Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Special thanks to Kim Barman (and her husband who serves in the Army), Whitney Richman, Judy Lynch, Michael "Sully" Sullivan, Jonathon Amlung, and Fred Sauer for their donations to the Wounded Warrior Project that sponsors this segment of our course tour. We're so close to reaching the $10,000 goal that I'm scrambling to do a course tour post on a daily basis right now! Only a few hundred dollars to go! Thank you all!
The sixteenth stage of the course is a very runnable section from Peachstone to the Ford's Bar aid station. This largely downhill section features a few small climbs, as you can see above, but none that compare to the steep, soul-breaking climbs found in the canyons earlier in the day.
The views in this section are spectacular, and I remember feeling the isolation as we ran deeper and deeper into the woods. The trail is a lot of single track, with a few wider sections, and passing other runners requires one to be polite and ask for the trail. In true ultra nature, it is standard practice for a slower runner to step off the trail to permit a passing runner to continue on without breaking stride.
The leaders will enter the Ford's Bar aid station at 4:30 PM. 24 hour runners will reach their first truly dark aid station around 9:25 PM, with 30 hour runners exiting at 2:30 AM. I recall the aid station being a beacon of light in an otherwise dark forest. The aid station is open until 5:00 AM. Runners have just over 27 miles to the finish line!