Going Vertical

by Jim Blandford

On May 25th, I started an adventure known as the Limitless Vertical 7-day Challenge. The idea of the challenge is to get as much vert as one can for 7 days. This virtual challenge was put on by Aravaipa Running in Phoenix, Arizona. There were three divisions: (1) 100% Trail or Outdoors, (2) Indoors (i.e. treadmill, stairs, etc.), and (3) a combination of the two. I was entered in the 100% Trail or Outdoors division. The event was a perfect fit for me, as I had the full 7 days off from work, support at home and from friends, and plenty of hill training leading up to it. Most days I was going up and down the hills in Port Clinton for around 10 hours. Throughout the week, many friends stopped by to go up/down with me or to bring some awesome food and drinks. By the end of the event, I reached 100,305 feet of vertical gain over 192.3 miles. Over 6 days, 7 hours, 54 minutes I had spent 64 hours and 33 minutes on my feet going up and down those hills. It was a great experience for learning how the body feels day after day and learning how to control my pace. Most of the time I hiked up the hills and ran down. I am fortunate to be able to train with many runners from the Pacers and others in the hilly Hamburg/Port Clinton area. I cannot wait for the next adventure. 

Watch Jim’s interview with race director Julie Neisch:

Pat Heine’s video gives us some further insight into Jim’s approach:

Take a virtual tour of the Appalachian Trail as you hike with Jim up the mountain in Port Clinton:

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