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Appalachian State and the Pinhotti 100

Life is racing forward and there's a big audacious piece of life coming my way next year.

I'm part of leadership team at Appalachian State that proposed a new Active Living RLC (residence learning community).  Active Living was approved for Cannon Hall, where I am already faculty in residence.  It's time to prepare for 40 young, tough and fast freshman who will converge on my building next fall semester

As part of this effort, I have submitted a proposal for a new first year seminar course entitled "Endurance Sport and Society."  Thought it would be fun to relive some of the great moments in endurance sport and then unpack the implications within our culture.  Who can forget Benoit's glorious marathon win at the 1984 LA Olympics, or the Dave Scott/Mark Allen Ironwars in the early 1990's?  All that and more for my freshman class in '11.

In other news, check out this podcast on  It's a great report on the Pinhotti 100 in Alabama.  Good to know about major 100 milers, but it this case there's some bad news.  An aid station at mile 34 had completely run out of fluids, which left athletes with a 14 mile stretch without water. On another occasion there were arguments about when a runner had "houred out" and was forced to leave the course.

And in yet another aid station incident, the author of the blog states he asked an aid station worker to fill his Camelbak, then learned a mile later it had been returned to him empty.  These happenings might seem like coincidence, but one must consider that at a previous Pinhotti 100, aid station volunteers failed to bring drop bags back to the start area and thieves made off with the entire stash.  A big loss for everyone who had a bag at that event.

I'm surely not one to incessantly complain to event promoters, because I realize how much most put into their events. However, ample fluids are an inherent right of any ultra competitor and it should become a priority at all races.  Cut off times should also be specific and rules related to pulling runners off the course should also be enforced.

This podcast is one man's story, but it does bring issues to light that we should all be conscious of and work to alleviate.


  1. Sounds like a great undertaking Tom. Maybe you can post along the way as you progress through the course.


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