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Title:What Ever Happened To [...] #1013
Date:Friday July 13th, 2012
[Default Article Image][Good Afternoon, or Evening, or whatever it is. Happy Friday the Thirteen and "The Return of Jason inside that damned hockey goalie's mask"! Nah, I just mean the return of yours troubly after such a long absence that I don't even know when I wrote y'all last. Maybe just before the Civil War. Or whatever it was. Most likely Uncivil. Anyway, today is also "Bad Joke Friday" but… probably its being the 13th shouldn't be joked about, ya think? Besides, there's waaaaay too much serious stuff happening today in ultrarunning to wanna make jokes about it. Here's clues and links:
The Vol-State 500K, which got started yesterday, can be followed here: (or even here:)
The Hardrock Hundred, which started this morning, can be followed here:
Badwater Ultramarathon, which starts on Monday, can be followed here:
Annnnnnnd if all THAT wasn't enough, how about a 3,100-mile footrace inside New York City someplace that started, oh, a long time ago? That's here: (As of today they're honing in on 1,300 miles, or, not even halfway.)
Anyway, regarding the first choice selected above--since yours troubly once finished this himself (in 2009)--I've decided to preach from THAT text for my afternoon sermon. As follows :-]

The Bush Administraction Presents…


Yes, we're talking about the Last Annual Vol-State Road Race, which is currently meandering its way diagonally across Tennessee--but in some kinda weird new almost unrecognizable incarnation--and which is, of course, NOT "the last annual."

No, the reasoning there is: each and every single year brings *new* circumstances, if not different competitors, so obviously once any particular year's race is finished--THAT'S the last time THAT race will ever be run!

Right. So. What ever happened to that kinda kewl-goofy thinking? Today's race is just chock full of all kinda brand-new weirdnesses that never were EVER encountered before.

For example, today's reincarnation draws distinctions (and splits hairs) between "screwed" and "unscrewed" divisions. If you're "screwed," it means you are traipsing across, yes, "The Volunteer State" (Tennessee's motto, hence the race name) being accompanied by a "crew." Whether or not you're being "screwed" by the "crew" is T.M.I. and falls outside the purview of this particular race's rules. Obviously, if you're "unscrewed," you have no "crew" with you at all. (And, since that's so obvious, we don't have to further beat the dead horse by implying no one's "screwing" you either. :-| At least not that *we* know of! ;-)

What ever happened to goods crewing?

Back in the good ol' days, back when one of the Bushes was in office and one of the following life's alternatives was decidedly in place: war or peace; well, back then the Last Annual Vol-State was merely divided into two other--and much less complicated--groups: solo or relay. If you were solo, you could've been "screwed" or not, and nobody cared! You simply agreed to do the whole distance on your own two feet. Period! But if you were part of a relay team, the whole distance could be done on somebody else's feet--and yours too of course.

But there also were--whoa!--somewhat "bendable" rules, at least insofar as the race director could also participate by moseying along in a chair. And whether he moved his chair strictly under his own power, or his crew did, or his screw did…

( O_O )

…we weren't ever too sure. But we do know the damn chair moved, 'cuz each time we saw it, it was farther down the road. Annnnd His Nibs was sitting in it!

But that of course paid us no nevermind, because His Nibs never finished the race--under Bush; although he may well have finished it under Carter or Ford or Nixon or Eisenhower; but not much before Ike because His Nibs wasn't born yet!. And also His Nimble-Nibsness didn't ever INTEND to finish it either! No. Mostly he was only in it to blow the mind of yours troubly.

And whatever happened to "Camelot"? Did we simply pass over JFK? Nah. JFK only required his healthy and "vigorous" citizenry to expect to be able to run 50 miles, not 314.

But we digress. Yes, in those ancient days LAVS (as were lavatories) was simpler. If you had a van full of peeps following you, lifting your chair, and attending to your every need like as if you were some kind of god, or guru, or something, it didn't matter. Similarly, however a team managed its relaying also didn't matter. BUT… that's all gone now.

Today (right NOW in fact) if you started out as an "unscrewed" runner and then later accepted something--anything!--from some dufus-on-the-street (even an STD?--we're not sure; the rules are unclear here) you all-of-a-sudden became "screwed." Maybe in more ways than one. Again, today's mega-ginormous newfangled hyper-geeked rulebook isn't clear on this. Because there's actually sub-clauses to these "screwed" versus "unscrewed" rules.

To wit: If the dufus giving you aid is just "a man on the street" offering you, say, a sip of water (like that good guy in the bible did for Cheeses) and HAS NO CLUE what the hell you're doing (like that biblical pizza delivery dude), then that's OK. You are still considered "unscrewed." But IF, say for example, he first read the press release in the weekly village newspaper and THEN handed you the water, you're "screwed." No matter what's in the water! So you there and then immediately (!) have to report back to headquarters (the RD's rented bus and borrowed cell phone) a "Change of Category" from "unscrewed" to "screwed."

Right. And there's more. If a coupla "good ol' boys" zooming by in a pickup pitch you a Bud Light out the window, for example, you are forbidden from popping that top and drinking unless and until you first can determine whether they read the paper or not. If they didn't, you're OK. Completely "unscrewed" and you may then drink. If you're parched, prostrate on the chigger-ridden roadside, and THISCLOSETODEATH, you still better not drink until you can determine the research capabilities and insidious intent of those good old boys. You must therefore leap to your feet and sprint to catch them, and then conduct your interview. If they haven't a clue what you're yammering about, you're good. But if they've seen the little American flag on your backpack, called into their local library's reference desk, done their homework, Googled your ass, and STILL flung you the beer can? You're "screwed."

And today's relayers? Well, when the race first started yesterday, there were none. BUT… this afternoon we learn that two formerly "screwed" (that is, the runner and the crew) decided to Change Their Category and become the "screwed relay division." That, we suppose, is to distinguish such category from the "unscrewed relay division" which would require one runner to race ahead of the other runner, locate within some exchange point, receive the baton, and commence to slow down. The runner just handing off the baton, of course, would then need to speed up in order to get to the next exchange point before the other runner does, and so on and so forth 'til Georgia.

All in all, today and until next Sunday morning at o'dark:thirty, most Vol-Staters are *thinking* they're gonna remain "unscrewed." And ya know? After they return to their spouses and HEAR the LITANY of ALL THAT WENT WRONG WHILE THEY WERE GONE… eh? …they're probably going to stay that way for a long, long time.

( X_X )

Yours troubly,

The Troubadour
"your friendly mid-evil pardon-my-French lute plucker and bike rider, who tried bicycling the course last year until the HEAT blew out his tires and caused the contraption to be stored in his livery stable ever since"

Yankee Folly of the Day:
Bush the Second ran marathons, ya know. But we'll bet even he NEVER contemplated anything so complicated as running across the entire State of Tennessee. It probably proved tough enough just to do "the run-around" around The White House.
Posted:July 14th, 2012 11:22 am
Last Update:July 14th, 2012 11:24 am
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