Hot Time 100 (by Anita Finkle)
“I understand that the race director may make up rules as necessary and the new rules could be
retroactive…..  I come to this event expecting nothing from anyone except myself…...  I look forward with
enthusiasm to this chance to test myself yet again, and to struggle and hurt for 100 miles to prove that I am as
tough as I think I am.”  These are a few excerpts from the waiver on the entry form of the Hot Time 100 (yes,
100 miles) which took place the weekend of June 27-28 in Hoffman, NC.  
Of course Jay and I could not resist signing up, especially since our friend Doug Dawkins was the Race Director
and it was a bargain at only 25 cents per mile.  The course consisted of a double loop, somewhat in the shape
of a figure eight.  Each “half loop” was approximately 3.6 miles and each full lap was approximately 7.2 miles.  
To complete the full 100+ mile distance would require 14 full laps.   One advantage of this setup was that we
ran past our vehicle and any aid we chose to bring every half loop.  There was also a building with restrooms
available and coolers full of cold water and Gatorade provided by the race director.  Jay and I set up a canopy
and table with lawn chairs, changes of clothes, shoes, and socks, sunscreen, bugspray, snacks, salt caplets,
and coolers.  We wore our Camelbaks for additional water.
Approximately 20 runners started at 6am Saturday.  Many of us knew each other and the early miles were
spent learning the course layout, chatting with our running buddies, and enjoying some relatively easy miles
before the temperature rose.  The course was on a game preserve and consisted of dirt roads and trails in the
appropriately named “sandhills” area of North Carolina.  I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and variety of
the vegetation.  The course was marked with yellow streamers and with signs with arrows at major turns.  The
Race Director had put up some signs right along the edge of the course identifying “poison oak.”  All of the
plants started to look like poison oak to me and I was hoping I could time my bathroom breaks for the “real”
bathrooms at the end of each loop rather than take my chances of squatting in the wrong place.  There were
also numerous ant hills and aggressive biting flies.   I reapplied bugspray
and sunscreen almost every loop.  The scenery and camaraderie in these early miles were pleasant and I
thought about how lucky I am to have the fitness and health to be able to run events like this and to have such
great friends to share the experience with.  There were probably more volunteers than runners cheering us on,
refilling the coolers of water and Gatorade, and counting our laps.  My husband Jay and I ran a few of the early
miles together and we enjoyed each other’s company as always.  Some sections of the course consisted of
deep, soft sand and I told Jay it was just like a romantic walk on the beach together.  As the temperature rose
(eventually reaching 97 degrees on the thermometer Doug had placed in the shade of a pine tree, although
very few portions of the course were in the shade), it felt even more like a day at the beach!   
I told Jay to go ahead and I slowed down my pace and was even more conscientious about reapplying
sunscreen frequently.  As I approached the aid at the end of each loop I would do a mental inventory of what I
needed to do and/or get, such as “water, Gatorade, salt caplet, sunscreen, bugspray, Clif Blocks” or
“bathroom, Mountain Dew, Chex Mix, sunscreen, chapstick, bugspray.”   I ran by myself for awhile and was
feeling comfortable and never felt too hot.  At one point in the early afternoon I started a lap feeling great but
quickly realized that my stomach was not digesting anything.  I knew that I needed to slow way down to let some
blood divert from my running muscles to my digestive system.  I started a slow walk and was soon joined in that
pace by Brad and Cheryl, who were also slowing down at this point.  Brad and his family are long-time friends of
ours so we enjoyed talking about family and upcoming runs.  Cheryl and I knew each
other but not very well, so we enjoyed learning that both of us used to be in the army and grew up as “army
brats.”  We also discussed what to do about our stomach issues and the frequency and color of our pee to
determine if we were dehydrated.   At the end of the loop my stomach was still not processing anything so I
knew I had to sit down for awhile and rest completely.  Our friend Rick was sitting under his canopy a few feet
away and offered me some ginger chews, ginger ale, and ginger candy to help settle my stomach.  He moved
over to an extra lawn chair under our canopy with his offerings and we had a nice conversation while we
recuperated for nearly an hour.  I have known Rick for awhile but just learned that he had had Hodgkins
disease several years ago and had his spleen removed.  He showed me his surgical scars (“3 bellybuttons”)
and also told me of his remedies for butt chafing.  I have been fortunate enough not to sweat
enough to have this issue, but was happy to learn of this information to pass on to other running friends.  I was
later amused to think that among ultrarunners it is quite normal to have a conversation with a member of the
opposite sex about the color of your pee and butt chafing remedies!
After my extended break I felt much better and went out for the next loop.   As I went through the soft sandy
section I thought about how the soft sand in my shoes was forming into a custom insole in the bottom of my
shoe.  It almost felt pleasant for awhile, but I knew that I would need to change socks and shoes.  I was wearing
gaiters to minimize debris in my shoes, but the fine sand still found its way in.  At the end of the next lap I
emptied the sand from my shoes and socks and I could have filled a small sandbox!   I put on clean shoes and
socks but knew that would only last a short time.  Not much later my small toe started to hurt and then it felt like
it exploded.  The pain went away soon after that but when I later changed shoes and socks again I saw that I
had a blister that pretty much covered the entire toe.  It didn’t hurt though so I just put on some thicker, softer
socks and kept going.
The evening light made the now-familiar scenery beautiful in a different way.   Summer evenings are my
favorite time to run!  The field of runners was spread out now and I was running alone but enjoying it.  I was not
sure how many runners were left in the race—I knew of a few who had dropped out and I saw several runners
laying on benches in the building when I went in for a bathroom break.  There was plenty of time for runners to
take a break during the heat of the day and then to go back out refreshed since the overall race cutoff time
allowed 36 hours.    
As night approached I put on my headlamp and noticed some city lights off in the distance.  I could not see any
buildings or towns during the day so it was a surprise.  The moon was just a small sliver but the stars were clear
and bright when I looked up.  I focused more on following the course in the dark—it was marked and somewhat
familiar by now, but it would be easy to miss a turn in the dark if I was not paying attention.  By this point the
laps seemed longer and longer.  I was doing more walking than running since my feet hurt, my shins hurt, it was
extremely dark, and I was just plain worn out.  As usual, I promised myself I would never have to run another
100 miler after I finished this one.  Then I told myself I would never have to run again at all once I finished this
one.  Even at the time I knew I was lying to myself.
I do love many things about running at night.  The sounds are different; it’s quieter but the sounds you hear are
more intense.  I was not afraid of the wildlife (even though every stick looks like a snake and every rustle in the
bushes I imagine is a snake), but late during the night I heard people loudly talking and approaching.  I was
afraid it was wild partiers out in the woods and that they might be up to no good.  They quickly caught up to me
and it turned out to be our friend Tom and his pacer Joe.  Tom lives nearby and had started the race, ran
about 40 miles, and went home for 7 hours for a shower and nap and came back out to run through the night.  
Tom and Joe and I ran together for awhile and talked.  Tom said that the lights I saw in the distance were the
Rockingham Speedway and that there was an event going on there that night.  Tom and Joe pulled ahead after
a few minutes and it was quiet once again.  I heard and later saw a few
frogs and we had a nice conversation too.
As the night wore on I was wearing out but just to the point of slowing down and getting a bit sleepy.  I took a
caffeine tablet along with my food and fluids at the end of a couple of laps, but never felt a real jolt.  I did keep
moving and my spirits were fine—the nighttime is just long when you’re awake the whole time.  I was surprised
at one point to see a runner with a headlamp walking toward me.  I asked him if I was going the wrong way and
he said he wasn’t sure.  We went back down the way where he had come from, until we ran into a huge and
well-established spider web and realized that could not have been the established trail.  We were talking as we
turned back around and I discovered that I was now running with Joe, the race leader, who had been lapping
me all day!  He was on his final lap while I had four full laps to go (I tried not to think too much about the fact
that that meant 8+ more hours of running for me).  As we
returned to the correct trail we joined up with Cheryl, who had 3 laps to go.  Cheryl and Joe and I finished out
this lap together—Cheryl and I were excited to see the winner finish the race!  
Shortly after this I was on my own again.  As dawn approached and the temperature dropped, I was chilled and
covered in goosebumps.  I thought about putting on gloves or a long sleeved shirt but I knew the temperature
would rise quickly once the sun rose.  And it did.  Time dragged on but I eventually was approaching my final
lap.  Jay had finished by then and I spoke to him while I stopped by our canopy.  He was going to try to nap so
he could take care of me and drive home after I finished.  I could tell he was concerned about me still being out
there with the temperature quickly rising again.  As I approached the first loop of the final figure eight, one of
the volunteers said she would walk (that was all I was doing at this point) with me to make sure I was okay out
there.  I asked her if I was the only one left on the course and she told me yes and that there were only 5
finishers.  She was including me among those five.  My mind never
gave up but I wasn’t sure that my body was going to be able to keep going.  I felt like I was walking slowly but
my heart was pounding and I wasn’t sure that I wouldn’t fall on my face at any moment and not be able to get
back up.   Chris started pulling down some of the course marking flags as we passed them and she used them
to shoo the aggressive biting flies away from me.  She was nice company but I wasn’t able to say much.  After
we finished the first half of the figure eight I sat down at our canopy for a Mountain Dew and some Oreos.  
Then Merrie, Doug’s wife, joined me for the final 3.6 mile loop.  She was also counting me as a finisher but I
wasn’t sure my body would hold out until the finish line was in sight.  At one point I fantasized about just laying
down on the trail for awhile to rest, but I knew that would be even harder since there were ants everywhere, I’d
be in the sun, and it would take longer for Merrie to help
me up than for me to just keep moving.  Finally, the finish line was in sight.  Doug, Jay, and a couple of
volunteers were the only people left.  I crossed the finish line and Jay brought me a lawn chair to sit in.  As I
tried to sit down I leaned on the arm of the lawnchair and the lawnchair fell over and I landed on my butt.  I had
just run 100 miles without falling and I fell while trying to sit in a lawn chair!  But I had finished!  Out of
approximately 20 starters, only 5 of us had finished.

1.  Joe Ninke         21:40:40
2.  Fred Dummar   27:28:27
3.  Cheryl Lager     27:49:07
4.  Jay Finkle          28:27:56
5.  Anita Finkle       31:29:29