With big smiles on our face we started the 10K Volksmarch Walk to the face of Crazy Horse Mountain. My camera date was wrong yet here but it was Sunday, September 28th and projected high temp for the day was only 71 degrees.....perfect for this challenge for someone who has never done a walk more than about 2 miles other than when I used to take a short walk for exercise or running errands. And this was not an ordinary 10K (from beginning to end) since it was through rough terrain in the woods and eventually up steep inclines. Two-thirds of the walk was to get to the top and I was beginning to be worried because we were walking a long way and for a long time going down!!!! I thought we were supposed to be going up which made the climb all the more difficult.
I think you can see that there were rocks in the walk way. There were slippery areas of pine needles and lots of twigs and limbs to get over as well.
At the second checkpoint, one of the workers had his bird along with him.
This was Checkpoint 4. As you can see we still had a very long way to go.
More woods to go through but a better path.
Just one of the last main inclines we had to climb.
But I made it. It was very emotional for me to have made it because it was a challenge to my body that I had never made and certainly hadn't trained for. I gave my husband a hug with tears in my eyes out of relief and pride that I had MADE IT!!!! It was his help and patience that I was able to do it. Toward the end on the steep inclines he walked slightly behind me and put his finger in the middle of my back. It sounds crazy but it is amazing how much that helps. Others tried it after they saw us and found it was true.
The walk down was much easier with more flat areas BUT.......
They made us walk one last long incline to reach the High Fives from a park worker and a couple other volunteers. That was the best feeling to get back! Most of the time when people sign up for a 5K or 10K walk/run, the surface is much better than this and not nearly as hilly. When I finished I told my husband I had done my first Marathon because it was so much more of a challenge than regular 5K's or 10K's. I'm so grateful that it wasn't 90 degrees as it had been the three days prior. It's a journey that I won't ever forget!!!
And this was my reward for doing it...........