very exciting watching the tent sites fill up and the setups appearing inside the big top.

lots of nervous chatter.


such a different atmosphere than the normal backyard.

what you are used to is a lot of people

with many different goals.

from the outset people are checking out.

someone might stop after two loops and be ecstatic

having run further than they have ever run before.


lots of people,

lots of personal victories,

it is a wonderful atmosphere and so enjoyable to see the glow of so many people accomplishing individual goals.


this is different.

everyone has only one goal.

the same one.

usually you figure out who is here to play

when you see them line up to start the 25th yard.

today the camp is filling with people who would be disappointed to end at 36.


everyone is looking to go to 48

and then the race will begin.


championship races are different.

oh, i also love the adrenaline.

the contest.

the competition.

i have been lucky enough to see so many great races

and great performances

over the past 50 years.

i dont think any of them quite compare to this.

every runner has come to win.

and every runner knows it is within their capability.


putting together a race like this is no easy trick.

and making it available for everyone to witness the drama

requires more than an old hillbilly living in the woods could ever muster.

salomon, as the primary sponsor deserves a lot of credit.

but we cannot forget the help of squirrel nut butter and tailwind.


these are the people you have to thank,

when you wake up at 0300 on wednesday

and refresh your computer to see who is still running.