Story and Photos By Marie DeJournette

The Wonderland trail, picture taken between Longmire and Mowich.

In four weeks I will be heading to Longmire, Washington to begin my Wonderland run with Aspire Adventure Running. I will attempt to run and hike 93 miles in three days, around the base of Mt. Rainier, with accumulated elevation gain of 23,810 feet. I’ve taken on this challenge in order to fundraise for Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) in support of their mission to eliminate exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment that are linked to cancer. I have friends and family who have suffered from and succumbed to this devastating disease, and this is one small way I have found I can help.

Mount Rainier.

My training has been sporadic since signing up for this adventure. I’ve had some solid weeks with good, long back to back runs and other spans, like the last four to five weeks where I barely stepped on trails. Life and work and the heatwave all played a part in the inconsistencies but I’m hoping that these last four weeks of training and the strong base I already have will pull me through.

Marie and Dan at the Wonderland trailhead.

Mindset is critical in a run like this and the biggest challenge I have is wrapping my head around it and believing I can do it. Last weekend, I decided to actually put my feet on the start of the trail to get a feel for it. I met up with my friend Dan and did a 13 mile out and back hike from the starting point at Longmire and it gave me a good sense of what I’m getting myself into. Holy crap! It’s going to be a lot! When I got back to the visitor’s center and looked at the room-sized 3D topo map of the whole route, I just started laughing when I saw the very tiny stretch we had just covered compared to the massive scale of the entire trail. What was I thinking when I signed up for this?

Flowers along the Wonderland trail.

I’ve always known this was going to be a tough one but now I have a real sense of the fortitude and attitude it will take to get through it. I know it will be nothing compared to the strength it takes to deal with cancer. I will draw inspiration from the climbers I had the honor of supporting through the BCPP Mt. Shasta fundraising climb recently. I’ll be thinking about my friends who have faced breast cancer and kept putting one foot in front of the other, climbing mountains, even during treatment. I’ll keep running to support an organization that works to create a safer healthier environment for future generations. I’ll keep running to support BCPP’s mission to prevent cancer.

If you would like to support BCPP and help me meet my fundraising goal you can donate online here.

Editors Note: Watch our website in the upcoming weeks for part two from Marie on how her adventure on the Wonderland trail went.  

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