|Timothy, this is an excellent piece in so many ways. For one, I am a runner, who has completed two marathons in my lifetime. I have attempted an ultra-marathon, but I didn't finish. That is the connection for me with your wonderful story.
The reading of the story mirrors the race in so many ways. The words you use are often not common. Ergo, the reader is forced to stretch linguistically, like the runners are forced to stretch as athletes. I have already had to search for the definitions of "crepuscular" and "gelid."
"TheÂ" is in the 10th paragraph. It appears to be a typing error.
Your usage of "blister-full" is certainly understandable. However, may I suggest, that "blister-ridden" might play better in the style of writing. This is just my impression.
I am enjoying the story line as I can perceive it, but I must confess the at-times-extreme verbiage does slow my progress measurably. However, if this is your purpose, which seems to match the stresses of ultra-distance racing, then you have hit your goal dead-on. (I often do this in my poetry. I try to illustrate the point of my poem by the choice of words and rhythms used.)
In many ways this reads like a runner in the race with a little bit of the mental confusion mixed in to boot. My best marathon was about 3:38 in my prime, which means an ultra-marathon is woefully out of reach for me, physically, but not beyond my imagination.
100 elite runners in the Western States 100? I believe it! More than 60% would not finish the race? Very conceivable!
"...his body has exhausted all its resources..." About the fourth paragraph from the end I believe the "has" should be changed to "had," since this a recounting of the story. The tense of the verbs needs to be consistent throughout the paragraph.
"The voices thou..." I like King James English as well as the next guy, but I believe the word here is "though." ;)
"Just don't go to fast now..." Please, use "too" here. Thanks.
Nice touch at the end with the father remembering the Western States Medal of many years ago as he trained his son for things to come. I remember those days of running exploits and my current gratitude of being able to walk 3-4 miles in a day now.
These are my many thoughts as I read this intriguing story. I hope I haven't seemed too critical, but I was reading it in much the same way as I would read my own work for editing purposes.
I understand the story very well. I can relate to much in this story. However, it is due to my background as a runner, that kept me going through the nearly one and a half hour reading.
As I've said before there is great similarity between the writing of the story and the running of the race. Few will attempt the race. Fewer still will finish the race. Yet, the sense of accomplishment in completing such an arduous task is as much of a trophy as the medal around the neck.
I hope my review of your work is helpful and encouraging. You have great potential as a writer and obviously great experience as a runner!