Sunday, July 22, 2012

Khosla and company go running with the Devil

Elizabeth StupiIn track and field, the high jump always ends in failure.


So does the pole vault, for that matter. The point is that the athletes keep jumping until they fail to clear the bar, with the possible exception of the winner. You don't usually get that in running events-- you may not win, but you do have a chance to finish the race.


Not so in the Devil-Takes-The-Hindmost run.


Starting with the second lap, the Devil takes the slowest runner off the track at the end of each lap. This continues lap after lap until there is only one runner left on the track, the winner. For everyone else, the race ends with the failure to keep up. You can think of it as a metaphor for mortality. You can view it as a microcosm of economic competition in the modern world. Or you can just watch it hilariously unfold.


2012 Devil-Takes-The-Hindmost Run23 runners gathered on the Mike Long Track at 7:00 PM on Saturday, July 22, for Tallahassee's 2012 edition of the Devil-Takes-The-Hindmost. It was the second year in a row for the event, which is in danger of once again becoming an annual event. As in 2011, Elizabeth Stupi played the role of the Devil, and led the runners once around the track before pausing at the end of the front straightaway to wait for her first victim.


Cole TessierIt was seven-year-old Bernadette Burns. She had run the first two laps with her father, Michael Burns, but her parent stepped ahead of her at the end of the lap, leaving her for the Devil. The older Burns went out at the end of lap three. Either through greed or confusion, the Devil also took a second runner, Jeff Starks, on the third lap.


Dana Stetson was the next to go, then Michael Molen outkicked his sister Emily Molen on lap five, only to be taken himself on lap six. The Devil got Madeline Horgan on the seventh lap, leaving Ashley Daily as the only woman left on the track, but only until the end of lap eight.


Sukhi KhoslaThe field continued to dwindle. There was occasional drama, as when Bing Xu sprinted past Jasen Fulghum on lap 14, leaving Fulghum for the Devil. Brian Molen and Paul Guyas both went out on lap 17, one taken by the Devil and the other too winded to continue. John Robida was grabbed after 18 laps, leaving three high school runners and Peter Kaus on the track. Jarod Hoffman lagged on the 19th lap, and the Devil got him. Kaus outkicked Zac Buchholz to survive the 20th lap, but that left him too fatigued to keep pace with Sukhi Khosla. Kaus bowed out after lap 21, leaving Khosla to complete the 22nd lap alone, as the winner of the 2012 Devil-Takes-The-Hindmost Run.


The Devil left the track having caught 22 runners. Khosla got away this year, but the Devil is patient, and knows that there is next year, and the year after that. See you then.


Devil Takes The Hindmost Run
Mike Long Track, Tallahassee, Florida
Saturday, 21 July 2012 @ 7:00PM ET

PlaceAthleteM/FAgeCity, StateLaps
1.
Sukhi Khosla
M
15
Tallahassee, FL
22
2.
Peter Kaus
M
28
Tallahassee, FL
21
3.
Zac Buchholz
M
17
Tallahassee, FL20
4.
Jarod Hoffman
M
16
Tallahassee, FL19
5.
John Robida
M
32
Tampa, FL
18
6.
Paul Guyas
M
34
Tallahassee, FL
17

Brian Molen
M
36
Tallahassee, FL17
8.
Juan Ordonez
M
38
Tallahassee, FL16
9.
Bing Xu
M
44
Tallahassee, FL15
10.
Jasen Fulghum
M
28
Tallahassee, FL14
11.
Michael Kennett
M
28
Tallahassee, FL13
12.
Cole Tessier
M
28
Tallahassee, FL12
13.
John Lightle
M
31
Tallahassee, FL11
14.
Cole Farrington
M
19
Bainbridge, GA
10
15.
Eric Dueno
M
44
Havana, FL9
16.
Ashley Daily
F
25
Tallahassee, FL8
17.
Madeline Horgan
F
15
Tallahassee, FL7
18.
Michael Molen
M
12
Tallahassee, FL6
19.
Emily Molen
F
10
Tallahassee, FL5
20.
Dana Stetson
M
54
Tallahassee, FL4
21.
Michael Burns
M
47
Tallahassee, FL3

Jeff Starks
M
49
Quincy, FL3
23.
Bernadette Burns
F
7
Tallahassee, FL2

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