On this New Year’s Eve, we (Rachel & Roger) recognize that we are WAY overdue for an update! Our apologies for being so remiss – it has been a rollercoaster of a year for us, in terms of racing, big professional and personal moves, and of course in regards to our family organization, the Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR). Looking back, we have so much to be grateful for. A few highlights:
1. Moving to Colorado! In April, we made the big move to make our permanent home base in the Rocky Mountains of western CO. With over 22 million acres of public lands and four national parks (Rocky Mt NP, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison), this state is an outdoor lover – and trail runner’s! – paradise, and we are having a blast exploring it.
2. New business! Because a new state and new home isn’t enough, Rachel decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge to start a business along with her colleague. WFH is the best.
3. Race bullet highlights:
WIN by Roger at Cayuga Trails 25 miler: Roger was back and forth for the lead, before making a move on a hill about halfway through, moving into 1st, and holding off a hard-charging 2nd place for the W.
3rd by Rachel at the Pikes Peak Ultra 50K: Rachel was in 3rd up until the halfway point, when she was passed on a long downhill by a super strong Melissa Brizic. She rallied until the very end, passing Melissa in the last mile and finishing a minute behind 2nd.
10th by Rachel at the Rio del Lago 100 miler: In her first 100 miler, Rachel got off to a rough start with a wrong turn early on, costing her 2+ miles and several places. With the support of a killer crew (Roger, her dad!, Anna and Shawn Olsen, and Martin Kurian), she passed several women, got into top-10 by mile 78, and held it to the end, finishing in just over 23 hours.
4. Biggest year yet for AIR! With the support of our incredible AIR family, this was our biggest fundraising year yet. THANK YOU all for your support – and as a reminder, each dollar goes to planting trees in communities that need them throughout Central America. We also filmed a documentary in partnership with Amalgamation Pictures, who captured beautifully the work that we do to reforest farmland, and empower indigenous women and communities through our work.
As we reflect back with so much gratitude, we hope to inspire you to do the same! What are you grateful for in 2019, and what excites you about the year ahead? Tell us below!