Diane Van Deren reached the midpoint yesterday in her trek across North Carolina.

“The 500-mile point was reached today as we crossed Mt. Vernon Church road and Burlington Lake,” reports Chuck Millsaps, MST Endurance Run coordinator and Van Deren’s trail guide for the day. “Diane had told us months ago that at mile 500 she wanted to say, ‘I feel good!’ She gave a pretty convincing report as we broke that barrier.” Assisting with the milestone were Van Deren’s trail guides de jour Tammy Harvey and Travis Zarins, and support crew chief Amy Hamm.

Van Deren had more company on Day 14, though mostly of the four-legged variety.  “No bites but a lot of bark,” Millsaps reports. “Most folks have them tied up, but a pit-bull at 10:45 p.m. takes on quite a persona even when chained.”

Adding to the day’s adrenaline surge was a thunderstorm around 6:30 p.m. After a short rain delay, Van Deren and Millsaps continued down the road — Pentacost Road, for those of you keeping score — where they encountered a tree felled moments earlier by the storm. The tree’s owner was on the scene, surveying the damage.

“We explained our mission and they were wonderful to break out the chainsaws and remove the tree so we could pass,” says Millsaps.

The 50-mile day ended a little after 11 p.m., another 18-hour day at the office for Van Deren.

As for today, Millsaps said last night: “Planning a 4 a.m. start so we get a move on before the dogs wake up.”