Bucket List Adventures

At the age of 25, I have been really lucky to do a lot of pretty epic stuff already. I’ve been really fortunate enough to visit and race in some really cool locations in California, the US and even a couple other countries. BUT, I feel like there is still so much out there to see! And I keep finding more races that I want to add to my bucket list. Some I have done… Western States, Copper Canyon 50, Badwater and even a 10k around the Vatican in Rome, but I would do those all again in a heartbeat!, However, here are some of the adventures that I still have my eye on to complete someday (not in any specific order).

1. The Spartathlon: This race is held in Greece and covers the actual route that Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta during the Battle of Marathon. Turns out it wasn’t 26.2 miles but more like 150 miles. However, there is a 36 hour very strict time cut off, so I want to give myself a couple more years to get faster at 100 mile+ distance before Mark and I go and tackle this one!

2. Gortex Trans Alpine Stage Race: I think this would be a rad way to go explore Europe. This is an 8 day stage race that covers about 150 miles and travels though Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy and is completed in teams of two, which means I would have to find someone who I could stand for that long, while being tired and at altitude. However, for 8 days of racing, the entry fee isn’t TOO bad being about $1900 per team. Coastal Challenge Stage race I did was about $2500 and it wasn’t even a team race. But again, this race will have to wait a couple years most likely.

3. The Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim to Rim. I ran about 28 miles of the Grand Canyon in October 2011, but didn’t make the whole rim to rim to rim, which means we have to go back. I’m hoping to make it back this year sometime. Luckily its only about an 8 hour drive and its FREE! When I tried it last time, we had just ran the Devil Mountain 50k two weeks before (which was technical and high altitude) and wasn’t fully recovered. Also, Mark had a concussion and had staples in his head. It just wasn’t our day, but we still had a blast. Anyways, I underestimated how tough the canyon would actually be. I learned my lesson and next time will come a bit more prepared.

4. Cruce de los Andes: I heard about this one from my friend, Mauricio, who will be crewing me at BR135. Him and his girlfriend will be doing this race a couple weeks later and it looks freaking epic. Its a 3 day stage race, that is also run in teams of two, and travels from Argentina to Chile. Apparently the race changes it route a little every year, but is about 100k in distance over the 3 days.

5. Arrowhead 135: So I actually really hate the cold and I told myself that I would never ever ever want to do this race. But, now that I am doing Brazil 135 and have done Badwater 135, I pretty much know that its inevitable that one day I’ll do this race as well. The race is in Minnesota in February. Temperatures are well below freezing and its self supported. Participants can either run, bike or ski the course, but I would obviously “run.” I say “run,” but Im sure it would be more of a hike because its all through snow and you have to pull a sled with all of the items you need for the race. I pretty much have no experience in the cold though, so again this will probably happen in a few years because right now I wouldn’t trust myself knowing how to get through 135 miles in that cold of weather. Plus I would probably need to find someone to rope into doing it with me (Traci?) and Mark said absolutely no way.

6. 24 hour timed run: I am thinking about doing North Coast 24 hour on my birthday this September in Ohio. I have been dying to do a 24 hour race. Usually they are on a track or a mile loop course and all you do is run in circles for a day to see how far you can go. I would love to try and get over 100 miles in one of these things, which I think is very well possible as long as I don’t waste time between loops. Most people (probably most non ultra runners actually) might think this is about as boring as running could possibly get, but I think that is just ultrarunning in its simplest from. No technical footing, no hills, just running as much as you possibly can in a day. Sounds fun to me 🙂

7. John Muir Trail: I would love to take about a week and fast pack this entire trail. I am absolutely in love with the entire area that it goes through. It starts in Yosemite and ends 215 miles later at Mt. Whitney. When I was in high school, one of my friend’s  dad took 3 of us on a 3 day backpacking trip on the John Muir trail. I think we covered 40-50 miles maybe? I don’t even remember which section of it we hiked but it was the coolest and hardest thing that I had done. We got to scramble up huge rocks, hike through snow, we saw some lakes, I got my nick name “one ear.” I think that was probably when I fell in love with mountains and long distance stuff.

8. The Grand Slam: This consists of running four of the oldest 100 mile races all in one year, which include Western States, Vermont, Leadville and Wasatch. Will give this goal a few years though as I need to become a better mountain runner and I’m sure that it will take a long time for me to get back in to Western States anyways since the lottery is so tough.

9. Death Valley Cup: In order to complete the DV cup, one must complete Badwater, in July, and the Furnace Creek 508 (508 miles on a bike), which is in October, in the same year. I had considered doing the cup last year after I completed Badwater, but after the race I was trashed for several months, which made training really suck and I just didn’t feel I had enough experience on the bike. So hoping for this one in maybe 2014. There have only ever been 5 women to ever complete the cup and I would like to be added to that list.

10. Brazil 135: A sister race to Badwater, this race runs 135 miles along the hardest section of the Camhino de Fe in Brazil. It has 30,000 feet of elevation gain… which is A LOT! I have always wanted to visit Brazil because I have family from there and in just a few weeks I will be able to cross this one off my bucket list! When I finish, I will be the youngest ever to complete the race! Goal is sub 38 hours.

So those are all the major ones. Of course there are a lot of smaller scale races or excursions that I want to do, but these are the bucket list ones. I’m sure that I will come up with more of them to add to the list as well 🙂

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