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Then and Now: Hike-a-Thon Over the Years

Posted by ATripp at Jul 21, 2016 05:50 PM |
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In 2004, just 18 super-star hikers logged 700 miles and raised more than $5,300 for trails. Last year, 289 participants hiked 11,178 miles and raised more than $121,000 for WTA's programs!

What do you get when you combine a marmot mascot, beautiful PNW summer weather and hundreds of enthusiastic hikers? Hike-a-Thon of course!

WTA’s signature fundraiser is in its 13th year and brings together some of Washington's most adventurous and passionate hikers. Hike-a-Thon runs throughout every August and offers hikers the chance to sign up and hike for great prizes. All of the funds raised through the generosity of our Hike-a-Thon community supports WTA's statewide programming.

Hike-a-Thon Then & Now: posters from 2007 and 2016
Hike-a-Thon Then and Now: posters from 2007 and 2016

Then: a few hikers with big goals

Hike-a-Thon had humble beginnings with just 18 super-star hikers logging over 700 miles in August of 2004 while raising $5,300 for WTA. That year, former WTA staffer Lauren Braden raised more than $1,000 for trails and Ryan Carpenter hiked the 106.5 miles to win the top prize categories.

Each year of Hike-a-Thon has seen growth and change with more participants, new awards, and tons of new WTA members. Prize categories have varied from year to year, including awards for:

  • Most Miles Hiked in a Single Day (27 by Marcus Duyzend in 2005)
  • Most Hikes to Lakes (20 by Hally Swift in 2007)
  • Most Elevation Gained (45,700 ft by Elle McLees in 2008)
  • Most Carpooling to Hikes (17 by Liz Ulloa in 2009)
  • Most Unique Trails Hiked (57 by Amanda Arkebauer in 2009)
  • …and many more!

Steve Payne Mt Baker HaT
Steve Payne, Hike-a-Thoner Extraordinaire and WTA Board member, along with his team near Mount Baker in 2013.

The event saw a great deal of growth under the watchful, caring eye of WTA staffer Kara Chin who participated in Hike-a-Thon in 2005 and then coordinated the event for eight years from 2008-2015.

“I have been so honored to be a part of the Hike-a-Thon community. Their inspiring stories and warm hearts have had an incredible impact, not only on trails and in every aspect of WTA's work, but also on my life,” she says.

Fremont Lookout Pam Roy
If you see a Hike-a-Thon Sponsor Me sign on a pack, be sure to stop and say hi! Fremont Lookout at Mount Rainier by Pam Roy

Last year, 289 participants formed 57 teams and raised more than $121,000 for Washington’s trails. All told, Hike-a-Thoners have raised more $650,000 for trails in 12 years and hiked almost 70,000 miles! The passion and commitment of this community powers all of the work of Washington Trails Association, and we are so grateful to get to spend each August hiking with them!

Now: a growing community that loves trails (and each other!)

Hike-a-Thoners continue to inspire. This year, 309 people on 54 teams have already registered to hike in August.

The growing community supports each other in their hiking teams, at events throughout the summer and online in the official WTA Hike-a-Thon Facebook group. Have a question about a hike, want advice on how to get more sponsors for your Hike-a-Thon campaign, or just want to share a beautiful photo of your last hike?

This is the group to join.

Want to make YOUR miles count this summer and join this awesome community? Register for Hike-a-Thon now or read more in our Hike-a-Thon 101 Primer.

Read more about our history and anniversary at wta.org/50.

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