By Greg Minter, July 23, 2003 6:24 AM
In what's turning out to be an incredibly exciting race, the race's three front runners were all within 5 miles of each other at last check. Coming through the Panamint Springs resort around midnight last night, the runners were all within roughly one hour of each other, with the remainder of the field a good eight to nine miles back even then.
Chris Bergland came through Panamint Springs at 23:23am, followed by Pam Reed 48 minutes later at 12:11am. Running strongly through the valley, Dean Karnazes came through 17 minutes later at 12:28am. All three runners passed through the 72.3 mile station without stopping.
Leader Chris Bergland had carried his lead through to Darwin, coming through time station #4 at 4:19am, although Reed had managed to chisel away nearly twenty minutes from his lead in the eighteen mile stretch since station #3. Dean Karnazes continued to move strongly, picking up 11 minutes on Berglund, but Reed's surge had distanced her further from Karnazes.
As of 6:47am, Pam Reed has passed Chris Bergland. At roughly 100 miles, Pam's steps were still light, and coming down the hill into Owens Valley, last year's winner passed Berglund on the right and continued into Lone Pine.