Running the 172-mile Tahoe Rim Trail has been on my mind for about 5 years now, and over the years I have run small sections of the trail here and there. I had never really considered the possibility of running the entire trail that completely circumnavigates the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe until this year's events started to sharpen my focus.
My grandfather Edwin Cooper was an avid outdoorsman, and passed down his love of nature and the outdoors to me and the other 11 Cooper Cousins. He battled Alzheimer's Disease for the last several years. As the disease progressed, his love of nature and the great outdoors never wavered, but his physical ability to enjoy those experiences slowly deteriorated. When he passed away from the disease on April 29th of this year while I was re-assessing my goals for the year, I was overcome with the sense that the time is now to take on the adventure of running the Tahoe Rim Trail. He would have loved to see just a single mile of that beautiful trail, so I will take his memory along with me for all 172 miles.
To help honor the memory of my grandfather Edwin Cooper, please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer's Research Fund here. I hope that running this trail for unselfish reasons will bring humanity a little bit closer to a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.
A few notes about the run:
The Tahoe Rim Trail is officially 165 miles, but most veterans will tell you that it's more like 172-175 miles. The route varies in elevation from 6,250 feet at Tahoe City to 10,335 feet at the summit of Relay Peak with about 25,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain and loss throughout the route.
I plan to begin on Thursday July 2nd at 8:00am in Tahoe City, and I'll be completing the trail counter-clockwise in an unsupported manner. I will carry all of the food that I will need with me, I will filter drinking water from natural sources along the trail, and I will not have any pacers or companion runners for the duration of the trip.
Most hikers on the trail attempt to complete the 172 mile journey in 10-14 days. In order to raise the most awareness for this campaign, I will attempt to establish a new unsupported fastest known time (FKT) on the route. The current record holder, Sean Ranney, completed the trail in 51 hours and 45 minutes. If all goes well, I should finish the trail on Saturday morning around 11am.
You can follow my progress with the spot tracker link that I will provide before the start of the run.
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