Reaching the top of Mt Everest, and beyond
As my friends know I've been training long and hard for the Oxfam 100k / 36 hour fund raising walk in early April.
As part of this, I started measuring (thanks to my Garmin HRM with GPS) how far I was climbing - and to put it in in perspective I decided to measure my efforts against the height of Mt Everest which is 8,848 m from sea level to the top.
Well, it's taken me 90 days but I haven't reached the top. I've actually passed it by reaching 9,236 m.
After a training weekend in Riverhead Forest I added a further 1,201 m and 50 kilometres to my record. My team and I walked in blistering heat and dripping, at night with headlamps, up and down narrow rutted clay tracks, through beautiful forests, on gravel roads, and with aching feet and legs. Up, down, up, down. Although the body was a little tired (especially with very little sleep between the 2 days) the determination levels remained high, as did those of my team.
The most heartening part of it (after a very hard and tedious final 7k trudge) was for an experienced Oxfam 100k Trailwalker to come up to us and tell us if we had made it through this training event then the real full length 100k walk would be easy. That in fact, this had much harder terrain than the real thing!
That, if nothing else sent us away with smiles on our faces. (And the Kapiti icecreams we had in the car added another one!)
With just 9 weeks to go I know we will make it. Unfortunately it may be touch and go for my sister after hyperextending her hamstring, but I'm crossing fingers. I certainly know how I'd feel if I had to quit now after all the work and time I've put in to this.
I'm not quite ready to start descending Mt Everest yet, that can wait 9 weeks.
I'm still climbing, and planning to reach even higher in more ways than one.