WINNERS OF CHALLENGE N°2: KILIMANJARO (MIN. TARGET 5.895M)
1) Stanley Peng, USA, 67.620m (wins an Alpiner 4 Chronograph)
2) Rudd Gates, USA 44.196m (wins an Alpiner 4 GMT)
3) Sylvia Chang, USA, 30.282m (wins an Alpiner Automatic)
4)Winner of the trip to the Kilimanjaro - selected randomly amongst all participants that exceeded the 5.895 objective is Johan Spieker, USA
The top 10 ranked countries have been United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium and Thailand. We congratulate the winners for their great performance and thank all and every participant for pushing themselves to the limit by applying the purest Alpinist spirit!
Here are the personal stories of the challenge by the 3 top finishers:
STANLEY PENG (WINNER)
This photo was taken on top of Cone Peak near Big Sur, CA. I have a passion for peak bagging because I just love climbing the summits to see the world and to breath the thin air like a bird. I participated in the challenge because I would love to have a chance to climb Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro, Denali, and perhaps Everest. I started Kilimanjaro Challenge to see where it will take me while training for San Francisco Marathon. Well, things got interesting when I tracked my first Alltrails tracks while topping Mt Tam of Marin Headlands and peaking El Capitan of Yosemite. Both tracks did not complete because my mobile phone ran out of battery. Since then I abandoned my usual morning routine to the gym or open water swimming in lakes. And instead I started hitting trails and hills, running if possible. As a result, my San Francisco Marathon in July was nearly effortless with strong finish. Then in August I finished a challenging 50k ultramarathon in Marin Headlands in under 5 hours, not just setting a new personal record, but also beating out many elite runners by claiming age group 2nd place. Alltrails Challenge worked very well by training me. I have become fitter with a lot more endurance and stamina.
I believe discipline and consistency are keys in staying on top of this challenge, along with top competitors such as Rudd Gates and Sylvia Chang pushing me along. Speaking of Sylvia, my wife, who has insatiable appetite for hiking, has put a catalyst in our adventures that is keeping me discovering new routes in Alltrails. In fact Sylvia did not enter the challenge until August due to business trips and some reluctance. Despite of her busy lifestyle, she climbed to top of challenge leaderboard with perseverance. Her determination to reach the top, like her will to challenge peaks, had propelled me. Seeing everyone's tracks has been just as adventurous. To me, everyone is a winner every time he or she is out there. I have adopted Alltrails Challenge as my new routine mantra: never stop. See you again soon in Denali and Everest Challenges!
RUDD GATES (2ND)
Earlier this Spring, I just happened to decide it was time to get outside and start getting some exercise. I love hiking, and I turned to the AllTrails app to discover and keep track of trails that were close enough to home to visit around the edges of a typical work day. I was completely oblivious to the Matterhorn challenge until almost the end of June, when I read one of the weekend newsletters and unexpectedly (and happily) discovered that I was within reach of the leaderboard! I put in a few vertically-minded walks during that final week and managed to finish in 8th place—and I was totally hooked! I had an absolute ball competing in the Kilimanjaro challenge through the summer—so much fun to see what others were achieving in other parts of the country and world, while I pushed myself to try longer and steeper hikes as often as I could. Without a doubt, the biggest challenge of all was finding the time to participate—but I managed to get each of my three teenage kids out for some good walks, and I've done my best to wear out my dog every week (but she still goes nuts every time I put on my boots). I think my success was mostly a matter of good luck with the timing and an amazing Front Range to explore here in Colorado. I have to give a big shout out to Alan (who must've singlehandedly worn a couple feet off that poor hill in Missouri by now) and Sylvia, Lynda and Xiaoli for keeping me motivated. You guys are awesome hikers!
SYLVIA CHANG (3rd)
Hiking has always been my passion. For the past few years I hiked and backpacked many places in San Francisco bay area, Eastern Sierra, UT Grand Circle, ….etc, and had the opportunities to backpack around the globe in Tanzania and Taiwan. As we gain more experience, we always want to challenge ourselves to go higher, faster, and further, and to experience different and more difficult terrains. I didn't find out about Alltrails challenge until it's 2 weeks into Kilimanjaro challenge. At the time of the challenge it is also when I signed up for a trail running race and started training for it. Alltrails challenge is a great training tool. With the encouragement of my husband, Stanley, we got up early every morning and headed to nearby hills and enjoyed a good workout before work. The challenge helps building a daily exercise routine. Within short time my name showed up on the leadership board, it keeps the excitement and motivation going. Unfortunately I over-trained, and without proper care, I had a serious injury and operation. I had to rest through the Denali challenge.
I also enjoy meeting hiking enthusiasts around the world through Alltrails and able to see all the exotic and exciting places they visit. I love hiking, and will definitely be back to the mountains.