325.1 miles hikes and more than $7700 raised for our trails!
Wow. I am still catching by breath and catching up with my work after an amazing August. Since 2012 I have participated in the Washington Trails Association’s annual Hike-a-thon as a way to have a little fun and help give back to the trails that have enhanced my life. When the Pandemic struck this spring things were looking bleak for many non-profits and I wondered how WTA’s hike-a-thon would fare. But as I write this with just two days left to collect donations, more than $150,000 has been raised—making this the most successful hike-a-thon ever for the organization!
And it was my most successful Hike-a-thon as well. I really decided this year to go all out. I set three goals for myself. Three goals that I knew would have me working hard to achieve. They were:
- Raise $7500 (beating my previous best)
- Hike or run every day on a trail in the month of August (taking no days off)
- And tally 300 miles for the month (far beating my previous best of 257 miles)
And I am ecstatic to announce that I met and/or exceeded every one of my goals! As of this writing because of the generosity of 90 of you (my record amount of donors to date) I have raised more than $7700! I did indeed hike or run a trail every day of the month alternating easy “rest” days on some of my local trails with hardcore mileage days in the backcountry. And I not only reached my 300 mile goal for the month-I exceeded it big time by completing 325.1 miles. This included a kick off day of 33 miles on the trail and a grand finale on the trail with another 33 mile day! I did a handful of 20 milers in the mix too! This all averaged out to just shy of 10.5 miles a day. I’m beat!
While all of this was incredibly satisfying, one of my underlying motivators was to give myself a big goal to do something positive during this incredibly difficult time. The constant barrage of news about the Covid-19 Pandemic, spiraling social unrest, deepening economic inequality, and political ineptness and polarization—I just couldn’t take it anymore! It was refreshing and recharging to become totally absorbed in my Hike-a-thon and so deeply satisfying to challenge myself—and exceed my expectations—and have such positive results to show afterward.
This whole process has recharged me and has given me reasons to stay hopeful while the outside world remains gloomy. I empathize with my fellow hikers and runners who are stressed, anxious, and depressed. These are indeed difficult times. Consider setting some goals for a greater good for yourself and community. It will help you stay positive and focused. We will get through this—and I believe that ultimately it will make many of us better people.
So a big thanks to all of you who donated to my hike-a-thon, accompanied me on the trail, and provided support. My hike-a-thon would not have been as successful without all of you. And if you donated, stay tuned for September 8th when I announce the winners of the Oboz Footwear hiking shoes (Thanks once again Oboz for donating them). And if you haven’t donated, you still have until tomorrow to make a donation. You will automatically be entered into the Oboz drawing and become a WTA member. And if you donate $50 or more, I will thank you with a special series Green Trails Map (Thanks once again Green Trails and Mountaineers Books for your generosity). Just click here and make your donation! And to all, Happy Hiking as we move into my favorite time of year to hit the trail!
And if you need some great suggestions to find excellent autumn hiking destinations, my books are packed with detailed info—including on many trails less traveled!