Monday, November 09, 2009

The Results are In

Official start stamp - 5:20 am
Finishing time - 6:24 pm

Total time - 13 hours 4 minutes

Came in 404/2000

I am pretty darn proud of myself. This had to have been one of the hardest things I have ever done. Not only was it physically grueling, but mentally as well. I have to admit there was one point when I wanted to put down my walking poles and say forget it. This just isn't worth it. But in the end, I made it.

The morning started at 3:45 am when I and another person that lives near me to a cab to Suma, the starting point . We got there around 4:15 am and met up with 28 other gaijins and 1970 of our closest Japanese friends. You could just feel the energy in the air. And maybe a bit of fear too. People were laughing and chatting and you could tell just how excited everyone was.
The official start time was 5:00 am but it took us until 5:20 am to make it to the starting point and get our card stamped.
And off we went!
The first leg of the hike was full of stairs. However stairs in the mountains are not like traditional steps. There were lots of broken rocks, concrete, wood, and just dirt ones.
There were many beautiful views along the way, like watching the sun come up over the mountains.

Shortly after the sun came up this was the next part of the hike.
After that, a walk through a neighborhood then more stairs, including one stretch of 900 meters (.56 miles) straight up!
And another spectacular view.

We finally reached the first checkpoint at 9:59 am. We stopped for about 10 minutes to drink some water and eat some trail mix and then we were off to the second leg. This is the part that was the absolute worst. At this point I stopped taking pictures and went for survival. It was straight up and very hard. At one point I stuck my ipod on, sucked on my inhaler and had to keep telling myself "You can do this, you can do this".

At 1:04 pm we reached checkpoint #2! By this time all the gaijins had broken off into groups. There was one group that was way ahead of us. Then there was my group of 7 people. Then there was a few other groups behind us. Throughout the whole day, Mary Gail and I stuck close together. And I have to say she made the day fun (if you could call the day fun) with all her laughing and joking.
We stopped at this checkpoint for about 30 minutes and then was off again. The 3rd part of the hike was mostly walking along the top of the mountain between Mt Maya and Mt Rokko. There was alot of road during this part and it was the easiest stretch by far.

We reached the third checkpoint at 3:49 pm. If you are going to quit, this is the last place to do so. We stopped for about 5 minutes and then was off to the end.

It very quickly got dark and it was a bit freaky navigating through the woods and rocks in the pitch black with only a headlamp. Most of the time Mary Gail, Jake (one of the HS math teachers) and I were the only three in one spot so we were going in very blind and praying not to get hurt.

When we came out of the woods we walked downhill for about 20 minutes on a road and this is when I called Matt and asked him how much farther. He told me we were almost to the end. I think Mary Gail, Jake and I had the biggest smiles ever at this point. We quickly made it to the finish line at 6:24 pm.

The other guys in our little group finished about 15 minutes before us. But we made it!

My legs are aching, I have blisters on my feet and I am afraid to see how I feel tomorrow, but I can't stop smiling. Wow. I hiked 56k (34 miles) in 13 hours. Dang.

More pictures can be found here.

8 comments:

Karen said...

Awesome, Alexis!!!

Kimmber said...

You totally rock! Absolutely crazy, but rock none the less. Very inspiring!

Colleen said...

Awesome job!!

Maureen said...

You're my hero, Alexis! Fantastic job!!!

Jennifer said...

awesome..I'm so looking forward to my Marathon in April. and this just got me more excited but then I'm just running 13.1..lol

WAY TO GO!!

Carey said...

Thats awesome! Congratulations!

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MissMeg said...

Beyond phenominal, Alexis. You go girl!!!