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by admin last modified Nov 25, 2004 01:14 AM

The 2004 Rachel Carson Trail Challenge

Just wanted to extend my thanks and appreciation to the volunteers! The rest stops were very well organized and had plenty of fluids and snacks. I had a blast running the Rachel Carson Challenge! Thanks again to the volunteers for a job well done!!

John Mullen
Second John's message - all the volunteers were great! The rest stops were amazing, and the volunteers were friendly and helpful.

Chris Petty
I wanted to thank all the hikers who helped me following my fall during the Rachel Carson Challenge. ABOUT 1.5 miles after Checkpoint 1, I fell down one of the many muddy, slippery hills and broke my left wrist. I'd like thank the woman trailrunner who made a sling for me with my bandana. That sling made my hike back to the cellphone tower much more tolerable. I’d also like to thank Jerry Hoffman who was gracious enough to call ahead to the nearest checkpoint to get an ambulance. He also hiked back with me and my friend, Ron Eshleman, to the access road at the cell phone tower and waited until the ambulance arrived. And I’d especially like to thank my friend, Ron Eshleman, for going to the Alleghany Valley Hospital with me and making sure that I was taken care of. You are a true friend.

Although I didn’t get the result I wanted, the Rachel Carson Challenge was an interesting experience! It proved, once again, how generous hikers can be.

Karen Klinedinst Baltimore, MD
MY FIANCE AND I NOW HOLD THE RECORD FOR THE LONGEST COMPLETED HIKE IN THE CHALLENGE HISTORY, 17 HRS. 9 MIN (FINISHERS 309 AND 310). WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE THAT HELPED US THROUGH THE DAY.

TO BEGIN, THE LADIES MAKING THE PB&J'S AT CHECKPOINT TWO, THEY WERE THE BEST I HAVE EVER TASTED. THERE WERE A FEW PEOPLE WE HIKED WITH ALL DAY BUT DIDN'T GET THEIR NAMES. THERE WAS THE GUY WHO STOPPED AT THE TWO UNOFFICIAL CHECKPOINTS THAT WERE SET UP BY KIDS, TO MAKE SURE HE MADE A DONATION AND THEN LATER ON AT CHECKPOINT THREE HE GAVE MY FIANCE MOLESKIN AS SHE LITERALLY HAD NO SKIN LEFT ON HER TOES. THEN THERE WAS THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN GENTLEMEN THAT KEPT US LAUGHING ALL DAY. AT THE LAST CHECKPOINT, I SAID TO HIM I AM FINISHING THIS THING IF IT TAKES ME TILL 10:30 AND IT DID. THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS. THEN THERE WAS BALD GUY WHO WE RAN INTO NUMEROUS TIMES. HE STARTED OUT WITH HIS BROTHER AND FRIEND, BUT THEY DROPPED OUT AND HE KEPT GOING. WE LEFT THE LAST CHECKPOINT TOGETHER AND HE WENT AHEAD AND I KNOW HE FINISHED.

FINALLY, AN EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU HAS TO GO OUT TO "SWEEP" DAVE. WE RAN INTO DAVE WITH 5 MILES TO GO AND MY FIANCE WAS ON THE VERGE OF CALLING IT QUITS. SHE WAS SICK OF HEARING MY MOTIVATIONAL WORDS AND DAVE STEPPED IN AND TOLD HER "YOU ARE SO CLOSE, YOU CAN'T QUIT NOW." SHE THEN TUCKED THE CELL PHONE BACK IN TO HER CAMELBACK AND SAID LETS GO. AS WE APPROACHED THE TRAIN TRACKS, IT BECAME DARK AND DAVE KINDLY SUPPLIED US WITH FLASHLIGHTS FOR THE REST OF OUR JOURNEY. HE KEPT REASSURING US THAT WE WERE ALMOST THERE AND WE WERE GOING TO MAKE IT. HE DID ONE HELL OF A JOB. ALSO, THANKS TO STEVE FOR WAITING FOR US.
Thanks so much to all of the volunteers who helped to make this event so great. Thanks to all of the hikers who offered help and encouraging words - all those whose names I don't know and those I do - Roberta and Robbie. Mr. Bald Man,I'm eternally grateful for your flashlight and waiting for me as I hobbled along in the woods in the dark. A special thank you to volunteer Charlie for being a Good Samaritan and making sure I wasn't stranded at North Park.

If my knee recovers, I hope to see all of you next year.
Hi:

I would like to thank the race director and all the volunteers for the excellent job everyone did to make the Challenge a fun and safe event. ... I had a great time during the event (and even more so on completing it!) and look forward to participating again next year.

Thanks,

Siddharth Pant
WOW! This challenge was no joke! I found that I finished the challenge by traveling it not only on my feet, but also on my butt, my hands, and legs! I was amazed that as I approached the end, several participants came running up behind me; where did they find the energy? At one point, I attempted to get a rock out of my shoe; I bent down and successfully removed the shoe but was quickly taken to the ground by a sever cramp in my leg; the leg went up in the air and I on my back (must have looked like a dead cockroach); when I finally got to my feet, I look down at my bare foot and thought: "how will I get that shoe back on?" Once achieved, I was happy to look around to see that there was no one in sight to observe my humbling predicament!

Thanks to all of the volunteers! You guys truly made the experience a little less painful.

Warm regards, Marcel
Barb Peterson, Phil, and all of the other organizers

A hundred, thousand, million THANK YOUs for an absolutely, positively, 1000% awesome experience!

The course, the volunteers, the organizers, everything was totally awesome. I participate in a lot of organized events like this and in every possible way; i.e. physically challengeing, logistically, volunteers, support, encouragement, helpfulness, Everything, this is one of the best.

Although the Challenge kicked my butt, I WILL be back next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANKS-A-BILLION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe Lyle
All: I just wanted to express my thanks to all the volunteers who made this year's challenge a success. This is by far one of the best run events I have ever participated in. Though I only placed in the top 300, I had a great time. You all made the event super special with your supportive attitude and positive energy at each checkpoint. I look forward to participating in the challenge again next year!

Roseanne Silva
I went this year with 5 guys who had never done it before and we were so impressed with the whole hike. Kudos to you and the others for putting on a great show for us all. My heart and "soles" go out to you all!

We are hooked and will probably have at least 10 next year. Our office is treating us like war heroes.

Bill Knox

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