24 July 2009

500K race - The Last Annual Vol State Road Race 2009

Crossing my finger for a multi-day ultra race here on this side of the planet. I would like to try my luck on it and see how it goes. Will it be soon? I hope so. The ultimate goal being not dying because of fluid problems, etc. or getting killed by crazy drivers, etc . Just kidding. I cannot help it after reading the report of Mark Handerson below. The race route for Vol State is nightmarish or even suicidal for runners.

A 24 or 48 hour ultra race will be something of a challenge as well. Who knows maybe next year we will be seeing more variations of ultramarathon aside from 100K race in our country.

So, what is this 500K race all about. Mark Handerson himself, a finisher of 2004 Vol State race, gives you the overview:

"Race/Course Description: The Last Annual Vol State Road Race is a 267.33-mile* race across county and state roads through mostly rural Tennessee. It actually starts on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River, makes a ferry crossing and cuts through southwest Kentucky for about 13 miles, and then it meanders in a general southeasterly course through Tennessee finishing up Monteagle Mountain at the city limits of Monteagle, near Chattanooga. It is the brainchild of native Tennesseean, ultrarunner and “ultra-wanderer,” and writer well known in American ultra circles, Gary Cantrell. It is a small, low-key event. Even so, Gary has divisions for relay, aided (where a runner is supported by a crew in a vehicle), and solo (where a runner is prohibited from accepting any aid whatsoever from anyone associated with the race). It is run in late August when conditions are generally inhospitable. The race description advertises mostly rolling hills, and that is generally true; it does not, however, advertise the ever-present cars and trucks along the entire course and the narrow-to-no shoulders making for a harrowing trek. The course record, set by DeWayne Satterfield, Ph.D.—a physicist working for the US Army in Huntsville, AL—was 4 days, 17 hours, and change."

The winner for 2009 broke his course record (CR) and established a new one of 3 days, 17 hours and 42 minutes. Smashing the CR by 15 hours! His initial report on the race. Let us hear it from the man himself:

(picture taken from Team Inov 8-USA blog)

"Dan, all,

Thanks for the kudos...Dirt, it was, of course, great seeing and talking to you at the 'last supper'. I was focused this year. After my "fun run" finish at Barkley, I thought I had the mental fortitude to push hard. There were many ups and downs, but overall I kept focused on the task.

With the finish time of 3:17:42:12 (as Mike "traildog" Dobies already said), I ran/walked/crawled for 3.7376 days covering 314 miles which yields dead on 84/miles per day.

I am currently working on a race report, but my brain is still quite fuzzy. In the meantime, a few tidbits:

I slept for around 3 1/2 hrs the first night.

My 24 hr total was 92 miles.

I slept for around 4 hours the second night.

My 48 hr total was 160 miles.

I slept for 2 hrs the third night (I got stopped by a train in Wartace, TN and decided to crash for a while in the car).

My 72 hr total was 248 miles.

I felt better coming up Monteagle Mountain than I did going down...I was so wasted after the descent, that I lay on the side of the road in a fetal position breathing in ragged shallow breaths like a dying dog for about 10 minutes...wondering how I could possible cover 20 more miles to the finish.

The weather was the real champion, it deserves the outstanding achievement award for the race. (Laz kept telling me to "go hard, b/c we would not get this weather ever again...")

I stopped the first two days for both lunch and dinner for 30-45 minutes each. The subsequent days I just ate on the side of the road taking only 15-20 minutes each time.

I did "negative split" the race covering the 2nd half faster...simply b/c I had a fairly rough 2nd day.

Those are just facts...those who know me, know that I prefer the "color" commentary. I will try my best to add the strange things my brain pondered on and the odd things I saw while on the road in my race report.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement during the race and the nice emails afterward...they are truly appreciated!

Race report soon...


DeWayne "sore feet" Satterfield

Additional report can be found here.

DaWayne is a Team Inov-8 USA member


  1. Hi Jon, off-topic question: do you know if there will be a Clark marathon in December? October is too soon for me to run a 42k again.


  2. More dangerous than running at night in the Philippines? No way, I don't believe it. Wasn't it Ronnie who got hit in the back of the head of a vehicle mirror at BDM102, hahaha. You gotta admit, at least here people try to drive within the lines and we don't have tricycles. Vol State that's a monster, you thinking of organizing something like that in PI?

  3. Dindo - It is ok if it is off-topic. You know I have been pushing for a marathon on December 5-6 in Clark but some people would not agree to it. I'll find out next week how it will pan out. Latest date would be 2nd or 3rd week of January. Seriously, I think you can handle another 42k in October. Just concentrate in the meantime on recovery after your 1st full marathon then start training again for October. My two cents.

  4. Rick - The length of exposure to traffic hazards is longer during Vol State. In terms of danger, night running here is far worse I guess. 500K race is still remote where I am now. Maybe 100 miler or 24-28 hour run next year or so.

  5. amazing feat, indeed! how i wish i am still in my 30's! hehehe! SD 100 would be a nice experience in the future.

  6. Bald Runner - You may want to toy with the idea of 100 miles or 160K for those planning to join the 2010 BDM102K. I mean aside from the standard 102K, runners will have the option to register and run for additional 58K to complete the 100 miler which will end in Tarlac. That would be the first official 100 miler here ... I guess.

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