Harden the F**K up summer challenge on foot 2013

Dan picked me up at 5am and we were headed to La Broquerie to get this challenge started. I was feeling very optimistic about the day although it was already a warm 22 Celsius out. We got to the edge of town with ease and after a few pack adjustments I said farewell to my support system and headed out on a slightly altered route than planned. Because of the heat and a nice paved road heading north to Richer being available, I chose to forgo the gravel back road zigzag alternative route and headed on the easier hwy 302.

The run on 302 was nice, easy and there were plenty of pictures taken. Sadly I’d loose my camera later so you’ll just have to trust me. Once in Richer I quickly grabbed 2 liters of Gatorade and filled my bladder and handheld. I was now confident I was ready for the dreaded Richer to Hadashville section.

I noticed my salt pills, iPhone (for pictures) and map were missing around forestry road 29 and 19’s intersection. I still had a Garmin GPS and i knew the route, so that was good. However, instead of turning around to find my stuff I decided to plug along. I had 3.5 liters of water with me when i left richer and i felt great. My confidence was high and i felt like I was making great time and I was determined to get it done.

The heat was pretty oppressive but luckily I had mostly overcast skies and a cool breeze on occasion.I passed about 10 quads who were very polite and that made me feel no so alone. Sadly i guess I was burning thru water at a much faster rate than expected and i ran out around forestry road 26 and 31. I was a bit concerned but still felt okay so I thought Id just just take the pace down and grind out the rest. About a mile or two later I made my second biggest mistake. A fellow on a quad drove up behind me asking if I was okay. I gave him the thumbs up and he drove off. From then it went downhill so fast it was like a bad movie.

My legs started cramping up bad, my hands started to tingle and the dreaded breathing echoing in my head came. When I hear my breathing echoing in my head I know I’m done and I’d usually pull out. Where I was though there was no real bail point point to safety. My GPS isn’t as detailed as the maps so as I was texting Dan to come get me I couldn’t give him a location other than Hadashville. That was about 9-10 miles away and too far for my situation. I muddled along starting to freak out a little inside when my legs were starting to get all jelly like.

I eventually dragged myself down an access road to connect with the highway (deviating from my intended fireguard road to #1 intersection) when a fellow came up behind me in a truck. I waved him down and asked for a ride to the highway or Hadashville. Oddly enough he was the fellow I heard all day shooting guns off in a gravel pit kinda freaking me out. He told me to jump in and after driving no more than a mile we hit #1. I had to ask him to pull over and I started what would be a multi hour pukefest. Dan the savior met me at the junction and before I left the driver (I can’t reminder his name i was so out of it) i offered him cash but he wasn’t interested. That kid has some good karma heading his way im sure of it.

Safely in Dan’s car with the a.c blasting we’d stop occasionally so I could throw up what little liquid I’d ingested. Ice cream wasn’t looking to be an option for me or a quick lunch for that matter. We did a slow drive down my previous route where I think I’d lost my stuff but nothing was to be found other than the maps. The iPhone and salt pills were a goner.



15lb backpack

3.5 liters of water on hand (6.5 liters consumed total)

22 Celsius to start and 39 Celsius with humidity to finish

46.5 miles in 9.08 hours

A spot that doesn’t seem to work continuously. Maybe its due to proximity to my phone and handheld gps?

One pissed off wife (with good reason)

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