and so, finally,
when it seemed like it would never come,
the 24th hour is underway.

the 32 are all out,
even tho a couple of them did not arrive back from 23 until the whistles had begun.

this is the yard of revitalization.
there was only the faintest hint of lightening sky when they left,
but it will get lighter and lighter all the way around,
and the sun will be coming up to greet them as they arrive back in camp.

hopefully it will revive their flagging spirits and bodies.
because hour 25 is back on that trail.
the first trail loop is always a big challenge to start day 2.

so far we have only lost 3.
and those losses have underscored the merciless nature of the backyard ultra.
two of them are gone,
without finding their limits.

still with plenty in the tank
they fell to that single mistake.
that single careless moment.

the rules of backyard are few.
the crux of the race is to be in the corral
and start with the bell.
every hour.

and anything that causes that to not happen…

the race is over.

it is hard.
it is harsh.
and it is cruel.

but that is the backyard.