Pure agony and absolute glory- it is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of your life. The Emperor?s Challenge is a monumental test of physical, emotional and mental toughness. At the finish line, you will find yourself bathing in community spirit, the tradition of the Emperor?s Challenge and individual strength.
The Emperor?s Challenge is not an ordinary half marathon. It is an adventure from start to finish. Through a variety of terrain, you physically have to get yourself to the top of Roman Mountain gaining a total of 2673 feet. If this sounds easy to you, then you really should give it a try! It truly is a unique experience. I have not been able to find a race that has matched the feeling of accomplishment that you have at the finish line of the Emperor?s Challenge.
My first time running it was in 2004 and I absolutely loved it! I remember how exciting it was at the start line, when you don?t really know what you?re in for, the feeling of getting to the top of the mountain, and how proud you feel at the end of the race. You somehow forget all the agony in the middle! It is a good thing that you forget the agony otherwise no one in their right mind would do a second Emperor?s Challenge. I must have a really bad memory because I?m going on my fourth and I?m super excited about it!
The Emperor?s Challenge is now only a few days away. My husband Max and I are driving up from Edmonton to do this fantastic race. People have all different ways of motivating themselves, Max for instance thinks he is the little red engine that thinks he could. He repeats in his head while going up the mountain ?I think I can, I think I can.? He says that once a year he will drag himself up and down the mountain just because it is a great community event that he wants to be a part of.
Whether you?re a fellow athlete or a weekend warrior, the Emperor?s Challenge is the slice of humble pie or confident cake your appetite hungers for. I encourage YOU to rise to the challenge; it will be an experience you will never forget.
Note: Jen Legault placed third in her first Emperor?s Challenge in 2004. In 2005 she came in second, and in 2006 grabbed first place. She returns to Roman Mountain on August 11th to defend her Empress title.