Thursday, August 23, 2012

LAVS 500K - Part 3: They're Off (Way Off)

This Race Is So Long It Takes 2 Days To Get To The Start
Although the race start date is Thursday, July 12, if you plan on riding the bus to the start of the race, you need to meet up with all the other bus-riders at a private ranch in Georgia called Castle Rock on Wednesday morning. You then partake in a secret ceremony featuring Kool Aid.pile into a bus and travel as a group to the start. The traditional "last supper" is held Wednesday night, with the runners retiring to their respective hotel rooms afterward to await the ride to the Ferry the next morning. 

A Word About Vol State Logistics

I'm pretty sure I just made that sound easy, but let me tell you, getting your head around logistics for this one is a bitch. After two weeks of sweating out what the hell to put in my pack, I realized I hadn't thought about the fact that you don't want ANY extra baggage when you get on the ferry. I wondered, what do people wear to the "last supper"? Do they all wear what they're going to run in? They must, right??  I placed a quick call to Dusty Hardman to ask her about this aspecct of things. Given Dusty's detailed to-the-ounce gear list, if she didn't have the answer, no one would. However, all I remembered hearing was something about a "4 ounce dress" and "maybe go to the Goodwill..."  Hmm. Note to self: must... work...on...listening...skilz.

Psyche: "You are yankin' my chain, lady! That dress weighs at LEAST 12 ounces."

Because I like you, and I think you're special, I'm going to tell you the secret to handling Vol State logistics. Are you ready? Are you sure? Because this is really important, so you should be ready, OK? OK, then. Here goes: Don't waste your time packing, planning, and preparing.

None of it will matter.

Just get yourself to the start with your ID and a credit card. And possibly your health insurance card- Nah, strike that. If you knew insurance would pay, it would be far too tempting to throw yourself into oncoming traffic just to make it stop. Better to not have a safety net.

A Word About The RD's

Seriously? It's Laz and Carl. Think about it. If Laz and Carl had a baby, it would look like this:
Vol State: Demon child of Laz and Carl

The Start: And They're OFF (...Way Off)
To start the race with a simulated Ferry Ride simply added to the surreal quality of this race.  Here's some pics of the photo ops and socializing that took place prior to the start.

This almost looks like the start of a "regular" race

Laz's Angels
(Stop laughing! I said shut UP!!!)

Sherry Meador, Me, Marvin the Awesome, and Dusty

23 Start...

This picture virtually screams, "I have no IDEA what I am in for."

I'll end this post with a recap of the start by the RD's:

Vol State Update 1: They Are Off (Way Off)
we got lucky.
the ferry is sitting in the mud,
the crew is doing repainting and other maintenance tasks.
they allowed us to board the barge to start.
at 07:17:42 we started atop the riverbank in kentucky
and ran to the ferry.
following a 20 minute "simulated" ferry ride,
used for photos ops and socializing just like normal,
the gates were opened,
and the runners set out on their magnificent quest.
there were 23 starters, and they passed by the mississippi river overlook in hickman in this order:

1) sal coll
2) richard westbrook
3) charley taylor
4) julie aistars
5) jan silverman
6) thomas mikkelson
7) joshua holmes
8) rita barnes

9) dan fox
10) sherry meador
11) abi meadows
12) shannon burke
13) dusty hardman
14) mike melton
15) sulaiman sericki
16) psyche wimberly
17) ericka matheny
18) john price
19) fred davis
20) paul lefelhocz
21) jay dobrowalski
22) marvin skagerberg
23) diane taylor

in a little while we will go out to get the 20 mile splits...the last time we'll be able to sit in one place and watch all the runners go by.




  1. So great! I can't wait for the next part.

    I had a "volstate dream" last night that involved finding a place to eat before it closed and eating bacon. Better than the usual where Laz taunts me (he never has in real life so I don't know why he does/has in my dreams...for years).

    Thanks for bringing back the memories during daylight hours!