When accomplished local athlete Jen Segger moved to Squamish 20 years ago, she quietly set a goal for herself.
Her goal was to one day hike up and down the Chief for a full 24 hours. Now at age 40, Segger is all set to accomplish that goal sometime next week.
The extrmely daunting goal is what endurance athletes call “Everesting”, which means Segger will aim for 17 laps and climb 8,848 metres, the elevation of Mt Everest, the world’s highest mountain, all in 24 hours.
But her quest is more than just a personal goal. She is also raising $5,000 for Girl In The Wild, an organization which offers free confidence-building camps for teenage girls in the mountains.
The $5,000 she is raising will enable five young women to attend a camp this summer free.
“At a time when the world has been flipped upside down and anxiety, depression and loneliness have taken hold of one too many people, I’ve decided to help become a part of the solution and raise funds to get some of these young girls to camp,” she says.
Putting her endurance to test is nothing new for Jen Segger, and the 24-hour laps of the Chief won’t be much different from the many races and hiking adventures she has been part of.
Still, this is unchartered territory for her and she is hoping that her body holds up, specially her knees and quads.
It is a mind-over-matter situation, she says.
“Years of pushing myself has taught me that we are capable of going deep within and pulling out even more than we might have thought possible. As the hours go by, I need to keep my focus and remember why and who I am doing this for,” she says.
It has helped that her fundraising is off to a good start, and she has already received many words of encouragement from her friends and community members.
“I feel very well supported. I feel like this community has my back and is cheering me on,” she says.