On July 10, 2020, I will be attempting to tackle the longstanding supported FKT (Fastest Known Time) of the complete circumnavigation of the Tahoe Rim Trail to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 173-mile long single-track trail that forms a loop around the Lake Tahoe Basin via the the Sierra Nevada and Carson ranges of California and Nevada. The Tahoe Rim Trail passes through 2 states, 6 counties, one state park, 3 national forests, and 3 wilderness areas, and even shares forty-nine miles with the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail has a total elevation gain of roughly 27,000ft and ranges in elevation from 6,240 feet at the outlet of Lake Tahoe to 10,338 feet at Relay Peak in Nevada. The current record is held by ultrarunning icon Kilian Jornet, who set the current record of 38 hours and 32 minutes in 2009. I will be attempting to complete the entire loop, beginning and ending at Spooner Summit, in 38 hours, but will finish regardless if the end time goes beyond that.
I have chosen to partner with the Alzheimer's Association because the Alzheimer's Association has been, and is currently leading the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia - by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support for the individuals and families facing the disease. During the current COVID-19 crisis, the Alzheimer's Association has continued to provide 24/7 to help families facing Alzheimer's, encouraging them to stay safe and providing information on how to better navigate additional challenges that may impact their well-being or care. I can only hope to support such a great cause and will be donating a dollar for every mile of the loop. 100% of the money raised will be going directly to this organization and their continued effort to help end Alzheimer's while providing support and resources to those currently battling the disease.
In 2018 my Grandfather Carl passed away, after a 17 year battle with Alzheimer's. As a child I remember days in Tahoe, sitting on his knee hearing him and my father talk about life while I fished in the stream behind the house. These soft and hazy memories of light broken by the canopy of trees, the soft chatter of the stream below me, and of a man whose kindness and devotion to his family instilled within me a memory as strong as the trees around us, and eventually became all that I had as the disease progressed. As I grew older stories about his kindness and work ethic took shape as he battled Alzheimer's with a vigor that was tantamount to that of legendarily heroic. Stories flowed as steadily as the stream behind our house, and I learned that he loved and worked with the same heroic zeal he displayed during his fight with Alzheimer's. I also learned that he found immense solace and joy in the outdoors, so much so that he even dragged a van full of 7 children to places such as Lake Isabella in the hopes of instilling the same importance within them.
His battle with the disease, coupled with personally experiencing the turmoil that affected my family during his battle, instilled within me a desire to advocate for this disease and its effects not only on the individual afflicted by it but to also advocate for the family who is supporting and caring for that individual as well. I have come to translate this desire into outdoor endeavors that push the human mind, and physical self to the brink. I have always felt my grandfather's presence and love within the quiet embrace of the forest shade, his wisdom in the breath of the wind, and his joy in the sounds that surround me in the most desolate of places. In 2016 I climbed all of the 14er’s in Colorado to raise awareness and money for the same cause and felt that my attempt at the FKT should be dedicated to the same cause. I hope that endeavors such as the one that I am about to embark on will encourage others to challenge themselves in whatever capacity that may be, to hold their loved ones close, and to get outside; hopefully finding the solace and joy that my grandfather and I have found within the great outdoors.
I am fortunate enough to have the love and support of a great group of friends, family, and sponsors who will be supporting/pacing me for this endeavor, and I can't thank those people and companies enough. In particular, I want to thank Wasatch Nectar, CarboRocket, Salt Fire Brewing Company, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, and Wasatch Running for supporting this endeavor. For all of those interested, I will be wearing a live tracker for the duration of the run, so that you can follow my progress throughout the entire day. The link to the tracker will be posted on July 9, 2020. Lastly, if you are interested in what my training has entailed, please feel free to follow me on Strava.
I want to end this by saying thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope that together we can accomplish something incredible for an incredible organization and cause. Any donation is immensely appreciated, and I understand that COVID-19, and other social causes/events, have impacted us all in different ways. Any help, either financially, or even in the form of sharing this link on social media with friends and family, or even strangers would be invaluable and much appreciated as well. All donations can be made through this website and I want to reiterate that 100% of the proceeds are going to the Alzheimer's Association. Again thank you so much, your kindness is much appreciated, and I am full of gratitude for all of you and all of your help.
- karyn Grow
- Madonna Doyle
- Francesca & David Winn
- Jody Travis
Salt Lake City, UT
Donations are 100% tax deductible.