Last week, between Monday, April 20 – Sunday, April 26 a few of our teammates, plus an old teammate whom we miss dearly, Corrine Malcolm, embarked on a crazy feat – run (and/or bike) Everest’s vert in a week. The challenge #EverestWeekChallenge was created by a friend of Alice’s, and she rallied some teammates to tackle the adventure alongside her. In the midst of Covid-19 and Washington & California’s Shelter in Place order (extended through May 4 (WA) and May 17 (CA)), each participant had the extra challenge of running or biking from their front door (exercising outdoors is still allowed, trails are still open – to partake in such activities are encouraged by accessing from home).
Mount Everest is Earth’s highest mountain above sea level. Located in a sub-range of the Himalayas between Nepal and China, the current official elevation sits at 29,029 ft.. The first recorded efforts to reach its summit were made by British mountaineers in 1921, who made it to 22,970 ft.. In 1924 G. Mallory & A. Irvine never returned from their summit attempt, sparking debate about whether they might have been the first to have summited (Mallory’s body was found in 1999 at 26,755 ft.). T. Norgay and E. Hillary were the first to officially ascend Everest in 1953.
THE VERT QUEENS & THEIR RESULTS
*In order of “least” to most vert accomplished, if by “least” I mean, “least insane!”
Katelyn was also set to tackle some major events this summer, with training showing she was ready to dominate. She missed out on the Chuckanut 50K and Salomon Women’s Trail 1/2. As a self-employed masseuse currently unable to work, with months of accrued fitness, Katelyn utilized her time & strength in obtaining 22,808 ft. of vert across running and biking in a week – sorry, not a full week…6 days…
Alice was set to race some big events this spring & summer (as most of us were), including the famed Mount Marathon in Seward, AK, which has since been postponed (date tbd). Incredibly, from her front door, with all miles and vert accomplished through running alone, Alice earned her highest vert EVER with 25,345 ft. of vert in a single week, over 85 miles.
Having moved to Northern California a while back, we were sad to lose Corrine – it’s a blessing to stay connected. The San Francisco Bay area has held pretty tight restrictions compared to a lot of other cities; it has avoided becoming a hot spot, earning recognition for being the first-in-nation to instill the order (currently operating with a Shelter in Place order through the end of May). Running from her home in CA, Corrine went further than Everest, she flew into the sky a wee bit, running over 30k in vert.
Spring would have held the Chuckanut 50K & Canyons Endurance Run for Scarlett. Funny enough she did her vert in 6 days too…starting with taking Monday 4/20 off, which is very confident. With a mix of running and biking Scarlett went above and beyond with over 31k in vert. This animal did Pine and Cedar laps (3.5 laps), and thought it was so fun that she went back later in the week and did another 5 laps in a run. 75.53 miles were done via bike / 43.69 miles run = 119.2 miles total for the week.
Whether they hit Everest’s vert or not, the feats they accomplished were outstanding. The amount of effort, tenacity, motivation, physical & emotional stimulus it takes to accomplish such vert in the middle of a pandemic, with nothing at stake but the desire to see if you can – it’s inspiring. Accomplishing the biggest vert weeks of their lives when no one is watching, I think, speaks volumes about the level of passion and hunger for self-exploration each possesses.