The Halfway Mark

Jonas the ultramarathon-runner has finished fifty miles in about seven hours. Apparently the record for a fifty-miler is just under five hours, which boggles my mind. I’ve taken about as long to run about half the distance, and it kicked the crap outta me.

Jonas is supposed to be an elite runner, so I don’t think his accomplishments thus far are too much of a stretch for a fictional story, but the second half of this hundred-mile-run will take him much longer. The last fifty miles of the race should make the bulk of the book.

So far, each ten-mile-section has taken 2,000-3,000 words, so the text is about 12,000 words. I had hoped this story would be around 60,000 words, on the lower-end of a young-adult thriller, but it seems like it’ll end up around 30-40,000 words, more of a novella.

The text should balloon after this not just because Jonas is getting fatigued, but also because more people are entering the story. The story started with just Jonas and Alphonse. Now we’ve learned more about their backstories, families, and friends, so there are plenty of characters to bounce off each-other. Social-media-guru Kevin will eventually get crowds of news organizations involved. As more people spectate, more complicated scenarios will demand more text.

Just like Whitney says the last six miles of a marathon are as hard as the first twenty, the half-way point of the race isn’t necessarily halfway through the narrative.

In fact, I think the story has just started with the introduction of Georgie Masawa. We finally understand Alphonse’s goal in hosting this run: he wants to defeat Jonas to emulate and surpass his father.

Meanwhile Jonas is in way over his head pursuing his own goals: he wants to win back Whitney, and he has his own personal beef with the Bronsons. This hundred-mile run is years of tension coming to a head.

See you next time!

Next 10 Miles
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