I ran in 2016. Three of the best days of my life. The Wonderland Circumnavigation is like being dropped into a roaming gypsy mountain family for three days of exertion, love, and self renewal. I’m an old doughy slow untalented back of the packer, the most underwhelming thing to happen on two legs really. The Aspire crew and other runners rallied around me (and each other for that matter) as if I were some rock star. They wanted me to finish as much as I wanted me to finish. Zero ego contamination during the experience. Everyone that the mountain meets one where one is at, and that everyone is getting broken down and reborn. I’ve signed up again for 2018.
Thanks Sean…see you August 2018.
Taking the opportunity to run the Longmire to Mowich Lake segment of Mt. Rainer’s famed Wonderland Trail with Aspire Adventure Running was such a great decision and elevated my running experience to a whole new level that is hard to match when just out running on my own, which is my typical go-to for such an adventure.
Instead of spending more time prepping than actually running – gathering trail and camp site permits, food, supplies, coordinating drop-off and pick-up rides, etc. – it was all handled for me. I was able to simply grab my normal running kit and a couple personal items after work on a Friday, show up at the designated rendezvous point and have every detail taken care of. I was able to focus on soaking up every last breath-taking view of one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier hiking / running trails—all of the joy and little to none of the “other stuff” that goes into pulling off an epic day of trail running.
As an added bonus, my wife and our 18-month old son were welcomed along on the pre and post portions of the trip for a nominal fee to enjoy all the gourmet-quality (not kidding!!) food, camaraderie and logistical support of “my” big adventure. Ultra running can be a somewhat selfish pursuit at times, but even though my wife was along for the ride, the Aspire team made sure her experience was unforgettable. They coordinated her hike in the final mile at Mowich to meet me so she had photo ops on the trail. It was well deserved payback for the woman who has crewed, dropped me off / picked me and kept me fed on plenty a mountain run.
With every trail course Aspire offers dishing up a gourmet, bucket-list running adventure, I am positive we’ll be a repeat customers. In fact, my wife thought it was so great that she thinks it might be something “I” should do every year (just so long as she can come along…)!