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Ingenious Scientists Complete 34.6-mile ''Death March'' (28 Jun 2006 at 00:02)
Ingenious Scientists Complete 34.6-mile ''Death March''
Well, we did it: a 34.6 mile hike, from sun rise to sunset on a single day, across the entirety of the "brutal" Rachel Carson Trail. (results here—it took us about 14 hours, but it's not a race!) I put the word brutal in quotes because that is how the Rachel Carson Trail challenge web-site describes it, I guess to make it seem like more of a double-dog dare. You can see the route zoomed out above (or google earth it yourself) across the north side of the Allegheny river, with an embedded elevation profile. Here's a representative image:



So you can see it goes up and down, and in this particular case the people are all clumped up because of a series of very trecherous muddy descents and ascents that really amounted to short rock climbs with mud instead of rocks.

I wasn't having a rough time at all until about the 26th mile, when my feet and ankles were hurting really bad, just from the repeated stepping. (26 miles is something like 60,000 steps for each foot!) An ace bandage got me through it, but by the end my feet had never hurt so bad in my life. Fortunately I have recovered quickly (tomorrow I'm aiming to start running again) and even used that crippled time to put in a bunch of good work on the programming contest, which is coming up in three weeks! (!)

Somewhere out there someone has pictures of our group at every checkpoint, so you can do a 5-frame time laps photo to see us become more and more weary and enmuddened. Here's a picture of Cortney and I at the very end, though I think we were deliberately trying to look beleaguered the sentiment is not far off:

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FARINA00 (host34-249-static.36-88-b.business.telecomitalia.it) – 06.28.06 04:35:10
At first glance I thought you watermarked the picture with some ... anatomic illustration of lungs? Then I noticed it's actually printed on Cortney's shirt. What's that?
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Cortney (h-67-100-132-237.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 06.28.06 09:02:50
F- It's a *very* faded iron on of a little girl's face, Zelda. The shirt is from my college work study job, and the little girl was my boss's daughter. We joked that year that any work we did we did for Zelda, and she became our mascot after awhile.
It does look like a pair of lungs. Funny.
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fetjuel (porygon.omnigroup.com) – 06.28.06 17:51:34
"Here's a picture of ... I ..."
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mike. (inverted.me.cmu.edu) – 06.28.06 20:31:05
Yes, poor grammar even after 34 miles!

Cool Google earth shot. You should post all your runs that way.
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Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-237.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 06.28.06 21:06:31
Ok, you got me...
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Anonymous (pmail.novumprs.com) – 05.23.07 16:31:13
You wouldn't happen to still have a gps file of the rachel carson trail? I have been looking all over for one (oneill.kristen@gmail.com)
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Tom 7 (c-24-131-65-110.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 05.23.07 21:43:53
I do except that I had to shut off the GPS for a part because the battery only lasts 10 hours. I will send you what I've got.
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