It’s almost here! With only 2 weeks left before we fly out, I back up to the mountains for my last big training hike. I’ve done McClellan Butte before, but it was raining and cold and there was still snow at the top. Amy was out of town this weekend so I went with my friend Sarah, who also brought her friend Doug. We’ve never hiked together so I made sure to warn them that I’m really slow!

The trail starts off really gradual and it’s pretty easy going. But at 4 miles and 3700’, any part of the trail that’s gradual means you make up for it in extra steepness. At least the views were far superior to the last trip up!

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Unfortunately for me, once we hit the steepest part of the trail, my hip started hurting. I’ve been dealing with this for most of the time we’ve been training, but with a lot of deep tissue massage, the three hikes I’ve done prior to this have been pain-free! I was quite disappointed it had returned. Combined with the increasing heat, I realize I’m probably not going to make it all the way to the top. I manage to get to the highest point of the elevation gain (the last half mile descends for awhile before climbing steeply for the last 300 yards to the butte) before deciding to turn around. Sarah and Doug had gone on ahead when I slowed down, so I send them a quick text to let them know I’m heading back.

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Finally we make it back to the car, mostly in one piece. It was 88 degrees! I’m pretty sure this makes me insane. But at least I got the mileage and elevation gain in. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know that the next time I’m climbing something this hard, it should be on summit night on Kilimanjaro!

Kili Training Hikes: Poo Poo Point
To Tanzania We Go!