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Hike-a-Thon: Meet Some of the Teams on Trail

Posted by carolineo at Aug 18, 2016 05:20 PM |
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Get inspired by a few of our amazing Hike-a-Thoners sharing stories about why they participate and what they hope to accomplish this month.

WTA is thrilled to have more than 460 people participating in Hike-a-Thon this August. Our signature fundraiser draws participants of all ages across the state to hike around the world, turning their miles into pledges.

Here are just a few of our amazing Hike-a-Thoners sharing stories about why they participate and what they hope to accomplish this month.

Team Wonderwomen: around the Wonderland

“I've been running with this group of 5 women for 5 years and this August, we're running the Wonderland Trail. We wanted to support WTA because we acknowledge that their advocacy, stewardship, trail maintenance and awesome trip reports make our recreation possible!” – Maureen Anderson

Wonderwomen running the Panhandle of the Wonderland Trail. Photo courtesy of Maureen Anderson.

The Wonderwomen starting day two of the Wonderland Trail. Photo courtesy of Maureen Anderson.

The Wonderwomen Hike-a-Thon team is a group of trail runners, set on running the Wonderland this August. The Wonderwomen have already completed their goal, running 93 miles over 34 daylight hours on trail and “didn’t miss a single view of this gorgeous national treasure, Mount Rainier National Park” according to Maureen Anderson, the Hike-a-Thon team leader.

They selected the Spray Park route across the Carbon River, running counter clockwise starting from the White River campground across Spray Park to Mowich Lake, camping at Mowich Lake and then Cougar Rock.

“Spray Park gets you a glorious field of wildflowers at 6300 feet and cuts your mileage down to about 93 miles, but with 2,000 more feet of climbing than the long route along Ipsut Creek,” says Maureen. The route, she says, is “essentially three ultra races in three days”.

Their training included a variety of trails along the I-90 corridor.

“The list of fabulous trails that are highlighted on the WTA website meant we were never bored and always challenged, with the varied terrain and climbs we needed to prepare,” says Maureen. The women hold close many of WTA’s values, including Leave No Trace practices and respect for trail etiquette.

“There’s a wonderful spirit among those on the trail, sharing stories, tips and energy gels,” says Maureen.

The Wonderwomen story is an amazing journey of a close-knit trail community, plus one of the most physically challenging trail runs we’ve seen this August as a part of Hike-a-Thon.

Wonderwomen on White River. Photo courtesy of Maureen Anderson.

Team Wonderwomen 2016: Maureen Anderson (Hike-a-Thoner), Kay Rawlings (Hike-a-Thoner), Katherine Robinson (Hike-a-Thoner), Andrea Bonaccorsi (Hike-a-Thoner), Tina Ultican. Base Camp Support: Alex Anderson, Lynn Dettenger, Carrie Barham.

Jacob & Alpine Trekkers

“My mom and I hike together and really love hiking” – Jacob S

Jacob and his mom, Kristina, on trail. Photo courtesy of Kristina Schemnitzer.

Jacob on trail. Photo courtesy of Kristina Schemnitzer.

Jacob (age 8) is a hiker who wants to hike 100 miles this year and has just 11 left to finish this August during Hike-a-Thon. Jacob and his mother, Kristina, began the five-person team Alpine Trekkers, who are passionate about the trails they hike on. Not only are Jacob and Alpine Trekkers racking up the miles this August (including making an appearance at Washington Trails Day on Aug. 6) but they’ve also already surpassed their fundraising goal!

Jacob has been hiking for years. By the age of 4, he has already accomplished the 5.6 miles to Fremont Lookout and back. Some of the family’s favorite trails include Skyline Trail Loop, White River and Nordic Pass-Hyak.

“We love hiking,” says Kristina about her family’s love for the outdoors. “It is one of the many ways for our family to get out there and explore the great outdoors. There are so many benefits to hiking: the experience, exercise, quality family time, bonding, playing, learning, setting goals and accomplishing them, and being a team.”

Jacob on trail. Photo courtesy of Kristina Schemnitzer.

Team Hiking Mamas

“I've used [WTA’s Hiking Guide] for years and will use it as baby M and I embark on our intensive month of hikes! WTA is an organization worth supporting!” – Laura McLaughlin

The Hiking Mamas at Boeing Creek Park. Photo courtesy of Krista Dooley.

The Hiking Mamas team is created with the intention of getting families outdoors with their children. Laura McLaughlin, the team captain, describes WTA’s resources as a tool for improving access to hiking in Washington “even if you’ve never been hiking before or only have a day.”

The Hiking Mamas met through a Program for Early Parent Support and now use Hike-a-Thon as an opportunity to meet up and “feel connected with other new moms.” Laura announced in her registration that baby M’s first hike would be for Hike-a-Thon.

Laura and her daughter M, along with Krista Dooley and her daughter A, try to get outside together once a week.

Sir Pipsqueak McConnell & Paws for the Cause

“He knows the word ‘hike’ and starts running around the car in excitement as soon as we turn onto a forest road.” – Laura Baron

Pipsqueak on trail. Photo courtesy of Laura Baron.

Pipsqueak is a fan of WTA! Photo courtesy of Laura Baron.

The furriest of Hike-a-Thoners is Sir Pipsqueak, a five-year old Pomeranian and veteran hiker. In their first Hike-a-Thon ever, he and his human, Dan, are participating in Hike-a-Thon this year to raise awareness for WTA, and to compete for prizes by hiking as much as they possibly can. His owners are avid hikers and his friend, Laura, works at WTA.

Sir Pipsqueak has a goal to hike 80 miles in the month of August. He’s already completed Ross Lake, Centennial Trail and Lord Hill.

Pipsqueak's favorite thing is hiking, but he also likes riding on his owner's motorcycle, eating all the foods and hanging out with other dogs. His favorite thing on the trail is running into other dogs and meeting new people—he's very friendly and loves interacting with everyone.

Pipsqueak and his human on Maple Pass. Photo courtesy of Laura Baron.