Meet a Rogue Expeditions Runner: Troy Carter

What type of people go on Rogue Expeditions running trips? It seems that everyone worries that they'll either be too slow, or too fast. That the mileage will be too difficult, or not challenging enough. That they'll be too old, or too young. That the other people will be super serious running geeks who talk about nothing but training, or that the other people will all be there to take it reeeeeeally easy. That they'll be the only person who doesn't know anyone else.

In truth, there is no "type." The trips attract all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of ability levels and all sorts of motivations for being there, and the beautiful thing is that it works for just about everyone! To prove it, we are highlighting a number of our runners using their own words. Read on to find out about the running background, pre-trip hesitations, favorite trip memories and most surprising realization of a Rogue Expeditions runner.

In honor of opening our 2018 trips this week, today we're featuring Troy who embarked on his first-ever international trip with us at age 58, and who just last month became the first person to hit the SIX trip mark. This guy has proved over and over and over again that it's NEVER too late.

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Which trips did you do and when?

Describe your running background:
I started running age 55 with Rogue Running in 2009 to get in shape for backpacking trips, and was lucky enough to have Allison as one of my coaches.

How did you end up on that first trip? What led you to the decision?
When Allison described the Morocco trip she and Gabe were planning, I decided, "What the hell, always wanted to see the Sahara." I trusted Allison, knew about half the people going, and she did all the planning. All I needed was a plane ticket, what could go wrong?

Did you know anyone else in the group beforehand? How was it traveling with a group of strangers?
For the Endurance Adventure Morocco trip I knew none of the other runners, but that changed pretty quickly. It was a very diverse group, a lot of fun and pushed me beyond what I thought were my limits.

What was your favorite run of each trip?

  • Morocco 2013: the10k run in Sahara with Gabe, Stacy, and Stephanie {if I remember correctly}
  • Patagonia 2015: I ran very little on this trip, mostly hiked. The 11 mile hike with the wind howling, and no one around for miles was my favorite. So raw, so immense, on a scale I'd never experienced before. This day was the best day of all my adventures and if I ever top it, surely the Rapture will be upon us.
  • Tahoe 2015: Flume Trail run
  • Bend 2016: I tweaked my knee at the end of the 2nd day, but was still able to hike, explore, and enjoy the diverse landscapes while the others ran. With the help of a knee brace I recovered enough to complete a 6 day, 57 mile hike around the 3 Sisters Wilderness near Bend after the trip!
  • Morocco 2017: Just being with Hamid again was the best.
  • Endurance Adventure Morocco 2017: The last part of the last run I shared with Sean, on some of the sketchiest, almost nonexistent trails I'd ever seen or tried to see. Sheer bliss, superb scenery, perfect ending. The summit of Toubakl was the scariest, most rewarding part of that trip.

Food is a huge part of any travel experience. What was your favorite thing that you ate?
Besides Katie's cookies, the best food is the kefta tagine in Morocco by far. Pisco Sour in Patagonia is the best drink.

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?
My most challenging experience was the first Morocco trip. This was the first international trip of my life and I went 2 days early only to find my airline on strike, airport information desks empty, and myself unable to speak the language {I was in Madrid}. I arrived 3 hours late to Marrakech, couldn't find my checked bag {later found on the floor, nowhere close to where it was supposed to be}, and then saw Hamid with my name on a piece of white paper as I walked out. One of the happiest moments of my life. 

What surprised you the most about the experience?
Morocco was a cultural experience for me, love the people, the food, and the country. But, Patagonia is Mother Nature on display, she can play nice, or she can be a trouble maker. Sometimes all in the same day or few hours, that place was heaven to me. On the hike days, I would just stop, sit, and breath it all in, not needing to worry about being the last one to camp, or slowing the group down. I will be going again, Inshallah.

Runcation vs a race: what do you think are some of the key similarities and differences? Or are they even comparable?
These trips are what YOU want them to be. Have an open mind, be flexible, and enjoy where you are. 

Sum up your Rogue Expeditions experience in one sentence:
Being only 62, I plan on traveling with Rogue Expeditions many more times. Its' a great big world out there :)

As Rogue Expeditions grows, I know fewer {or none} of the runners who sign up for the journey. So many new friends with experiences, ideas and personalities that I'd have never met, but for these people. Rogue Expeditions opened the world to me at age 58. It's never too late.

I do suggest you arrive a day{or two} early, if possible, for the international trips to recover, explore, and for the unexpected.