4. Friends and family: My friends and family have been the constant highlights of my year – between a work trip to Alaska with my cousin, and the houseboat with my entire family, to seeing friends in far places, and celebrating new milestones with those close by, my year just wouldn’t be the same without all the wonderful people I had by my side throughout it all! I really can’t thank all of those people for all of their support and love, I enjoyed every crazy, beautiful moment with each and every one of them.
5. Squamish 50K: The 50K was HUGE for me! Training for the Squamish 50 was one of the hardest things I did in 2017, and even though I was training hard for four months, I was really terrified I wouldn’t make it. Being my first ultra, I wasn’t sure what I would encounter on race day, and although I walked away with only 7.5 toenails left, I hang my finishers medal proudly in my home!
6. Hallow’s Eve Trail Marathon/Grand Ridge 50K: After tackling my first 50K in August I became hooked. This new passion for ultra ultimately led me to sign up for the Coastal Challenge, a grueling six-day stage race in Costa Rica. The Hallow’s Eve Trail Marathon and Grand Ridge 50K in the Fall were part of my training for Coastal Challenge and taught me to enjoy the good days, and how to push through the bad.
7. Easter Island, Chile: What a crazy, wonderful, beautiful place! With some of the clearest water I have ever dived in surrounding it, Easter Island was one of the most surreal places I have ever visited. It was hard not to appreciate the history and to take the lessons learned too late for the locals home with me after standing in the shadows of their ancestors, the Moai.
8. Atacama Desert, Chile: San Pedro de Atacama is a strange and magical place – I think it may be one of the most geographically stunning places I have ever been to. My trip to the desert was short, but in just four days, I floated in the great salt flats, visited alpine lagoons, walked in the Valley of Death, and waved at some pretty tough flamingos. The sights I saw in the desert took my breath away, almost as much as the high altitude.
9. Run Like a Girl Machu Picchu Retreat: I LOVED this hike! Surrounded by nature and solitude, I found the Inca Trail to be an incredibly inspiring trek. Going through high mountain passes, up thousands of stairs, and encountering quiet ruins in the mountainside made the trek incredibly special. I have to say, although the first sight of Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate was stunning, it was the trek that made me appreciate what I was experiencing all the more. Tackling the climb up Huayna Picchu, all while battling my fear of heights, and seeing the aerial vision of the compound below was the perfect way to end the trek, and made the pizza at the bottom taste all the better!
10. Moving out and moving on: With my work schedule taking me all over the Canada and the United States, there never was a huge need to move on from “the nest”, but as well as that worked, I felt like I finally needed some more space and to settle in on my own. I am so proud and excited to be finally moving out of my parents home and into my own piece of real estate heaven, nestled in a cute community in North Vancouver. With only 2km between my new home and the trail head I can’t wait to explore all the trails in my “backyard”!