i had the district pleasure of crewing krissy meohl and ellen parker this weekend as they ran the 94 mile wonderland trail that circumnavigates mighty mount rainier. if you know ultrarunning you know krissy. if you have been paying attention to the local nw ultras this summer you have seen ellen's name because she has been tearing it up. if you know trails in the pacnw then you know the wonderland trail is 94 miles with 20,000 feet of vertical gain - no joke. most folks take a week or two to hike it. the girls had planned to knock it out in 2.5 days.
since we all had work to do friday we drove down to longmire late in the day. the girls were quick with their prep and hit the trail around 6:55pm, running counter clockwise. a few miles later i met them along reflection lakes (ellen's favorite part) video below. they were truly enjoying themselves, that much was obvious.
they finished in the dark at box canyon (mile 13) later that night. we camped here. up early, coffee, breky and out. the girls had 19 miles to go so it gave me a bit of time to play, before meeting them again at the white river camp ground. they looked good although ellen had some leg pain at that point. a simple comment really, and an issue that never bothered her again. but one i couldn't get out of my head. worried dad syndrome. from there they were on their own to the finish. which meant they took bigger packs (ellen was borrowing my nathan hpl #063 horton pack and loved it), sleeping bags and two whole days worth of food. they finished saturday with 25 miles to mowich lake. there was apparently a discussion about calling me since ellen's blisters from white river (where she got 4th!) were back with a vengeance.. but they toughed it out.
from longmire to mowich (and a little bit further) the girls said was the most beautiful sections of the wonderland trail. i was insistent on finding that out because one thing was clear - it's a whole lot easier access than i had imagined, and there are campgrounds and water everywhere. crewing sort of demystified the wonderland trail for me (and i've got big plans for this trail - right ty draney?!).
sunday my 17yr old nephew josh (who is visiting from new hampshire) and i met the girls with a variety of soupy ben & jerry's ice cream to congratulate them. there was pain in ellen's face as she said "matt, i'm in the hurt locker" when they arrived at longmire. i applaud her toughness. they got it done - congratulations girls!!
some of my twitter posts here.. and the video is DONE - it will be posted later today.