On June 18, Laz Lake‘s Last Annual Heart of the South (HOTS) road race began in West Memphis, Ark. On Tuesday morning, Canadian Bev Anderson-Abbs won the 340-mile (547K) race with her husband, Alan Abbs. The couple finished in just under five days, with finishing times 119 hours and 37 minutes (the results list says Anderson-Abbs beat her husband by 15 seconds). So far, only one other participant has finished, rounding out the overall podium. The remaining athletes have until June 28 to finish.
— A Distant Keith (@keithdunn) June 23, 2020
Queen of the HOTS
Anderson-Abbs is from Calgary, although she now lives in Sacramento, Calif. In February, she ran a 50-miler in Sacramento as a tuneup for the HOTS. She was the top woman and finished second overall in that race, just seven minutes behind first place, and set both the American and Canadian 50-mile records for women aged 55 to 59 with a final time of 6:31:34.
Since then, Anderson-Abbs has raced a couple more times, grabbing another win at a 50K two weeks after her 50-mile record run, followed by a virtual 50K win in April. She also completed a 24-hour race with her husband in May. Her build to the HOTS was clearly very successful, and she and Abbs blew away the competition.
Deep thoughts at the Dollar General on early Monday morning.
Hit 278 miles at 96 hours. Got a hotel for 2 hours because traffic was nasty on road 431 with no shoulder. pic.twitter.com/l6WRfYnRfS
— Alan Abbs (@alanabbs) June 22, 2020
The rest of the field
With only three racers across the line, there are still a lot of HOTS runners on the course working their way toward the race finish in Castle Rock, Ga. After the last race status update, the next closest runner was at 307 miles, still a good distance away from the finish. Fifth place was at 280 miles and then there was a steep drop-off to 253 miles. At the start of the race, 66 runners toed the line, but now 15 have dropped out, leaving 48 more to push for the finish line before June 28.