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.
As a lifelong runner, I have done a number of half and full marathons. More recently, I have put the majority of my focus on trail / ultra-distance runs and races. Few experiences in life that can rival a day spent moving under one’s own power through nature—it may not be a true cure-all to free us from the woes and stresses of everyday life, but it certainly helps. But unlike other trips I have done (including self-guided runs in Mexico’s jewel, The Copper Canyon, on the Lantau Trail of Hong Kong, on various sections of the AT and others) that required lots of prep and planning (and at times, stress…), for what was a very reasonable price, Aspire took all the headache and tedious work out of my trip preparations and execution so I could focus on the reason I was doing the trip—the run.
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…)!