Saturday, July 18, 2009

Attempt #1 at Finishing Crow Pass Marathon With Qualifying Time: Success!!!!

"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
- Kobi Yamada from "Ever Wonder"
(Photos of the Race!!)
(Map of the Race!!)
(Article of the Race!!)
(This last link is a long one but they interviewed me and I ended up on the local

It wasn't easy by a long shot but we managed to come plodding into Eagle River Nature Center
today, finishing the truly wilderness Crow Pass Crossing mountain marathon in 5 hours and 5 minutes!!!! Yes, we evaded the bears, conquered the river and just barely made the first time cut off on top of the mountain! 53 minutes was our time for that first portion and we needed to get up there in less than 60, whew one down! We were allowed to continue. (To the left, Sam and I- 4 am, getting ready to head to the start) From that point on atop Crow Pass in view of Raven Glacier, we spent the next four gloriously dogged hours clutching along slippery sloping snow fields on the sides of mountains, traversing swift current waist high frigid glacial run off rivers (locking arms and crossing in groups so as to not get swept away), maneuvering through 8 foot tall grasses on paths no wider than a deer trail laden with heavy root systems waiting and successful in throwing me off balance and onto my nose at least 6 times but without major incident, Sam got a good laugh. (To the right, us at the start with our very full camel backs) This was also the perfect location to run smack dab into Yogi, (Thank You Jesus, we didn't) there was a lot of hollering going on "WaaaaHoooooEeeeee!!!! HAAAAALLLOOOOOO BEEEAAAARRR!!! Incoming!!!!! WooooHooooo!!!!" greetings from all of us, letting the furry locals know we were just passing through no harm meant (the bears deposited many warnings to us in return, dotting the trail, fresh and jam looking) I was pleased they'd been feasting on berries, no shoes or anything. (To the left, the start-all of us speeding away to get to the pass in under 60 mins)We were mucking through swampy slick mud paths, tip toeing makeshift bridges, balance beaming fallen log bridges, clinging to solid bridges over 150 foot slamming waterfalls, scrambling up boulder fields and scree, edging along eroding cliff trails beside the rapid river, gripping a worn out slivery old yellow tow rope secured to trees enabling us to down climb a steep embankment, hauling ourselves up a wooden ladder placed strategically by some kind soul where otherwise the race would have ended (the wall being too vertical to scale), nearly losing the obscure trail multiple times but for our fellow race-crazed-marathoner's past experience with the vague route, suddenly sprinting at one point with the loud warning cry of the gal running behind us who was being stung by bees! (Above at the Nature Center just after finishing)The entire time lugging full camel backs and trying to take in scenery so stunning, awesome and inspirational that I regretted my choice to leave the camera behind! We made the final push uphill through the welcomed widening Nature Center trails encountering the first spectators all cheering and offering their (well-intended but all over the board) ideas of how much further we had: 'Good job only 3 miles to go!' then the next 'That's it 5 miles left!' then 'You're almost there 4 miles to go!' 'Almost, About 3 miles left!' What???? How much do we actually have??? '100 yards downhill!' as we rounded a corner and stared up the trail... The emotional drain at this point was exhausting. Just when we had all but given up, the finish was in sight!!! Against my serious doubts, we would in fact, not be disqualified! We had finished under the 6 hour cut off!!! 5 hours 5 minutes! Whew again! We giddily fell into the arms of Mom and Josh anxiously awaiting our arrival (of course Mom had serious reservations about the whole thing to begin with, bears and all). Brandon, Ang and the kids all came out to support our crazy endeavor as well. Thankful for family and friends, what a blessing! So Sammie finished his first marathon and with no more than 8 miles under his belt of so called training (that is not normal or recommended)!!! Incredible though, he's a natural and what a way to start???? I'd be scarred if I were him. But if you know Sam, all in stride, he'll probably do more;) It was crazy! We (I use we loosely;) loved it, and now we are sore. IB Profen is our friend;)
Grab the Dare Rope #1! Try something new, absolutely something you have never done before, maybe something you have been unfoundedly afraid of enter a local weekend race, who cares if it's only 100 yard walk, just pay your fee, sign the waiver and do it for of the fun, camaraderie, and go-to-it-ness, even more drag your sibling, parent or friend along:)

A goofy clip of us, dazed, starved and trying to recount the event.
(Women's Results)

"I'm not saying I have it all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. So let's keep focused on the goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision-you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running the same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals and trying to get you to go along with them." Philippians 3:12-17


  1. Sounds like quite the adventure! Congrats on a great time!

  2. WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!! I am SOOOOOOOO proud of you! Way to go, you amazing woman, you!!! You never cease to amaze me. Congratulations, my friend!

  3. Impressive Blogging...way better than my hack job. Looks like you are enjoying AK - sweet hiking pictures! Give me a call and I'll give you the low down on making it out to Quinhagak. So far, boxes 1-10, 11, 12, 14 have made it along with a tube. They are in your house, safe and sound. Enjoy the rest of the state. Jim 556-2187

  4. Jim and Steph:) Hi! Thank you so much for intercepting my boxes and letting me know what got in. I will be calling soon and can't wait to join yas:)

  5. I will take your Dare #1, and run with it! I just filled out the form for the Whistle Stop 10K Marathon!!! :O ~Lisa

  6. Okay, being the novice runner that I am... The word "marathon" does not go along with "10K!" It is the "Cruisin' the Corridor 10K/5K Run/Walk." :)

  7. Just one more thing... I've been thinking about it... What kind of challenge is 10K when I just did that after supper the other night? I think I should go for the 1/2 marathon! I have 6 hours to finish it, so I could walk the whole thing if I wanted to. (Not that I want to walk the whole thing... just making a point.) So, WhistleStop 1/2 Marathon, here I come!

  8. Rach, Hey Kid you never cease to amaze me!! Way to go Miss Scum!!