Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gargantuan Bragging Rights

Just back from massage, where Morgan had to spend considerable time working on my shoulder that I likely strained while patting myself on the back!!!

This email arrived in my inbox a few days ago...

Thank you for participating!

Congratulations on your Specialized Challenge effort - and what a challenge it was! Specialized and Strava tasked you to put in 47 days of relentless climbing and suffering and that you did. Nearly 11,000 global participants climbed close to 420 million feet of elevation in just six weeks. What amazing results! Without a doubt the most difficult challenge yet, just over 700 riders completed the goal. An extra round of applause goes out to these die-hard riders.

A Classic Climbing Challenge from Specialized highlighted a few extraordinary riders who are, apparently, born to climb. In the end, Brian Toone of Hoover, Alabama and Jeremy Philippe of Grenoble, France pushed one another near the 500,000 feet of elevation mark, blowing away the challenge goal in only a few weeks. Ultimately, Toone took top honors, climbing 468,661 feet in 96 rides for an average of 4,881 feet per ride. Not to be outdone, top female riders kept the competition strong as Pamela Blalock of Watertown, Massachusetts and Virginia Vaquero Casey of Morgan Hill, California traded off the lead on their way to over 200,000 feet of vertical ascent throughout the challenge. In the end, the two finished just 4,516 feet apart with Casey inching ahead. She climbed a total of 216, 206 feet over just 34 rides for an astounding average of 6,359 feet per ride.

Congratulations again to all the competitors around the world who made this challenge so fun, motivational and truly extraordinary!

Keep it up,

Strava and Specialized


  1. Fantastic accomplishment! You deserve a few sore arms...

  2. Richly deserved. Your accomplishment shows that you are an elite world class athlete and an admirable example of what guts, stamina, conditioning, perseverance and skill can accomplish! Jim Duncan

    1. Actually what it really shows is that I had a lot of time on my hands!