It exhausts me to even attach this picture. I recall the exact feelings from head to toe the very second Carl snapped the shot. One might say my imagination took over, but I saw stars (monkeys and kites in the air) out of fatigue, hunger, and pain. What you don’t see in this picture is that in about 15 steps are the little scanner that will swipe my tag hanging from my right belt loop to show that I completed the Rachel Carson Challenge, 35.1 miles in one day in 15 hours and 3 minutes.
I knew at 27 miles what bad shape my feet and legs were in, but I just couldn’t let myself stop, I was so darn close you would have to hit me with a car to get me to stop.
Today is one week from the event, and I am finally walking normally with most of the blisters on my feet go. Many have asked me why I would even want to do something like this and the plain and simple answer is….. why not. I believe in constantly testing your mind and body and boy this might have been the most difficult physical challenge ever.
I am a firm believer that you can do anything you set your mind to doing. The weather was a bit of a challenge for me. We had been training for this hike for three months, and during that time we hiked short, long, hot, cold but never in a downpour and significant mud. About 10 miles of the trail was covered in thick mud and made it very difficult to climb and descend hills. Just the extra weight caked onto my shoes alone was something I did not prepare for.
Now that the challenge is over I am so glad that I did it. I have volunteered to be the driver next year to support all the other crazy people that go for it! For more information on the Rachel Carson Challenge, please visit http://www.rachelcarsontrails.org/rct/challenge