What a magnificent day we had at the Third Annual 100K Vertical Challenge on Monday!
The skies were blue and the temperatures were cold—perfect conditions for an endurance ski event. Buzz about the event had been building all week, and as participants filed in on Monday morning, the excitement in the air was palpable.
I had a moment of zen as we lined up on top of the mountain for our group photo. The first year, there were two dozen of us attempting the challenge, which aims to raise funds for and awareness of Two Top Adaptive Sports Foundation. This year, there were more than 70 people, thanks to the addition of relay teams for the first time.
I took the second leg of my relay, so once the event officially started, I set up shop at the support table, cheering and ringing a cowbell. I can’t recall a time when I had more fun on snow—and I wasn’t even skiing!
The most amazing part was watching the adaptive skiers glide down the course, skiing as well as, if not better than, the rest of the participants.
When I did start skiing about 30 runs into my team’s 107, I felt overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude—that I was lucky enough to be out skiing on a beautiful day, that I had the privilege to be involved in this amazing event, and that we live in a world that allows amputees and other disabled athletes to enjoy the same exhilaration and freedom I do on the slopes.
By the end of the day, all 10 relay teams and 28 individuals finished the entire 100K distance.
Thanks to your support (also thanks to our tutus?), my relay team raised more than $2,400 for Two Top.
Altogether, the event raised nearly $70,000 for Two Top—more than double what the 100K raised last year, and almost six times what it raised in its inaugural year.
To learn more about this year’s event and the athletes it benefits, check out this report from WUSA 9, which beautifully captures the spirit of the day: