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What does it take to beat the speed record on the mountainous, 2660 mile Pacific Crest Trail?


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so it's currently 4:15 and I got about an hour and half asleep I got woke up because mr. cold like wall I think is to go 58 miles hopefully find someone with food I can share a little bit for me again did it it's 4:15 so I have a long time to car 58 miles I said keep moving all day and hopefully I'll get there in a reasonable time calling picking up phone with the clerk whoa that's the first time you've done that good you can do it so this is day one we were just south of Campo California we are on the Mexico border started Pacific Crest Trail my name is Joe McConaughey and I'm attempting to run the whole PCT and I'm attempting to break the speed record of 59 days on this thing the mission for this trip is my cousin Colin McConaughey and luckily enough his dad and grandparents actually out here really glad they're here good to see some family start me off on this trip right so I am Joel McConaughey it's 5:25 and this is the start of run for college hi my name is Joe McConaughey I'm from Seattle Washington 23 just graduated from Boston College and from North Seattle Lake City way area I knew I wanted to do something after I graduated college originally I just wanted to run in camp for about 2 or 3 weeks so I just googled from the Pacific Crest Trail and once I did that this guy Sam Fox popped up he'd raised $150,000 for Parkinson's research and honor his mom and he'd gone after the speed records so I emailed him and he just got me completely stoked on the idea and it made me realize that I could go after the speed record to begin with and that was possible and that I could do it for somebody I love to make it a lot bigger than myself once I knew I wanted to do civic crest trail and that I wanted to do it for Collin I reached out to my cousin Rob and his wife Andrea and and told them you know this is something that I wanted to dedicate the Colin and I got their blessing Joe it approached us I think it was fall of 2013 at that point Colin had been away from us for about a year and a half and he just had this grand idea of running the PCT I was in scouting growing up so I knew about the PCT we tacked a few sections of it and talking with my wife Andrea is like running the PCT like I couldn't even wrap my head around what that meant that was a little crazy but you know we said absolutely Joe we love the idea if you run it in Colin's name and again not knowing what that meant more of like you know I'll have them in the back of my mind or whatever but as Joe provided more details of what he was thinking we realized this is some pretty big and pretty important the Pacific Crest Trail is a 2660 mile wilderness trail stretching from Campo California at the Mexican border to the Canadian border at Manning Park well first off the record is 42 miles day so the record was 64 days and I thought oh perfect 42 miles a day like not terrible and then a few months later the record got broken and I was like well I guess that means 45 moxa day I thought well I average about 6 minute miles on my cross-country team up pretty much all my runs if I can do 9 minute miles you know I'll be on the trail for 9 hours in a day and I feel like running for nine hours in a day is completely reasonable like 9-minute mile pace isn't that fast like I think I can do that and then I felt comfortable with the camping side of it and knew that it would be some poly a few cold nights probably a few long nights but you know that didn't really that didn't really scare me at all I'm not a runner so I didn't know exactly what it would take to do that so at first I was like wow that's cool yeah go for it Joe and then as he's going day by day and I'm learning that he's running like two marathons in a day I was like oh my god how how is he going to do this but I never thought that he couldn't do it but especially for as long as he'd been running I thought it was a crazy idea I mean we had seen Joe run at Boston College he was down in Raleigh at one of the meets and we got to see him run but that's a run around a track and the thought of him just running off into the wilderness it just you know but it was crazy idea but crazy enough to work and the more progress he made the more it just crystallized like wow he's actually doing this so I'm currently looking at tomorrow and the different checkpoints that we've come across and then looking at the next few days and just to kind of figuring out the exact mileage and what will work and what won't work so this is this is a nightly thing I do this every night okay twelve for a mile 457 just that's how I'll go ghoul say about 4:30 in the morning God but for if I can early start on the day I'm about to go international and I'm viola people ask me what it's like having to run 50 miles in a day and I didn't think of it as running 50 miles on the day I think I get up and I run 12 miles and that's not that bad like I even get to walk like half of it like that's pretty cool and I'm seeing these awesome mountains and you know once I got on the trail I was golden I knew exactly what I had to do the only thing that would ever get me was just be I'd be behind pace and it would kind of beat me into the ground but I was always excited to be getting out on the trail and once I was there you know it was go time and I always could flip that switch here he goes off for day 24 man of the hour today baby yeah oh oh you okay are you all right oh yeah yeah man crud yeah oh man how did I trip over that one how do I get this rock it's the smallest rock in the world well the good thing is I got that video I wonder how they're gonna fall on video hi guys have a great day yeah Joe so a supportive trip on the Pacific Crest Trail is having any kind of support crew any kind of organized help out on the trail so for me that meant having a support crew of three guys that drove around in a car and following me around at various checkpoints generally met every ten to twenty thirty sometimes 50 or 60 miles checkpoints were really important to me on the trail because I need to eat about 8,000 calories per day and having my crew there every single day allowed me to keep my pack light and make it a very efficient trip out on the trail Oh the support was fantastic that that Joe received and that we received you know on behalf of Joe and Collin we started to get some of the videos and some of the updates and things like that and it was just you know I'd have my map by Google map open and you know he would be checking it at such-and-such location and look on the map you like oh my gosh she's like making it through California at this point and every update every step of the way was just was fantastic stay 34 things are a long way off from finishing but this ordered oh the other thing that happened is we shared the news obviously with our friends and our family extended family and there was an additional kind of momentum that built up because Joe had decided to run also for charity and so getting the word out it just kind of again took a life of its own on and people were donating money and people expressed interest even that we weren't that close to people would ask me at work where's your cousin what's you know what point is the at and on the map and stuff like that so it was just a it was like a whole adventure and in some ways we felt like we were along with him you know because of the some of the videos and stuff like that so it was cool I was really excited in Oregon because I finally had entered a new state after about 35 days I'd traveled through one state and I was ready to be done with it how about this for a good morning day 42 is the middle sister in Oregon and Oregon was beautiful it had nice relatively flat beautiful pine trails and it was just awesome to go through and I knew I was coming home to Washington and it was kind of my stepping stone to coming home my first fall blueberries a couple picked one you do that one more time oh yeah do that do the muscles donut thank you thank you I'm here with Lionheart even the back running we had to wait another hour and a half for the next car to pass so we hits with these guys are random camp I'm going I will buddy no Jack what's happening um we're about to go over the bridge of the gods which crosses the Columbia River from Oregon into Washington Joe just met his mama and I see him right there waiting at the toll booth like a good little American you don't if I get oh I'm so glad on that's over how you took them wait another day another dollar tells you getting paid for it dad you 54 today out on the trail you know there are a lot of different kinds of pain and what I was experiencing was pretty much all physical and that was just something that I had to switch off my mind and say you know this is this is putting me through a lot right now but I know my body can respond to something like this and I can get over it and this is just one kind of suffering that somebody can experience and whenever I thought I was in pain or I was hurting you know immediately what would come to mind is why I was out here was calling I'm swinging I'm a big boy for people that don't know Colin we of course have Andrew who was his older brother and we had tried for many years to have another child and looked into adoption which was a long process we got matched up with a birth mother and we'd been waiting literally four years for this to happen so it was a magical time I mean we just we felt like our family was complete he was um just a smart little boy he was so funny he was so handsome he was so creative oh my gosh the things that he would come up with I remember I remember every single second I remember the first time he ate a food um the first time he walked the first time he crawled out of his crib this door was closed and you saw these little thinkers and there were Wicklund underneath the door I love reading tone that was I think my I think that was my best memory with him and he got to do a lot in his two years he got to travel he got to go on a plane he had so many family and friends that just loved him he was just so full life he was such a good boy so it's really hard not having him here what day is it Joe day 51 we are in the northern cascades all set seems pass I'm trying to put out my socks inside in the morning ready to see something amazing so I'm coming from so I'm going you can have some ominous beautiful clouds hanging over hopefully not bein Cloudsdale just ominous mysterious nothing more yeah oh man beautiful beautiful beautiful people DEA ut4 we're hiking in to meet Joe we thought that was gonna be a 9-mile hike but after about three and a half hours of hiking we're still a four and a half mile straight line away from where we need to meet Joe Joe didn't grab his satellite phone when he left this morning so we have no way of getting in touch with them and the main issue about a straight line to Joe is that we're we're hiking a straight line is impossible to take hit several snow patches lost a trial a number of times we finally about two miles away we met these two guys who said that the trail Bron is impassable that at a certain point we're going to be hitting a river crossing apparently the bridge that used to be there has been totally wiped out so now a river of glacial runoff stands between us in the PCT so I just had a pretty long day I think Jord I wanted to meet here and showed up here about ten ten and no one was there so another trail junction she just told me Trail Junction is right here I made it and I got there too at 10:45 there was nothing I don't have food and I'm going to be making my own shelter tonight way or another so I'm asked my pal Oh brush that's all just leaves I just collected so hopefully is enough for walk for the night we have fruit snacks Clif Bar nuts nuts don't you wish you signed up for this huh Oh 90 night folks so after hiking for probably about eight hours we spent the past hour and a half into two hours getting less than two-tenths of a mile closer to Joe just walking down switchback after switchback at 1:00 a.m. – headlights are pretty much dead none of us are feeling too hot running low on water so we're hoping that shows taking care of himself at the moment we pitch the tent when you get a couple quick hours of sleep hopefully with a little bit of sunlight in the morning we'll be able to find the trail down so it's currently 4:15 and I got about an hour and half asleep I got woke up because mr. Cole I have a long time to car 58 miles I said to keep moving all day and hopefully I'll get there in a reasonable time you so I started off this day down in the dumps Oh feeling awful things are things are turning around even though it's gonna be a long day I'm not gonna be feeling good at the end of it but that's the thing with the PCT it always looks to beat you up and it always will it's always gonna beat you but perseverance there's always the way you just gotta find it you just gotta push through until you find it and the only thing that's gonna get you through a day or get you anywhere is to use your feet no matter what the situation is always use your feet it's that's what I think unless you're truly lost and then you're supposed to stay in one place but he tells me last night losing my feet in the quraíam now use your feet go PCT it's back baby back and alive look at them if you want to eat a minute so far plus obviously Jeff 10:24 text from the satellite phone from Jordan saying that Jo is with him so we are now about to head to Rainey pass to hopefully meet up with the two of them I found George oh how long has been I've got 52 hours 38 minutes 52 hours and 38 minutes I'm obviously not been with it for quite a while I'm supposed to figure out her in just a few hours and now we're a day and a half away how things change huh goes from a creek without a paddle at least you're here I think what Joe did was amazing what started out as a kind of crazy grand scheme of you know I'm leaving college and I'm gonna go run a trail like and then to see it all come together again I'm still when I think about it I it's just amazing and and just really proud that he would take that banner and run with it so now you're just thinking just thinking how amazing this is and yeah this out here in the wilderness you know times that I thought you know I was in serious trouble and each time miraculously something's happened and I'm just thinking about how my cousin Brian visited Colin dumb grave the other day and I told me you could tell the column was here with me that means a lot to happen of my shoulder and you know I'm so grateful that I can do something in his honor you keep his spirit alive except know he's looking out for me and I'm just lucky that's all and some people get life and some people don't so used to running for Colin well so just saw Joe off he's currently on his way to Canada which is still incredibly unbelievable I can't stop smiling we've done our best to get him through there and he's here he's on his way all we got to do now is just drive to Canada get up to Manning Park Pike in nine miles let's run we'll see him again but what an incredible journey so happy to be here my bad for now Oh you and you

16 thoughts on “THE RUN FOR COLIN

  1. Thank you for sharing this. You are amazing. Great accomplishment. Colin was a beautiful little boy. His spirit was with you every step of the way!

  2. what a wonderful documentary displaying the dedication and love of a long distance runner for the wild and for his cousin Colin.

  3. Joe, Joe, Joe — I still don't know how you did it. But you did, using what you said was perseverence . . . . and just using your feet. Thank you for undertaking this fantastic journey. Don

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