Tag Archives: CureSearch for Children’s Cancer

The Ultimate in a hike

Looking for a challenge in 2015? How about hiking 28.3 miles? In one day. Ultimate Hike is the chief fundraiser for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. CureSearch is a nonprofit that traces its roots to 1987. Though its name has changed over the years, its mission has not. The nonprofit funds research efforts to fight children’s cancer.  If there’s a more noble effort to support, I’m pressed to think of it. The Ultimate Hike And if there’s a better way to support the cause — hiking to raise money for children’s cancer research — I’m hard-pressed to think of it, either. The 2015 Ultimate Hike season is about to get underway. This year’s hike, on the last 28.3 miles of the 77-mile Foothills Trail straddling North and South Carolina, is May 16. You don’t, however, just show up on May 16 and expect to hike 28.3 miles (at least most of us don’t). As part of the program, there’s a 12-week training program. The key component of the training program is a series of every-other-weekend hikes that will grow increasingly longer. Start with a getting-to-know-you short hike of 2 or 3 miles and build from there. Most hikes are local, but there’s also an elevation training hike at Hanging Rock State Park and and endurance hike of 20 miles in the Uwharrie National Forest. There’ll also be one or two mid-week hikes designed to get hikers used to hiking in the dark. (Why? Because to hike 28.3 miles in one day you have to hit the trail pretty early —  4:30 a.m., to be exact) Want to find out more? Then make plans to attend one or UH’s informational sessions next week, in Cary and Durham:

And if you’re thinking, “I’m not really much of a hiker, this probably isn’t for me,” then cease that line of thinking. This hike and the 12-week training program is exactly for you: that’s what the training is all about. If you’re curious about what hiking 28.3 miles in a day is like, here are some scenes from the first Ultimate Hike on the Foothills Trail, in 2011. read more

90 Second Escape: A wet ‘n’ wild Ultimate Hike

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. read more

An Ultimate reminder

A gorgeous fall training hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Friday, I told you about an opportunity to make this fall truly epic by taking the Ultimate Hike.

Yes, it sounds like the title of a bad reality TV show (oxymoron?) about five people who go on a hike — and only one comes back. In reality — real reality — it’s an opportunity to test yourself and help a bunch of kids in the process. Ultimate Hike is a fundraiser run by CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. CureSearch promises to put you through a 12-week training program, at the end of which you’re able to hike 28.3 miles in one day. In return, you raise $2,500 to help the fight against childhood cancer. Pretty good deal. read more

Trailblaze Challenge: Make a wish come true

Amy Brindley answers questions before the meeting.

“Is this for Diane?”
I drove to Greensboro last night to hear Diane Van Deren speak at the local Great Outdoor Provision Co., had arrived an hour early, but discovered the folding chairs supposedly set up for her presentation were nearly full.
“This is for the Trailblaze Challenge,” a GOPC employee told me. “Diane is speaking after their meeting.”
Trailblaze Challenge? That’s interesting, I thought.
The Trailblaze Challenge is a new fundraiser sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Pledge to raise $2,500, go through a 12-week training program, then do a 24.1-mile hike on June 1 on the Bartram Trail in western North Carolina. The Challenge is patterned after CureSearch for Children’s Cancer’s Ultimate Hike, which is patterned after the Cyctic Fibrosis Foundation’s Extreme Hike. The hikes, as I was soon to learn, are all extremely alike, and for good reason: they were all launched by Amy Brindley, who is now president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish’s Central & Western North Carolina Chapter. It was especially interesting to me because for the past two year’s I’ve been a hiking coach for Ultimate Hike.
I stepped up to the registration table. “Do you mind if I sit in on the presentation?” I asked, then explained that I was associated with what could be perceived as a competitor.
The woman on the other side of the table smiled. “Of course you can sit in,” she said. “I’m Amy, by the way.”
About 15 prospective Trailblaze Challengers listened intently as Amy explained Make-A-Wish and the Trailblaze Challenge.
Make-A-Wish was founded in 1980, initially to grant children with terminal medical conditions any wish they wanted. (The foundation has since expanded to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.) Amy said the Central & Western North Carolina Chapter was formed in 1985. Since then, it has granted more than 3,000 wishes; this year, they expect to grant 230 wishes. She shared the most recent wish granted, for three girls to attend a concert last week in Greensboro.
One of the girls was local, one was from Vermont, one was a 13-year-old cancer victim from Georgia, who was a “rush wish,” meaning she only had a short time to live. The artist entertained the girls for 45 minutes before the concert. Then the girls went to their seats to watch the show.
“The 13-year-old was wearing a wig because she’d lost all her hair to treatments and was in a wheelchair,” Amy told the gathering. “They were all having a great time, and at one point the 13-year-old ripped off her wig, got out of her chair and starting dancing.
“That,” Amy added, “is the memory her parents will have of her.”
Granting the average wish costs about $6,000. That’s where the Trailblaze Challenge comes in.
Sign up, agree to raise $2,500 and you get a 12-week training program culminating in the June 1, 24.1-mile hike on the Bartram Trail. The training program includes weekly hikes led by a hike leader and a suggested mid-week training program. Participation includes all costs associated with hike weekend, including two nights at the Hampton Inn in Franklin, transportation and food. read more