For the last two years I wanted to do the Emperor?s Challenge, but for some reason I chickened out. I?ve done the kids? race 6 times in a row, and I believe that now I am ready to do the toughest and most beautiful ½ marathon in the world.
One of the main reasons I am doing the Emperors is because I look up to my friends who did it last year. On July 1st when I helped with the Emperor?s Challenge work bee I realized how beautiful the route really was. I walked all the way to the top of Mount Roman up an amazing creek that you could even drink water from. We walked through the alpine and when I got to the top I could not believe the sight. You could see mountains in every direction you looked. I was surprised that you didn?t even realize there was a mine a few kilometers away.
The way down was way easier then I expected. You cruised down some switchbacks until you got to the bottom. At the top we saw some marmots, and there were caribou close by. Luckily we didn?t see any bears but we came across the scat of one. The run down to the cars was 12 km and I was able to do that without training. It wasn?t difficult at all. The Emperors is one of my favorite places to run in the world.
I?ve started training for the Emperors by doing the longer distances in Track & Field and running the hilly loop during Flatbed Loops. I will have to train harder, but this is just the beginning. This year I am going to run it with my dad. I?m looking forward to the Emperors but I don?t think I am going to push too hard, since it is my first one. There are a few kids who did the Emperors Challenge before they were even teenagers. I don?t think adults have an excuse for not doing the Emperors if people under the age of thirteen are doing it with no trouble.
I think the Emperors Challenge is a very difficult ½ marathon. It is the most unique and beautiful ½ marathon I have ever heard of. You don?t often come across a race that can take you up and down a mountain as big as Mt.Roman. I would be crazy if I didn?t do a run like the Emperors that is so close to my home and, when I finish, I will be able to say I did one of the toughest half marathons in the world!