The third stop on The North Face Endurance Challenge was Washington DC. This was also my third attempt to get the qualifying time to apply for the infamous Western States 100 mi....well....finally I got it. The Washington DC 50 mile trail course was challenging for me but proved to be more suited towards my strengths and that is running.
I finished the 50 mile trail run with a time of 10:18...amazingly so since I have not ran but 2xs since the Badwater run in mid July, the 3rd degree burns on my leg are almost healed.
The finishing time put me 2 hours faster than the previous world record set by an amputee and again below the 11 hour mark for a WS 100 qualifying time. Next stop on The North Face Endurance Challenge is stop #4, Madison Wisconsin.
Recently I had the opportunity to take 3 of the athletes I help to the worlds largest triathlon, The Chicago triathlon. The McDonald’s Kids Tri relay which consisted of a 200 meter swim, 5 mile bike and 1.2 mile run. The kids competed together early saturday morning as a team with Victoria jumping into the chilling waters for the swim, Davonni speeding through the two lap bike course for her first tri relay ever and James a veteran to running, taking to the rolling paths of the Lakeshore park to complete the race.
I recently took Seven athletes from Junior Team A Step along with my 2 children, Carson and Madillyn to find out why. Then they tackled the world famous vertical cliffs and overhangs of the Shawangunk Mountains in upstate New York where the "Gunk's” a world class location, offers some of the best rock climbing in the eastern United States.
We were guided by the experienced rock climbing instructors Jim Schimburg and Gary Duval from a New Hampshire based rock climbing company, Rhino Guides. www.rhinoguides.com The junior team scaled the distinctive, stark, white cliffs of the Gunk's in the hot humid August sun and they are as tough as they look – with sharp angles testing their skills. The quartz pebbles and deep fissures provided multiple holds for these athletes. Not only did they learn new skills and make new friends, they also learned that despite the loss of a limb or limbs they can meet new challenges and succeed at a very difficult skill. Everyone all had a great experience climbing, swimming and something as simple as hanging out with friends. Thanks to Stephanie for coming along and Hemsley your such a great help.
Saturday July 19th 4am, I kissed my kids Carson (6) and Madilynn (4) goodbye making sure I got two extra kisses from each to help keep me strong then I turned and grabbed my bags and headed out the door to the waiting car service. “I hate this” I tell myself as the tears start to well up in my eyes and then I laugh to myself…who says I’m not human….this sucks, I already miss them and I’m not even gone." It is a quiet, warm morning on Long Island as the driver takes me to the JFK airport. I want to sleep since I know sleep will allude me within the next few days but I can’t help but listen to the radio.