Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The 'dacks - almost 10 hours of running, crawling, climbing and rappelling

I've got some crazy friends. Like I mean nuts. And we all like adventures, you know – camping, biking, hiking, running, and exploring, you know, that kind of stuff. So when my buddies invite along on an adventure weekend to the Adirondacks I was pretty stoked and didn't really ask questions until later. Let's review some of the guys that I hang out with:
Kelsey K. and Matt F. invited me, they both like beavers
run lots

ride bikes hard

They also live with this guy
Who just won this

Or check this one out to see the obstacles better
Now, once I asked a bit more about the details of the trip to the Adirondacks, I got worried. We were going to do a trail called "The Great Range Traverse" that is close to 40km, ranked 3rd hardest in the US, all in one day. Running.
"I don't know guys, I don't really run much"
"Oh don't worry Chris, it will be fun!"
"Yeah! It will be!"
That conversation happened on Thursday I believe, which gave me a day to collect supplies for us to do this feat.

This is what ready for a serious adventure looks like!

We left Friday with the plan of driving across the border to Lake Placid, sleeping in a parking lot, and waking up some time before dawn so that we can actually get everything done in one day. Unfortunately, we got caught behind a rollover in the mountains probably 2 hours from our destination, which left us up in the middle of the night, caught on the road unable to move in the middle of the mountains past midnight. Once we got moving again, it was late enough for gas stations to be open, and we got close enough to call it and stop driving. Naturally, the smartest place to stop driving because you're running out of gas is a gas station, so that's what we did! Pulled into a gas station, pulled out our sleeping bags, and slept behind the car under the awning of a gas station, not bad eh?

This is me hopping in my sleeping bag to snuggle behind the car at the gas station

Unfortunately for us, we were woken a couple of hours later by a State Trooper, who wasn't really mad but woke us up nonetheless. After a bit of oatmeal and a refuel, we were off before dark and pulled up to the small dirt lot where we would start running to the bottom of the first mountain.

Headlamps on, chocolate bars packed, ready to rock and roll.
By the time we got up the summit of the first mountain (of 8 major peaks and some minor peaks), the sun was up and we got to see something pretty great.

This continued almost 10 more times, over almost 10 more hours, but unfortunately it got so foggy and we were in the clouds, so this was the only actual view that we had. We rotated turns who would lead up the mountains, shifting our order when we got to the top of one, giving high fives, yelling Chums! and doing wolf howls!

At some points we would be on all fours trying to keep moving up incredibly technical ascents, or climbing ropes, ladders, or bits of trees to keep going up.

This truly was challenging, but the company and the challenge were worth it (chocolate helped too).
After 5-6 hours of running and jumping and climbing I really began feeling it, especially in my knees and the bottom of my feet (using minimalist shoes was tough, but it's all I've got!). By the time we had gone up the final mountain, the 16km run out of the mountains stretched for what seemed like an eternity of poor coordination, and me mumbling chums! as I tried to keep up with the chums. I swear that I'm not crying.

It was one of the hardest things that I've ever done, but the trick is just to keep moving the next leg ahead of the last one generally following the pattern right, left, right, left. Even if my the end that's all that you can think about, you'll be happy that you tried that marathon, or 10km race! You'll look better than us afterward.


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