Which trip did you do and when?
Patagonia (February 2016)
Describe your running background.
I first started running in high school when I joined the cross country team. I developed a love for the sport and had the opportunity to run on the Women's Cross Country team at the University of Evansville for four years. During graduate school I started running half marathons.
How did you end up on that trip? What led you to the decision?
A friend invited me to a local 5k race. After the race, I came to a table with information about Rogue Expeditions. Once I found out they offered running vacations I was very excited about the idea and I remember thinking, "I have got to go on one." I went home, researched the trip, and booked the adventure a few days later. Later that month, I was exploring Patagonia with a group of adventurous runners!
Any hesitations or uncertainties going into it?
I was a little uncertain about the cost of the trip, however, once the trip started I appreciated the value of the experience. Allison and Gabe answered all my questions via email, accommodated my last minute sign up, provided snacks, laughter, and expert guidance throughout the trip. It was a treat to have someone else taking care of all the details.
Did you know anyone else in the group beforehand? How was it traveling with a group of strangers?
I did not know anyone else beforehand. Everyone I met on the trip was friendly and easy to connect with. I enjoyed getting to know runners from all over the country as we all shared common interests of running and adventure.
What was your favorite run and why?
My favorite was a 10 mile run into a headwind which I enjoyed with Jenny from Austin alongside. The final destination was lunch at a sheep ranch called Estancia Olga Theresa. It was challenging because we were leaning forward so much to account for the headwind, that when it intermittently let up, we had to catch ourselves. It took determination and perseverance and most of the time we could not hear each other. Running alongside my new friend, at the bottom of the world, with the white noise of the Chilean wind was quite the experience!
Food is a huge part of any travel experience. What was your favorite thing that you ate?
Ceviche at La Marmita in Punta Arenas.
Both travel and running have their ups and downs. What was your most challenging moment or issue during the trip? How did you overcome it?
The most challenging moment came while trekking on Glacier Grey. It was my first time wearing crampons but I quickly got the hang of it on the flatter areas. We came to an area where we needed to walk down, I looked down and was met with a lot of fear. The person behind me asked if I was going to go and I started to cry. As a physical therapist, assessing safety and potential for injury are second nature. I was not going to give up though and with some encouragement from Gabe and the guide Pedro at my side, I was able to safely make it down the hill to take a closer look inside the glacier.
What surprised you the most about the experience?
I was surprised by how well-balanced the trip was. It was a nice combination of guidance and freedom to choose the running distance and activities I wanted to participate in. I just had to show up with my running gear and Gabe and Allison provided the itinerary with the next time and place to meet at.
"Runcation" vs a race: what do you think are some of the key similarities and differences? Or are they even comparable?
The two are similar as they both involve a challenge. They are different as the runcation involves opportunities to connect with other adventurous runners and was completely different than the experience I have had throughout my racing career. It reminded me of my time as part of a cross country team!
Sum up your Rogue Expeditions experience in one sentence:
The most incredible trail runs of my life.