On the last weekend of April, Jack, Luke B, running coach Marcus and I climbed Mt Everest.
Well, not quite. We entered a team into the Australian Himalayan Foundation’s Neverest fundraiser, which raised money for children who were victims of the 2015 earthquake to go to school. The idea behind the event was that we find a sizeable hill somewhere near Melbourne and ascend it enough times to have climbed the 9000m vertical height of Mt Everest.
The Melbourne event was based at the Lyrebird track (the one next to the 1000 steps) in the Dandenongs. To ascend 9000m our team had to climb up and down the track 36 times…
Luke, Jack and I arrived at the track for the starters gun at 7am (Marcus was on child duty). And we were off!
Our first lap or two were sprightly. We walked quickly up and jogged down, and conversation was flowing.
Jack had to head off to a beer mile race later in the afternoon so he did all his laps back to back. Luke and I took it in turns to keep him company before Marcus arrived. This meant we also took it in turns to attack the barbecued and baked goods on offer.
By mid-morning Marcus had arrived and our lap count had grown from 3 to 6 to 12 to 18; we were half way; conversation was slowing.
The day continued with a total of 40 participants climbing up and down the track to the curious and often bemused enjoyment of passers-by. Jack finished his portion of the laps in time to make it to his beer mile (race report on its way?), and by mid-afternoon, Luke, Marcus and I were done as well.
Departing with a proud 36 laps, 9000m vertical and 104km we were exhausted. Having fundraised enough for 9 children (9.3 to be precise) to go to school next for 12 months however, the sore muscles and joints were all worthwhile.
Highlights of the day included:
- Luke strapping his watch on in the morning and saying “hey, this is the first time I’ve used the run function!”
- Jack being surprised that after running 25km up and down the Lyrebird track his beer mile time was slower than during training
- Marcus arriving after the other three of us were a few laps into the race and taking off up the first hill saying “come on, why so slow?!”
- Me not being able to walk to the car afterwards, so getting picked up from the bottom of the track
Overall it was a great event for very worthy cause. We all would thoroughly recommend it for anyone wanting a challenge in future years: some crazy people did the event in teams of two, one person did it solo!
While donations for the campaign itself have finished, the Australian Himalayan Foundation are still accepting money via their website: http://www.australianhimalayanfoundation.org.au/index.php/our-work/programs