May 31, 2010

POSTPONED: WCT In Worst Shape In Years!

It saddens me to have to post this, especially after how generous many media outlets have been towards helping with exposure of my 'Conquer The Coasts' challenge. The local North Shore News were kind enough to run a full page article just yesterday.

I already had the days off of work and the transportation and logistical nightmare issues figured out. Wednesday June 2nd was to be 'the day'. Thankfully I had a good friend who happened to be hiking the trail late last week and I asked for a full report in the hopes of simply preparing myself properly for what lay ahead. Instead I got this:

In a nutshell, the trail has been hit hard by dead fall and hit harder by neglect. That, coupled with perhaps worse rain than usual, has made it much more of a muddy slog than usual. While traditionally, the southern 1/3 has been the sloppy boggy part, the entire trail portion (including the 'easy' final 12K in the north) is a series of mini-mud lakes. Boardwalks have not been replaced over some creeks, let alone mud pits. Definitely possible to get around (we did while hiking) but not the exhilarating run that I did in August 2005.

The state of the trail is saddening. It is in much worse shape that when I hiked it in May 1996.

If you have an eye on breaking the record, you may wish to put it off until at least August has dried up some of the puddles.

Good luck on the run.

A big part of me still wants to head over and just go for it! The rational part of my brain is instructing me otherwise however. The financial investment alone is hundreds of dollars, but more importantly I would be relying on the generosity of friends with the logistics of it all. If I pretty much know in advance that I'll have to come back again in the summer to have a legitimate shot at the record, I'd rather not place unnecessary strain on others as well.

With Western States less than a month away that means the attempt will be pushed back into late July or early August. It's not ideal to have to do this, but all in all it makes a lot more sense. I was really dreaming for a spring similar to last year in which we had virtually no rain and even a decent heat wave in late May, and I knew anything less would probably throw a significant kink into my plans.

I PROMISE this will happen, unfortunately just not for a few more months. Again thank you to everyone for their support so far. I apologize that I do not have better news right now. Please don't forget my number one goal here is to help raise funds for 'Right To Play'. Anything you can donate to help out would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your understanding with this,


Deanna Stoppler said...

Sounds like a smart decision. Just have to roll with it and when the timing is right, you'll be there!


I say Yaay!, Mother Nature is on your side, forcing you to rest when you need it the most!

garobbins said...

Yeah hard to argue with Mother Nature...I'm actually more excited to go back on a nice summer day anyways!!


Colin said...

I did the trail 3 weeks ago. Definitely agree with what your buddy said. As I was hiking it, I was thinking that it would be pretty treacherous to run.
To me though, the hundreds of people you're going to have to pass, wait for on ladders, etc. will take away any speed advantage you might get from drier conditions. In my opinion, it won't be any easier when you do it later in the year. In talking to the trail office, they said there were a few repairs that need to be done before peak season, but most of the down trees and sketchy parts will probably stay unresolved.
You'll kill it though man.


garobbins said...

I was actually shocked at how little traffic I encountered during my full run on the August long weekend of 07. Most people seem to sleep in and move very slowly once they are in motion.
The downed trees might pose an issue though!