Excursion: The Sierra Club’s Annual One Day Hike — 4/25/15

2015 One Day Hike
Enjoying the 2015 One Day Hike

50 kilometers. Or 100 kilometers. Take your pick.

The 42nd One Day Hike (ODH) along the C&O Canal Towpath took place on Saturday, April 25th.

The 100K hikers start in Georgetown at 3am, while the 50K hikers start in White’s Ferry, Maryland at 10am. Both groups end in Bolivar, West Virginia (just up the hill from Harper’s Ferry) at the community center.

This was my 4th time participating in the 50K hike. By all accounts it was my fastest time yet, shaving 30+ minutes off of 2014’s time.

Yet the One Day Hike is not a race. It’s not meant to be competitive. Some people treat it that way, but many are happy to enjoy the scenery along the Potomac River and finish with minimal blisters and soreness.

I’ve found the ODH to be one of the most well-organized and well-supported walking or racing events in the DC area. In no small part to the volunteers that plan it, manage it and those volunteers that come out early and stay late to prepare food and drinks, give medical aid and patrol along the trail between support stations to help and give encouragement. ODH co-chair and volunteer coordinator, Mike Darzi, is at the forefront of this successfully run event, communicating with participants and sorting out the details each year.

ODH Sign

 

Diana Partridge, first-time hiking the 50K, “The hike was beautiful and very well-organized. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m excited to try the 100k next year.”

Each support station (four stations for the 50K; seven for the 100K) is a veritable feast of snacks, sandwiches, soup, coffee, Gatorade, fruit, candy and more. I like the popcorn and the trail mix with M&Ms. And blue Gatorade is possibly the most delicious liquid after 20 miles of walking. Then, for the finishers at the Bolivar Community Center, there is chili (turkey and veggie), salads, sodas and pizza. I probably eat better on this hike than on most days.

The support stations also feature a medical tent where volunteers give aid to the hikers, including foot care for any pesky blisters.

Mike O’Brien, first-time medical volunteer, “I was happy to volunteer and was encouraged to see the people who I had treated at the half-way mark of the 100K, finish. Next year I’m going to join the hike.”

Once you’ve finished the hike, some people take the shuttle bus back to the Shady Grove Metro stop. But you’re tired by then, and more travel is the last thing you need. The best option is to stay in Bolivar or Harper’s Ferry at a hostel or hotel and then catch the (only) train back to DC the next morning after breakfast.

A worthy event to consider for next year!

 

The Sierra Club’s One Day Hike
Registration is usually at the beginning of February and the hike takes place the last weekend in April.
$50 for either the 50K or 100K

 

Results and Tips

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