Day 3 – “Climbing Ivy”

Day 3 – Monday September 21st

Haviland Campground to Little Molas Lake Campground (48.5 miles to 72.5 miles)

Dedicated to:

Karl DeLoof, Michigan

Kelly Reece Schneider, Washington

Ashley MacMillan, Vancouver, BC


After a rough finish yesterday and a few important lessons learned, I was ready to take on day 3. It was the first of the several mountain passes to climb over the next 30 days. We had a talk as a Move Mountains family about the plan for the day. I had 3875 feet to climb and 1417 to descend… the plan was to walk the ups before I needed to walk and run the downs. I stuck to the plan and it was a much better experience than the climb the day before. I made the 23.5 miles in 5 hours and felt good afterwards… minus my first “injury”… a bad blister on my left 4th toe.

The first climb out of Haviland Campground was Coalbank Pass… Matt started the morning with me again and with a little running and walking he reached his 50-mile mark in 3 days without any real training… IMPRESSIVE Matt and I am so thankful for your support, love and encouragement. I ran the first 8 miles and then it was walking up a steep grade for 4 miles… one step at a time and enjoying the amazing colors as we reached higher elevation.  While I was chuggin’ along, my attention shot to this crazy, excited lady leaning out of the window of her maroon Isuzu Trooper cheering and throwing the fist as she zoomed passed me honking.  A surge of energy raced through my body and my pace picked up a bit…the motivation continued to improve as I saw her climbing back up, whipping a “U-ie”, parking and jogging down to where I was.  Ivy, was her name… a petite, blonde ball of energy.  She started walking with me, asking if I wanted company.  “Of course, please!” I responded.  “What are you doing out here?” She asked.  “How far are you going”.  I went on to explain my adventure and she opened up telling me about her story.  She’s a mother of three (16yr, 14yr, and 11yr olds)… she lives in Silverton, CO… she’s a professional ultra runner… and she is Type 1 diabetic. We spent a few moments talking about overcoming obstacles and that this was the true meaning of my adventure… our minds are our only limitations!


Ivy was the spark I needed that day.  She got me to the top of Coalbank Pass in what seemed like seconds as conversation took over time.  She gave me pointers on the ultra world… “learn to take 8 minute naps”, “keep the shuffle going”, “eat oreos even if you don’t eat oreos”.  As I jogged down the pass, I giggled out loud as I thought of her as my “Climbing Ivy”.  Thank you!


Next was the base of Molas Pass. As I jogged around the big right hand bend to start the climb up… my mind went back 3 months to the moment I decided I was going to do this run. It was just a few miles up that I looked at Marcus and said “It’s time! I’m going to run across Colorado for epilepsy.” As I walked up the mountain I thought of all the people that have come together for this cause and made this monumental event happen in such a short time. You each know who you are and what importance you have in my life, in this cause and in the goodness of humankind.  I will say it over and over throughout this run… there are NO words to express how thankful I am for each one of you.  I really am living a dream!


I summited Molas Pass with Matt by my side, Vaughan waiting with the most genuine smile, Tory with tears streaming down her face, and Marcus with his arms wide open with pride and love… I am the luckiest girl alive.  A little 600m jog down and we were at Little Molas Lake Campground for the night.  I stopped at the entrance to the campground, thankful that my legs could rest for a few hours and absolutely emotionally taken aback… tears streaming that another day was done.


Back at the campground, Tory worked on my legs then my crew all got a workout in themselves (hiking the Colorado Trail).  We wrapped the night up filling our bellies and then our souls with music from Matt!


Lessons Learned:

  • People are innately good… Climbing Ivy saved me that day!
  • Walking up passes is faster and more efficient than running.

4 thoughts on “Day 3 – “Climbing Ivy”

  1. Jenny, i just love these postings. This one almost brought me to tears. It’s amazing the gifts we are given when we need them. I think Ivy was one of those gifts 🙂 I love “eat oreos even if you don’t eat oreos” – a different way to look at getting out of our comfort zones- but it works 🙂


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