60 HOUR UPDATE

Posted: July 12, 2020 by smrtnsasy in Race Reports

After 2 1/2 days into the race, at 60 hours, Westbrook has put 121 miles behind him and is past the Tennessee River. Within his screwed division he is in 20th out of 53 total unsupported runners. As for now, no one has dropped out. Let’s see if everyone makes it to the finish at Castle Rock.

SIGN AT PARKER’S CROSSROADS TO MAKE PEOPLE AWARE OF THE EXTREME HEAT. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JAN WALKER)

48 HOUR UPDATE

Posted: July 11, 2020 by smrtnsasy in Uncategorized

Just past Darden, 26th place overall, at 103 miles, RW is 21st in the screwed division. He is the second to oldest competitor in the race. There is an 82 year old man from Arizona, a 71 year old man from Florida, and a 68 year old man from Tennessee. The rest of the folks are 65 and younger, predominantly 40’s with some 50’s sprinkled in there.

RICHARD WESTBROOK AT 103 MILES, PAST DARDEN, 48 HOUR UPDATE

36 HOUR UPDATE

Posted: July 11, 2020 by smrtnsasy in Race Reports

RW IN HUNTINGDON. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JAN WALKER).

After a day and a half into the race, Richard Westbrook has reached 80 miles and is around Parker’s Crossroads. He currently holds 24th place overall. The divisions of crewed (running with aid) and screwed (running solo, with no aid) have been added to the tracking board. Westbrook is, as he always has run this race, in the screwed division. He takes no support from anyone except caring people on the side of the road or places he can stop and purchase a drink or snack, or enjoy some much sought after air conditioning. Hang in there, old man! At 73 years of age, what a thing to be doing in the summer time.

24 HOUR UPDATE

Posted: July 10, 2020 by smrtnsasy in Race Reports
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RICHARD WESTBROOK, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN MCKENZIE AND HUNTINGDON. (PHOTO COURTESY OF RON BENNETT).

 

After 24 hours into the race, Westbrook has moved on up into 25th place overall with a total of 60 miles, past McKenzie. He called his wife, Jan, yesterday and according to their brief conversation, “It was 108 degrees yesterday. A lot of the usual food places he was counting on were closed so he’s having to hunt food. I just talked to him and he sounded good.”

After being a long time veteran of this race one becomes familiar with the restaurants and sleep areas available along the route. People living in the areas have learned all about the race and support the runners by having tents and coolers near the roadside for refreshments and shade, or simple rest areas. These are wonderful things to count on because as an unsupported competitor, all you have is what you carry in the small pack on your back. Food is not one of these items, trying to minimize as much as possible to reduce weight.

With Covid-19 this year we were not even sure if the race was happening. Runners hope to come upon a restaurant or store during it’s hours of operation. Unfortunately, with the virus, many may not be open at all this year. The “Road Angels” who normally set up their tents may not be as populated either with their own viral concerns.

More updates to follow. Let’s see how these crazy runners fair in this insane heat and limited circumstances for support. Keep them all in your prayers and best wishes!

AND THE RACE GOES ON…

Posted: July 10, 2020 by smrtnsasy in Race Reports
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AT THE START OF LAVS 2020 (PHOTO COURTESY OF SANDRA CANTRELL)

 

314 MILE (500K) RACE ROUTE

The Last Annual Vol State road race began July 8, 7:30 am. There are 66 runners competing this year. Divided by gender, 17 are female and 49 male. Runners are required to check in every 12 hours, 7:30 pm and again at 7:30 am, daily. For the initial 12 hour check in, at 7:30 pm, Westbrook has run 30 miles and is in 41st place right along with 4 other runners. These 5 runners are around the motel in Martin area.

I am sure it all began as a blistering hot July day. Follow up to see how these 5 fall into different places as the time and race goes on.

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RICHARD WESTBROOK WITH STEVE SMALLING IN LAVS 2019 (photo credit: Lynda Webber)

Another photo find of Westbrook with Steve Smalling. When we could not locate Westbrook for Saturday morning check-in, Steve noted on facebook where Westbrook was at the time, mile 291. Then he covered 4 additional miles to take a break at Steve’s place.

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RICHARD WESTBROOK TAKING A BREAK ON SAND MOUNTAIN, LAVS 2019

Westbrook had lost his broom stick cane but then Steve gave him this one to help him along. Here is Westbrook taking a break on Sand Mountain after sitting on the guardrail for a bit.

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RICHARD WESTBROOK AT CASTLE ROCK, THE FINISH OF LAVS 2019

HE DID IT!!!! Richard Westbrook at the finish at Castle Rock, where he couldn’t wait to be just so he could sit down. He finished 87th of 88 total screwed runners. Below you see the last finishing group. Richard’s wife, Jan Westbrook, joined him on The Rock.

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RICHARD WESTBROOK IN HIS FINISHER’S THROWN AT LAVS 2019

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RICHARD WESTBROOK WITH GRANDDAUGHTER, BRAYLEE WESTBROOK, AT THE FINISH OF LAVS 2019

Even Westbrook’s 5 year old granddaughter came out to see him finish. They have both had a long night and are ready for bed.

Thanks for following along and hanging in there with us. He appreciates all the support from everyone.

Good night, even though it is morning now.

~ Season

Just a quick update because we are headed out there now to find Richard and cheer him on to the finish. He called us earlier from a McDonald’s in Kimball. He still had to go through New Hope and cross the Blue Bridge then up Sand Mountain to Castle Rock.

His current mileage is 303 and he is in 82nd place in a field of 88 screwed runners. He also lost his walking stick, or broom stick, rather.

Oh, he just called. HE IS ON THE BLUE BRIDGE! I hope he is still managing to stay upright. Let’s see him to the finish!

~ Season

Well, well, well, Westbrook told me a while back that he had lost his turn sheet information for the course. At first I thought, he as run this so many times surely he knows the course. I asked and he reassured me that he knew where to go. Then I considered, how the hottest July ever coupled with the lack of sleep, enduring pain, and so forth, can induce some level of delirium. What if he is completely confused at some point and gets lost along the way? What if he is walking along in a zombie like daze and walks right passed a turn and unknowingly continues on the wrong route for a good distance?

Unfortunately, he DID get lost, twice. Two other runners happened upon him and realized he was lost and confused. They took him with them to ensure he was on the right path once again. He said they talked and argued with one another and then moved ahead. Westbrook did not have cell phone service to check in so the race admin did not have him on the tracking sheet or map. Once I spoke to him I had to tell him to also check in.

Collectively, we have him at mile 291 just passed Tracy City. He is 79th out of the 89 screwed total. Sandra, from the race admin contacted me to say he is at Steve Smalling’s house and safe. Steve annually has a fantastic aid and rest area for the runners set up. Hopefully, Westbrook can rest for a bit and gather himself enough to make it to the finish without adding extra miles.

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RICHARD WESTBROOK, NUMBER 87 ON THE MAP, IN LAVS 2019

~ Season

 

 

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RICHARD WESTBROOK, NUMBER 87 ON THE MAP, IN LAVS 2019

After a grueling 204 hours on the road, in the rain and extreme heat, Westbrook has a a heat rash on both upper thighs. His left foot and ankle are very swollen from something that bit him. Even his hands are swollen. He is using a metal broomstick he found back in Lewisburg to help hold him straight up rather than leaning to the left from pain.

With all of this happening, he has reached mile 280 in Tracy City. He sat there on the roadside and had some sweet tea and then a bit further down the road, enjoyed a few slices of pepperoni pizza.

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RICHARD WESTBROOK, JUST OUTSIDE TRACY CITY, ENJOYING SOME SWEET TEA

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RICHARD WESTBROOK DURING LAVS 2019, APPROACHING TRACY CITY

One more runner has become DNF status (did not finish) leaving 89 total screwed runners. Westbrook is 80th within this group. He is in pain, as I am sure all the runners are or have experienced, but is too determined and too close to drop out. His body may want to stop but his mind propels him forward. In a race against time and Oprah, he is still ahead.

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THE TREACHEROUS COURSE, LAVS 2019, BETWEEN TRACY CITY AND JASPER. NO SHOULDER TO RUN ON. WINDING MOUNTAIN ROADS WITH MANY BLIND CURVES WHERE IT IS TOO EASY TO NOT BE SEEN AND NOWHERE TO AVOID AN ONCOMING CAR

~ Season

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RICHARD WESTBROOK, NUMBER 87, IN LAVS 2019

8 DAYS = 192 HOURS where Westbrook is passed Hillsboro at mile 260. With 2 days remaining, he has 54 miles until the finish. We heard from him twice last night and some delirium has now set in. The first phone call he talked for a while. The latter call was late and he just wanted to let us know he was going to sleep. When asked where he was  he claimed, “I have no idea.” At first he didn’t know what time it was either.

I know he continues to hurt. He is tough and hanging in there. He will make it! Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

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~ Season