"On February 23, 2021, I woke up from a dream that I happened upon my ultra-running hero out on a trail and we proceeded on an adventurous long run together. That afternoon, I opened my email in between teaching groups of elementary students and my jaw dropped. Scribed across the backdrop of an image of the Rocky Mountains were the words, "You're In." After years of throwing my name into the lottery, I had been accepted to participate in the Leadville Trail 100 Run. I jumped up, screamed, and texted my brother-in-law and forever running buddy, "Holy mother f****ing sh*t, I got into the Leadville." He responded with "I call pacing." I laughed a little, cried a little (I'm not crying, you're crying), and then I thought to myself, "Now I just need to make it to the start line."
I set to work the next week. Asking your body (and mind) to run 100 miles through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, climbing and descending 15,600 feet (4,800 m), with elevations ranging from 9,200 to 12,620 feet in under 30 hours is no small ask. Most years, fewer than half of the starters complete the race. Considered one of the hardest races and one of the O.G.s of ultra-marathons, when I first read about it about ten years ago, I was convinced it was humanly impossible. I am thrilled, humbled, honored, and privileged to have the chance to participate in my bucket list pipe dream that has been a decade in the making. Now, with less than three months until the race begins on August 21, 2021, my training is about to ramp up as I push my physical, emotional, and mental limits further than I ever have before.
On this journey, I am teaming up with The Cairn Project to fundraise $4,000 to provide outdoor opportunities for more young women and girls. My experiences running trails in the outdoors have changed my life. They have empowered me, instilling confidence in my strength and capability. They have provided me with access to breathtaking spaces that ignited my love for the environment and passion for protecting it. They have fostered uplifting relationships and connection to a positive community. I want to pass the gift of adventure in the outdoors to more young women and girls so they, too, can discover the benefits of connection with nature in pursuit of their endeavors, big and small.
Over the next few months, join me as I share my training to prepare to chase my dream and fundraise for The Cairn Project to help others accomplish theirs. To learn more, read my blog post and follow me every step of the way on Instagram! (Every step? 100 miles...that's something like 180,000 steps and counting!)"
All donations to this fundraiser support The Cairn Project's grants to girls-only outdoor education programs around the country.
The Cairn Project uses the 501c3 status of its fiscal sponsor, Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, to operate its charitable program. Your tax deductible donation receipt will reflect a donation to SEE.