any serious handicapping,
but the number of serious contenders for the crown has shrunk considerably.

we can scratch abi, out after 100 miles with gastric distress.
we can scratch rita, down at 92 and talking drop with ankle issues.

joshua holmes surged back into the lead last night,
but paid the price for those fast miles and bailed for some sleep, short of hohenwald at 140 miles.
not so his pursuers, who have already had their rest breaks…
if, indeed, they are taking any.

jay dobrodrewski has pushed his way into 2nd, past linden at 128,
followed closely by uncrewed runners dan fox (127)
and paul lefelhocz (124)

juli aistars (117)
and thomas mikkelson (115)
had also crossed the tennessee river,
and cannot be counted out as a potential leaders before day’s end.

behind them, the peleton strung out between parsons and the river.
in a section of endless hills, runners made their way down the road in seeming isolation,
unable to see the runners but one hill ahead or behind:
7) psyche winberly 109
8 ) sal coll 107
9) charlie taylor 106
10) sulaiman sericki 105
11) sherry meador 104
12) richard westbrook 103
13) jan silverman 102
14) abi meadows 100 (and out)
15) john price 97 (leaving lexington)
16) fred davis 96
17) dusty hardman 93
18) rita barnes 92 (and wavering)

not yet to the turn in lexington:
19) shannon burke 88
20) the erika matherny/adam venn relay team 85
21) mike melton 69
22) dian taylor 68
23) marvin skagerberg 67
24) the relentless oprah 66

look for today to be another day of fruitbasket turnover,
as a long lunch break might cost a half dozen places.
the good news is that it is only supposed to be a little warmer than yesterday.
the bad news is that the thunderstorms are expected to continue.
all that wet weather has created some nasty foot & blister issues very early in the race.
i think a lot of folks would prefer the heat!


Posted by Joshua at 6:43 am

Posted in Running, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (0)

Joshua Holmes – Vol State 500K 2011

Run It Fast Club Members Pushing Their Limits To The Extreme


Two EPIC races will be starting in the next few days. Guess what? Two Run It Fast – The Club members will be representing at both races and pushing their limts to the extreme!

You’ve probably heard of one of the races – AdventureCORPS Badwater, a 135 mile race across Death Valley in California. It starts on Monday, July 16th and I hear the temperatures for this year’s race will be in the range of 118 to 123 degrees! The runners start out from Badwater (85Ft below sea level, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere) and climb up to the trailhead at Mt. Whitney. Along the way, they will battle the heat, possibly melting shoes, their own minds and bodies and do a little climbing (13000 Ft). That sounds like fun, right?

Some famous names in the running world are running Badwater this year: Marshall Ulrich, Dean Karnazes, Pam Reed, and Amy Palmiero-Winters. Last year’s winners, Oswaldo Lopez and Sumie Inagaki will be back this year to defend their titles.

And back for his second year at Badwater is our very own Ed Ettinghausen, RIF #121! He will be starting this year’s race in the 10:00 am wave. At last year’s Badwater, Ed finished 13th in a time of 31:21:54. I’d say he was running it fast! Now that he’s no longer a rookie, I expect he’ll Run It Fast this year too. I just wonder if he’s going to be sporting the Jester hats at Badwater?  Good luck Ed!

The other race? You probably haven’t heard of that one. It’s a “little” race called the Last Annual Vol State 500K. The race is 314 miles across Tennessee…in the middle of July. Now it may not be as hot as it is in Death Valley but it’s WAY more humid. Also, a FEW more miles too. The small band of runners in this race will leave tomorrow morning from Dorena Landing, Missouri and make their way across Tennessee to “The Rock” at Castle Rock, Georgia. The runners have 10 days to complete the journey.

Our fearless leader, Joshua Holmes RIF #1, is running the Last Annual Vol State 500K…again! He ran it last year in 8 days and 7 minutes and change. He has plans to Run It Faster this year and I KNOW he will. He’s got the experience and this year he’s a much stronger runner. I can’t wait to see how much time he shaves off his time from last year. Good luck Joshua!

What I find so amazing and inspiring about both Ed and Josh is that they did these races before and STILL signed up for another year. They know exactly what they are getting in to and they aren’t afraid to face those challenges again. While marathons across the country are being cancelled because of “heat”, these two, along with all the other entrants, are saying “Bring it on!”. I know they have every intention of running harder, faster, and stronger this year and it will be fun to watch.

I hope you’ll join me in sending lots of encouragement to Ed & Josh as they head out. They are two of the most supportive and encouraging runners I’ve met. They love running and they share that love with runners of all ages and abilities. Both of them are so down to earth as well that they would probably be embarrassed when I say they are inspiring but I know I’m not alone in thinking this. They are AWESOME! Please show them some love!

Here are some links you can use to follow both races/runners:


Twitter: @adventurecorps
Facebook: Badwater Ultramarathon
On the Web: webcast
The live photostream on Instagram: RD Chris Kostman

 Last Annual Vol State 500K

Runner’s Map (updated twice a day): Google Map
Joshua on Twitter: @bayou
Joshua on Facebook: Joshua Holmes
Run It Fast on Twitter: @RunItFast
RunItFast on Facebook: Run It Fast
Joshua’s 2011 Vol State 500K Race Report

And don’t forget to check back here for updates and results!

*Update* I just found out another RIF Club member will be running the Last Annual Vol State 500K! Please also send Run It Fast Good Luck vibes to Sulaiman Seriki RIF #154!

If you’d like to join Run It Fast – The Club or would like more information about it, please click this link:

Run It Fast – The Club (JOIN TODAY)

Posted in Running, THE CLUB, Ultra Marathon, Vol StateComments (1)

FHT 77 Mile Naresh Kumar

Foothills Trail 77 Miler Finisher’s Wallet (2011) – Bad Mother Naresher

Run It Fast contributor/runner extraordinaire Naresh Kumar ran the Foothills Trail 77 Mile Ultra Marathon this past weekend (Nov 26-27, 2011).  He said it was one of the hardest races he has ever done, and Naresh has done some hellacious races.

He said it was 2nd on his list of difficulty only to the Last Annual Vol State 500K, a race in which he which he was the first unaided runner to finish. Read his Vol State 500K race report HERE.

The finisher’s bling from this tough race was the well earned, funny, and slightly offensive wallet you see above.

Five people started this race and only three finished. Naresh was the 2nd to cross the finish line.  Only 20 people have ever finished the FHT 77 Miler.

Naresh needs an appropriate sponsor. Let’s help the ‘Vibram Viking’ fine one!!!

[You can follow Naresh on Twitter @iamarunr]


More Photos of Naresh and His FHT77-BMF Wallet

Posted in Bling, Featured, Medals, Ultra MarathonComments (2)

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