Earth Day and 100 Miles of Wild
Yesterday was Earth Day and April marks the one year mark since I did my first trek with Adventure Science and was introduced to the amazing group of people who I now count among my most inspiring friends.
The environment and my sport are completely connected for me – I have spoken in depth about trail running and the environment before such as the intersection between sustainability and athletics, but for me, nothing solidified it more than my 100 Miles of Wild experience.
Yesterday, they released the official science report of the trek and it is full of our discoveries from animals, ancient skulls and oil pads. It was such an eye opening experience how something that was described as “hell with the fires gone out” could be teaming with life and discovery.
I’ll never forget the very last morning of the trek, I was feeling tired and cold and I sat up in my little tent, opened up the flap to reveal the Badlands and a field of bison grazing right in front of me. I was sitting curled up in my sleeping bag, having spent the last 7 days running across the ever-changing landscape without a shower or even a mirror and I felt completely happy.
Not many people have the chance to just LIVE outdoors. Camping is different – I have been doing that since I was a child. Running the 270 miles across the Badlands as a team required a narrowing of focus to the point where all we were focused on from the moment we got up to when we went to sleep was covering the miles and making observations. It was therapeutic, exhausting and amazing.
This is why I love this sport. There is something very primal about running long distances off the beaten track. Time becomes irrelevant because all you are focused on is moving forward. This is why it is important to me to care for that beaten track. Because I run each trail as if it is mine.
Happy belated Earth Day.
To read the official Adventure Science report on 100 Miles of Wild, click here.
What is the connection between running and the environment for you?