I found out early on as a college football player during three-a-days in 100 degree heat that what I enjoyed most about the experience was the bond created with your teammates. This 100 person community is what made the experience as we slugged it out together for the next 5 months during our 60 hours a week training regimen. It was football. It was tough, but man was it fun!
After graduating, I found myself filling that void of challenge in the outdoors through climbing, hiking, mountaineering and eventually trail running. Since I have immersed myself in the outdoor community, I have made some incredible friends whose bonds I am sure have only been reinforced through the fun we call suffering in the mountains.
It wasn't until the summer of 2010 when a group of us “hikers & climbers” decided to do a well-known hiking link-up in New Hampshire call the Pemigewasset Loop ( I am sure you've done this one!). We started out early that morning running as much as we could, bagging all 14 4,000’ peaks along the way. None of us were “ultrarunners” at the time. We had no real knowledge of how to fuel or pace a 38 mile run. We were completely drained, but that day I filled a gap I had been longing to fill – challenge based endurance effort with great people.
That adventure gave me a new sense of what the outdoors meant to me and I have since tried to take full advantage of the people and experiences to be found in the mountains.