This past weekend I had the honor of hiking in the Ultimate Hike fundraiser through Cure Search. Cure Search is a children's cancer research organization that is used across the nation and tied directly to COG (Children's Oncology Group.) The Ultimate Hike took place in Dolly Sods, West VA and was a total of 21 miles. In order to hike in the challenge it was mandatory to raise $2500... something that definitely intimidated me at first but I am relieved to say I reached my goal! I completed the hike with 2 of my coworkers, an attending and a nurse practitioner and collectively we raised over $9,000!
Our morning started out bright dark at 3am on Saturday when were were supposed to be up and ready for breakfast at 3:45. Once all the hikers were up and ready, we took vans to the starting point which was about an hour away from our lodge. We began hiking a little before 6am and had around 7-8 miles before we came to our first stop. The morning was absolutely freezing and even with 3 shirts I was shivering and antsy to get warmed up. The sun began to come up about an hour after we started and made for the most amazing sunrise...
At our first stop we unloaded any layers we no longer needed, grabbed water/Gatorade and snacks and did a bit of stretching. Our next stop was about 5 miles away and marked the halfway point. Here's a few of the views we were able to take in along the way
It was absolutely amazing and every few miles the terrain was different. At times it would be heavily woodsy and under the trees while others were in wide open fields with tall grass and wild flowers.
Stop 2 to 3 was the shortest and was just about 2 miles, leaving with us with a little over 5 until the finish line. The last part of the hike was definitely the most trying but didn't get really hard until the last 2 miles. The last mile was an incline and definitely the worst part of the hike but knowing we were so close definitely helped push me forward. Once we crossed the finish I was beyond happy and even more excited to see my family!
It was an exhausting day that I am still a bit sore from but definitely one of my favorite events yet and something that means a lot to me.
This is the group I hiked with and I couldn't be more thankful to have them along the way, you get really close on a hike that long with the people you are hiking with.
I'm pretty sure I will do the hike again next year and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested!
The rest of Saturday night included scarfing down fries for dinner... healthy I know but with over 3,000 calories burned this girl did not care. I was in bed by about 8 and woke up bright and early to hit the road back to Richmond. Sunday included unpacking, laundry, errands, and repacking for the beach! Tonight I am headed down to Top Sail to spend a few days at the beach relaxing and enjoying company with friends.
Cheers to a great week ahead!