Eco Challenge Fiji

After getting out of high school having watched that whole thing unfold for the past six years, then moving on to collegiate running and in turn graduating from college—during which time the Eco Challenge ended as Mark Burnett moved on to create Survivor—I thought, “Oh, it’s never going to happen again.” So throughout my adventure racing career after college, I had given up hope that the Eco Challenge would ever be a possibility for me. When I heard it was announced last year that there would be an Eco Challenge—the very thing I had yearned for in my youth—I dropped everything. The race a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you just cannot pass those up. Ever. Period.

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The Lanier Lap - How We Did It

I missed the sun. I missed watching it rise and fall over the lake. I missed the rainbows of colors it pours over the sky—a heavenly canvas mirrored by the surface upon which I flew decorated with a million million sparkles as the water’s ripples become the ticker tape of my passing. I missed the calmness of a clear night—the silky, moonlit quiet of the water. So calm that you feel like the lake is whispering to you to be still for just a moment with her, so quiet that you can marvel at the sound of your own heartbeat carrying over her serene waters. I missed the lake day celebrations, the children swimming under the watchful eyes of their parents, the smell of grilling, and the sounds of splashing. The sun did eventually come out, and I finally dried out...mostly…

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The Allatoona Run - Fifty Five Hours in Review

It may be shocking, but when I set out to do The Lanier Lap, I would not consider myself a paddler. My primary strength in adventurer racing has always been that I seem to do fairly well at everything BUT the paddling portions, and for the latter I just do what I can to get through it quickly. In fact, in planning The ‘Toona Run, I realized that it would be seven times longer than I had ever paddled continuously by myself. Which is kind of nuts in an of itself. Separately, there was an issue with training. Looking at it in the beginning of the year and as a potential project for the year, I was already behind on training…

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Epic Kayaks Named Sponsor of The Lanier Lap

“Epic is excited to be part of the Lanier Lap. As a brand, we are focused on performance and efficiency, and Joshua's lofty goal of a 4-day, 400-mile circumnavigation of Lake Lanier seemed a perfect fit,” said Epic Kayak’s Bruce Poacher. For my training leading up to it—including The ‘Toona Run—I will be paddling the Epic V10 Surfski with an Epic Full Carbon construction ProGrip Series Wing paddle above. Check out the jaw-dropping vessel…

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The Lake Allatoona Run

The ‘Toona Run is the time in motion equivalent to running three 50-mile ultra marathons back to back…to grueling back. To be honest, I’m not sure how my body will respond. But finding out before The Lanier Lap—twice the distance—takes place is my goal. Never have I felt so underprepared for something, and there seems to be such little time between now and then to get that way.

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Fear and Aspiration

Fear, instinctual and undeniable in all of us, surrounds the unknown. And a sure-fire way to summon the unknown and all the fear that comes with it into existence is to aspire to bring about change in our own lives. Make no mistake—aspiration is itself a rebellious provocation of fear; it is neither for the dutiful nor the cowardly. I’ve not met a single person that drastically bettered their lives that didn’t have to face down fears of their own. To choose it requires a form of intractable courage. In the words of Mark Twain, “Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”

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RailRiders Named Sponsor of The Lanier Lap

Jared Zissu, point man from RailRiders, said, “RailRiders is proud to be partnering with Josh Forester. His background in extreme endurance sports and harsh environments makes him an ideal Team RailRiders athlete.  Josh is attempting to circumnavigate Lake Lanier by kayak non-stop.  Along the way, he will be testing and evaluating different styles from RailRiders and we are looking forward to some great imagery, testimonials, and a cool adventure story as well.”

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2019 Goals

I set a goal. It is a big, fat, juicy goal. It is the kind Zig Ziglar spoke of when he said, “Set a goal SO BIG that you can’t achieve it until you GROW INTO THE PERSON WHO CAN.”; the kind you talk about, and people look at you with a blank face because they are waiting for a punch line but don’t want to offend by laughing at you on the off-chance it isn’t a joke. Given where I was in life, it was especially ludicrous. But I was not joking…

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Mount Monroe Winter Ascent

I have to credit Josh for getting me moving.  He encouraged me lovingly then reminded me in no uncertain terms that, if I did not move from that spot, I would die in it.  I got to my feet, and together we locked arms and leaned into the 90mph winds, trusting one another and our crampons to keep us from slipping down the many hundreds of feet of cascading rock and icefall.

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Mount Adams Winter Ascent - Day 2

Whether or not we would be reaching our destination was uncertain as morning broke; on Day 1 of the trip up Mount Adams, Shanna's ill-fitting boots had put her in agony with shin bang as we approached shelter at Grey Knob, and we were unsure that problem could even be fixed.  Nevertheless, she was willing to try again.  What could be fixed--thanks to the well-stocked field repair kit which I had brought with us--were her dead-on-arrival crampons purchased specifically for this trip.  My first order of business after waking was to rig the locking mechanism that held them together with 3mm nylon cord and steel wire.  Something as simple as losing traction on ice and snow-covered mountains can become disastrous when combined with the effects of gravity, so ensuring Shanna's crampons kept her solidly attached to the ground was of paramount importance. 

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Atlanta Biketober 2018

It meant leaving work to start a ride at 7pm and finish in the chill of 1am. It meant being sent over the handlebars in the middle of the night, spraining my wrist, and acquiring a little road rash in the process. It meant dealing with rigid and sore muscles for the first ten miles of a ride before they finally loosen up enough to feel normal again. It meant limping around the office with Neosporin helping to heal my nether regions from the saddle sores only to re-chafe them later that evening. It meant withstanding all of the aggression and road rage motorists in Atlanta could muster. It meant riding no less than 3 hours a day the final week for 7 days straight. It meant blowing through 10 tubes, 8 spokes, 4 brake pads, 2 wheels, and over 10 gallons of water while riding. It was suffering for the sake of competition with no reward save that which most benefits us more than money—pride.

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Cumberland Island Getaway

I attempted to walk with dignity to the ocean to wash them off, only to break into a run after I simply could not take it any more.  Wading into the water was sweet relief, and for a wonderful moment I was both cool and relieved be bug free.  It was at that moment I was surprised to see two dorsal fins in the shallows a mere hundred feet away.   It became clear they weren’t dolphins when one of the sharks launched out of the water with a fish in front of its tooth-filled maw, the entranceway into its stomach opening and closing several times midair.  I was in awe.  It was one of those jaw-dropping moments on Shark Week where upon seeing it you swear off oceans for good.  The shark was roughly 5-6 feet long head to tail, and I wouldn’t have guessed it to be in such shallow water.  The dorsal fin of the other was no smaller.  I was then faced with a decision--to stay in the water with the sharks, or to return to the sand gnats.  With a vigilant eye focused on the sharks, I stayed.  It was in this way I learned I hate sand gnats more than death…

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Mount Yonah/Unicoi Adventure

That is when the monsoon hit and turned the sloped granite of the approach trail to a slip ’n slide.  We did our best to work together as a team to safely get down from our climbing camp perch with our gear, but it was slow going.  As Shanna and I were in a rush to get to the wedding, we grabbed our gear and ran down the trail to get back to our cars, the lodge, the shower, and the wedding.  On the way to the ceremony, it was a torrential downpour to the point where we had to drive incredibly slow because even with the windshield wipers raging it was impossible to see through it…

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Mount Rainier/Winter Denali Seminar - Day 5

The conditions on the descent reminded me of my Mount Washington summit.  The visibility and temperature were not quite as bad, but similar enough to have flashbacks.  As we moved down, the whiteout was disorienting.  Even while moving, it was very hard to discern whether the next step would have us move up or down and to what degree.  Faraway rocks appeared closer, and ledges and ridge lines were camouflaged in the flurry.  After hiking for an hour or so, my goggles were covered in a sheet of ice, and our clothing and packs in rime…

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Mount Rainier/Winter Denali Seminar - Days 3-4

The night ended with a long conversation about politics and religion and everything in between.  None of them were “solved”, so I guess in the end it was no better than endless superficial banter about climbers and alpinists that were “badasses”, but having the deeper conversation sure felt more meaningful.  I wonder if those badasses carry on about who summited what and how quickly they did it…I hope not…

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Mount Rainier/Winter Denali Seminar - Days 1-2

Because while they Netflix the latest documentary from their couch, we are digging platforms in the snow for tents.  While they are sipping hot chocolate at the ski lodge, we are hunkering around a stove melting snow for water.  And while they thumb through the photo books, we are taking in the scenery the camera simply could not capture…

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John Muir Trail/Mount Whitney - Day 4

Blasts of cold stabbed exposed skin during the transition, painfully reminding us that the arrogant and unprepared are not welcome atop the world’s highest places, that it would be not the heat but the cold that would bring down Icarian ambition here, freezing those who attempt to go higher. Yet, in darkness one thousand feet below one of America’s tallest peaks, we did.

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