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Challenge again brings hikers to Allegheny National Forest

Photo provided to the Times Observer 25-mile finishers Rob, Katie and Rachel Lawson.

One hundred miles — 528,000 feet.

For 19 participants in the Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge, they walked every one of those more than 6 million inches in less than 50 hours through the Allegheny National Forest.

The 12th edition of the event was held the weekend of June 10, sponsored by the ANF Chapter of the North Country Trail Association.

Tina Toole with the ANF Chapter said 148 hikers hit the trail Friday night, choosing to complete 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles through the ANF on the North Country Trail.

“The event was not a race, but was a personal challenge of stamina and determination,” she said.

Photo provided to the Times Observer Chris Coupal was one of less than 20 to complete all 100 miles of the A-100 in less than 50 hours.

This year, the event started on the north end at the Willow Bay trailhead. That put the 25 mile mark at Chappel Bay, the 50 mile mark at Henrys Mills and the 75 mile mark at Kellettville.

The 100 mile finishers hit a point south of Marienville.

“All hikers enjoyed the camaraderie of the other hikers and learned new things about themselves during this test of endurance on the trail,” Toole said.

See CHALLENGE / A-3

CHALLENGE

One participant called the A-100 an “incredible experience and I really appreciate the opportunity to push my limits” while another called it “unique.

“The enthusiasm shared by event organizers, volunteers, and participants is palpable. I look forward to revisiting some of the sections during daylight hours instead of the middle of the night.”

Of the 27 hikers, 25 hit the 25 mile goal.

The greater the distance, the lower the completion percentage – 29 of 51 completed the 50 mile distance, 2 of 11 at 75 miles and 19 of 59 who set out to tackle the full 100.

Toole said that five more hiked at least 75 miles, 32 more at least 50 miles and 25 more at least 25 miles.

“Participants traveled from near and far to take part in the A-100,” she explained. “Most were from the local area of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, but many traveled from much farther.”

The event included participants from as far as Washington state and Florida, New England and Ontario.

“Everyone was amazed at the beauty of the ANF and hoped to return,” Toole said.

She said the Chapter wanted to thank the volunteers and sponsors that helped make the event possible.

“Money raised through this event will be put back into repairing and improving the 95.7 miles of the NCT through the ANF,” she said.

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