The rest of the crew is having breakfast and starting to break down their areas of the camps, since most need to head home at some point today.
Going into the event, Johnny was told that a sleep strategy might come into play, so he had planned to take 20 minute cap naps as needed. However, on entering camp at last evening from a muddy and slippery descent from the mountain and being told of what was to follow, he decided that some "real" sleep might be appropriate.
As it stands now, he is entering hour 39 of the challenge, having slept just under 5 hours in the past 52. A couple hours ago he embarked a 4.5 hour "hike" through trails, streams and ravines, one full mile of which is covered with barbed wire 12-24 inches off the ground, which he must pass under...with his pack...and his log. By all accounts he will be given various clues along the way, which will come into play at the checkpoint where there is a mental test. If he misses, there is a penalty (who knows what). Either way, after the check point he must return to camp the same way he came, including the barbed wire!
Awaiting him at camp will be several dozen logs, which must be split into quarters and stacked. Then it's more "hiking", back up the other mountain to Colten Camp and beyond - pack, log, and now a 5 gallon bucket of water which must stay close to full (penalty for spilling).
The "Death Race", which started out with 154 people who began the first night working in groups, has essentially become the "Death Challenge" - an individual test of endurance, pain tolerance and determination. As far as racing, the distance between the 30-or-so remaining participants is wide, with a few of them 12-15 hours ahead of the last (the leader, Joe Decker, is referred to as the World's Fittest Man). Given Johnny's sleep strategy, he's back in the pack, but is certainly not concerned about position or ranking. Instead he's focused on meeting each challenge as it's encountered, and Mike radioed a while ago to say that Johnny is "feeling good and going strong" with the expectation of hitting the barbed wire section soon.
For the first day "damp" is way to describe the weather, rather than raining or pouring. But, just to make sure that "wet" was the operative word for the partipants' conditions throughout the race, shortly after dawn, Johnny was required to lay for 5 minutes in a stream before heading onto the next task. Good morning!
More to post later as Johnny comes off the trail to attend the mandatory 3pm Church Congregation. Literally, all racers, regardless of what check points they have or have not cleared, must gather at the local church, after which they'll be sent back out to their positions to resume racing. Should be an interesting sermon!
We are getting some good pictures, but with sketchy internet access, multiple file formats (phone, computer, SD cards, etc.) we've been having trouble getting them off devices and onto a computer that can connect and post (different computers can connect at different times, oddly). I expect a "photo gallery" of sorts will be posted soon.