I have only one picture from this event, but it seemed like it needed to be its own post.
The 50/20 is epic. Some might say it is crazy. I might agree.
The goal of the 50/20 is to walk 50 miles in under 20 hours.
That means keeping up a good pace and it means walking all night and into the next day.
It is not for the faint of heart.
One would wonder who even came up with this idea? I'm not sure, but once it was spoken about at General Conference last April, it was on Mormon radar.
Mormons are strange people. I know. Mormons can be trendy too, just usually about Mormonish things. We take challenges like finishing the Book of Mormon before the year is out, or memorizing a certain number of scriptures. Maybe even a dance festival here or there. You can't say we aren't fun!
Someone in our area jumped on the 50/20 bandwagon and decided we should walk until our blisters had blisters.
The age requirement is 12 and above, and the challenge is geared toward youth, although adults are welcome to participate. June fell into the appropriate category and she desired to go.
(Trust me...we tried to talk her out of it.)
Tyler was determined to support her in her decision. Actually, I would have as well, but someone had to watch kids. I figured Tyler had to go because his calling is with the youth, but in hindsight, I should have been the one walking the trail. (Hindsight is 20/20...not 50/20.)
Tyler and June tried to train as best they could. They walked many evenings and carried packs to practice with the extra weight. They planned what types of food to bring to keep their calories up. They packed lots of water in case the planned aid stations did not materialize. They bought extra socks because socks are half the battle. They were as ready as they could be.
I took this picture of my stalwart adventurers and they left around 3:30 in the afternoon, not planning to return until after noon the following day.
I wasn't feeling guilty for not going, but I wanted to help in some way. Tyler had people lined up to call all evening and into the early morning hours so they could feel the support of those far away. I could call, but I thought I would do one better and I volunteered to work at one of the aid stations. My shift was from 1:15-3:15 a.m.
I didn't get a lot of sleep that night. The smart thing to do would have been to go to bed early, but as luck would have it, Ivory was invited to a late night birthday party that didn't end until 11:00 p.m. By the time I picked her up and got her into bed, I only had a short amount of time to sleep on the couch before heading off to the aid station.
Luck wasn't on my side. The aid station I was assigned to was around 23 miles - just before the halfway point. I arrived only moments after June and Tyler had passed by. The good news was that they would hit the halfway point at 25 miles and turn around and come back.
But they weren't doing well. While I was filling water cups and handing out Ibuprofen, they had hit a wall. Their feet were sore, they were cold, Tyler had blisters, and even their hands were starting to cramp from the walking sticks. They had fought a good fight. they had finished half the course, but that was it for them. A ride home was requested, so I finished my shift early planning to pick them up.
However, a fellow ward member, out looking for water spotted them first and picked them up, planning to bring them back to the aid station. Meanwhile, while I was packing up, a father and son spotted my imminent departure and asked for a ride. Tyler and June weren't the only ones who were finished with their 50/20 adventure.
I took all my wasted passengers to their destinations and came home and flopped into bed. Tyler was already asleep. I only slept a few minutes and the phone rang. Grandma Cazier was calling at 4:15 in the morning with further encouragement. (She was a trooper. She had been calling all night.) I told her she could go to sleep. Thirty minutes later, my mom called. An hour after that, Jami phoned in. (Look at all these awesome people supporting team Cazier.) The last call came around 8:00. I gave up trying to sleep. I was tired, but not the kind of tired that comes from walking 25 miles.
I don't know the exact numbers, but I believe only 15% made it the whole 50. It was a grueling challenge. Among those finishers, June's best friend, Hannah, made it. I was very impressed. But I'm impressed with anyone who attempted the challenge at all. Whether ten miles walked, or 39, that is more than zero. And I'm sure everyone learned something. I'll call that a success.
I hear it might be an annual event. Guess who is going next year?
We planned really hard for the 50/20. We walked in advance and got supplies ready. When it was time for the real 50/20, the first 15 miles breezed by. We just talked and we didn't have any big problems. After that, we started to get tired and want to stop, and around mile 24, we did. We stopped for a while and discussed our options, eventually deciding to go to mile 25, halfway through. We were walking pretty slowly, but we made it there and Brother Wizst found us, (Thanks so much, Bro. Wizst) and we found Mom eventually.
I had a good time (mostly) and I really enjoyed talking to my Dad and pressing myself, even though we only made it 25 miles. It was only half, but half isn't very insignificant if it's 25 miles on foot.
Despite the cold, the sore feet, the blisters, the sore toes, the arthritic knees and fingers, I had a great time plodding along next to June. It's one thing to say, I'm going from Provo to Lehi, but it's completely another to add "on foot." It was heck of a journey for both of us. We learned a few things about blisters, socks, and moleskin, but the real treat was walking next to this magnificent daughter in Zion. June's course in life is probably not hiking, but I have every confidence that June will be doing hard things in her future for quite a while. What a blessing to spend 10 solid hours at her side yammering about everything.
20 Questions is a great game to chew up time — especially if you get rid of that pesky 20 question limit. It served us well for several hours. The best one was this: "Ok Dad, so it's a big man-made yellowish thing, bigger than you, that's solid, has been seen tonight by me, and always appears the same way, setting on top of a a big white building that's a lot bigger than the yellowish thing on top of it, that lots of people come to for a very specific purpose..." If you guessed, "Angel Moroni," you got it! I'd even accept "temple." That one kept June going for at least an hour, all the while I was observing the temple while we walked and she ventured more questions. "Jupiter" was a hit too.
In the end, I'm glad we went, though I'm perfectly happy to hand the walking stick to Maleen next year. Have fun, honey!