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The lowest completion rate in years
Split times for the 2013 Rachel Carson Trail Challenge are now available.
Sign up for the Full or Homestead Challenge, or Register for the Friends & Family Challenge
The entry process for the 2013 Rachel Carson Trail Challenge is now open. See the Events page at the My RCTC site my.rachelcarsontrails.org/events for details.
After submitting the entry form, you will receive a confirmation email within a few minutes. If you do not, you may have mistyped your email address. If you signed up for the Full or Homestead Challenge, you'll be notified by email of the results of the selection round. If you didn't receive a signup confirmation email, it's likely you will not receive a selection notice either.
Whether you received confirmation or not, you may check the status of your entry at any time via the My RCTC site. Create an account on the site, log in, and click Participation at the top. Your 2013 entry will be shown there; click on it to open it.
If you see more than one 2013 entry, that means you've signed up multiple times. All but one of them will be automatically cancelled during the selection round, or you may click the Withdraw button on the superfluous ones yourself. If you don't see a 2013 entry but you know you submitted one, the system didn't associate the entry with your My RCTC account. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Two hikers tackle the trail on their own
Joe & Clarence at western terminus
The Rachel Carson Trail, as anyone who has hiked it knows, is not your typical hiking trail. In all its nearly 38 miles of length it possesses but a single switchback, and a very small one at that. The path is straight up and down, which means carrying any amount of weight becomes quite a challenge. So maybe we can call it a SuperChallenge but on Sunday September 23, 2012, Clarence Woods and Joe Kostka, both Rachel Carson Trail stewards, decided to take on the Rachel Carson Trail, terminus to terminus, with just the packs on their backs. They set out from the eastern terminus at Harrison Hills Park at 4:10am, headlamps alight, and arrived at the North Park Beaver Shelter western terminus at 4:04pm, making it a 12 hour jaunt of 37.7 miles, more or less.
With no support along the trail they carried food, water and whatever else seemed appropriate for the undertaking, bringing their gear weight on the first full day of Autumn to about 30 pounds each. The cool Fall air was a welcome change to the typical Challenge day temperatures and humidity, but twelve pounds of water, along with food, dry socks, headlamps, etc., and trail conditions that were somewhat overgrown - yet still beautiful - made this very long day hike a worthy challenge nonetheless. They could have stopped for food and water at several places along the trail, or set supplies out before their hike began but that was not their plan. They wished to carry it all, to make the challenge an even greater challenge.
And they are not stopping there. Their plan is to try it again in the Spring, maybe a few weeks before the annual Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. One hiker said it was like climbing a mountain, having to leave in the dark, knowing you have only so much time to get to the summit and then return safely. He added that you only have so many chances to climb the mountain and that it was simply time to see if this one could be climbed.
A lovely day to be outside
Split times for the 2012 Rachel Carson Trail Challenge are now available.
Unrestricted registration opens on Wednesday 10 AM
Since the last selection round, a number of registered participants have withdrawn and we expect there will be a few more. Because of the close proximity to the event and instead of holding another selection round, we'll be making these spots available on Wednesday, June 20 10:00 AM on a first-come, first-served basis. No karma will be necessary, and the spots will remain available until sold. To claim a spot, visit the Events page at the designated time.
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