Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Last Practice Hike

The trailwalker event is coming up quickly, only 10 days now! I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has supported us financially, we reached our goal far quicker than many teams. Thanks for your generosity. Also, a lot of people have encouraged me along the way and I truly appreciate your support, as even practice hikes are grueling and leave us exhausted.

We went on our last team practice hike this past weekend, doing the final checkpoints of the event from checkpoint 7 to the finish. Whoever designed the course is truly cruel, as the final checkpoints have the steepest and longest climbs. The final two checkpoints took us 7 hours to complete.

We began around 11pm and hiked through the night. Essentially this part of the course has three big mountains to go up and then down, and really not a whole lot else!! One of the mountains I've nicknamed "the climb the never ends." After already climbing one challenging mountain, you reach checkpoint 8, cross the road and begin climbing mountain number 2 -- the one that never ends. You start with a bunch of stairs (think log and dirt steps). This goes on and on til you wonder if the stairs ever end. I think at some point the stairs end, and then you just climb regularly for awhile, and then it's back to stairs, this time with a rope to help you so you don't fall backwards. Then more "regular climbing." This last hike was only 20 km, but truly challenging climbs.

The final mountain we were able to climb in daylight and it provided an amazing view of Lake Yamanaka and part of Mt. Fuji that decided to peek through the clouds a bit.

We're resting up next weekend to let our bodies fully heal so that we have fresh legs for the main event. It's going to be a grueling 62 miles, but I think we have chosen our team wisely and we're all going to make it together. I'm grateful for my team, I think we have great team chemistry and we've been lucky to be without injury thus far. Hopefully we'll be able to say the same on April 25th.

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