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Gordon Smith
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Bill | Maureen | Steve | Jamie | Gordon

Map of New Zealand
Running/Endurance - goto top
enlarge image My strongest sport and greatest experience is with running. While running isn't an aspect of the Eco Challenge, the strength and endurance gleened from my running will be a great asset. My three greatest running adventures (Thanksgiving Pilgrimage, C&O Saunter, Cape Cod Caper) and events like several 24-hour runs and the Colorado Relay testify to my endurance, energy, drive and tenacity. I am also good at doing something for days with little or no sleep which is why my friends call me a "machine" (just ask anyone at work too!).
I have run about 15 marathons and one 50-miler. Within the next 12 months I hope to run the following marathons to reach my 7-continents goal: Great Wall of China Marathon, Two Oceans Marathon (S.Africa) (56km/36miles actually), Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Marathon and Antarctic Marathon. So I plan on being in great endurance shape this year anyway!
Personal running records: 800m-1:58, mile-4:28, 10K-33:58, marathon 2:40, 50mile-7:08:08

Canoe/Kayaking/Rafting - goto top
I have built two cedar-strip/fiberglass canoes and hope to build a cedar-strip/fiberglass sea kayak someday. I inherited two homemade plywood kayaks after high school and still have one (the other one is in kayak heaven). I've organized canoe/camping trips in PA down the West Branch of the Susquehanna (and might again this spring) and down the Grand Canyon of PA. I also have paddled amongst the lesser-rapids (sorry, I don't know what class they are) on the Potomac below Great Falls, mostly in my canoes. The second canoe, I designed and built to use in triathlons that require canoes (eg. Gosh Billings Runaround in MA).
As for pack rafting, I have rafted the Yough several times, once with rafts we rented ourselves (not with a guide), rafted the Colorado(?) river, and rafted the (?) river in upstate New York requiring a wet suit. (National Geographic has a COOL video of an Iceland Adventure!)
enlarge image

Biking/Mountain Biking - goto top
Next to running, biking is probably my second favorite sport. I have been biking for ages (who hasn't been?). I've done several multiday to a week bike rides, usually involving camping at night, with or without a tent. I've also biked 209 miles in one day (and may again this fall from here to my family's cottage in Western PA). My bike racing has been on roads in triathlons, but I do also ride a mountain bike and commute on a hybrid. I can unicycle too, but that probably won't come in too handy.

Mountaineering - goto top
I do have experience and introductory training in mountaineering, but nothing extensive. In 1990 I climbed Long's Peak (14,256ft) the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. I got introductory lessons in mountaineering and the use of crampons and an ice axe which we used to climb up a small glacier. We were roped up into two groups of three for that section.
I've also done some mountain day hikes in places like Yosemite (eg. Half Dome) and King's Canyon. I own two sets of rapelling/climbing ropes and the associated gear (carabiners, etc.). I haven't used an ascender, I haven't had a need to, but that should be easy to learn. I have been climbing/rapelling since 1975. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I am experienced and comfortable with it.

Camping/Outdoors - goto top
The outdoors is my second home. I enjoy being out in it and being active. I am comfortable being out and camping for days or weeks at a time (Thanksgiving Pilgrimage, C&O Saunter, Cape Cod Caper). I also have camping and hiking equipment. I'd like to organize another canoing/camping trip in central PA, if I could find the interest over Memorial Day weekend to validate the effort.
I also know edible and medicinal wild plants which comes in handy when you feel hungry and run out of powerbars or get injured.

C&O Saunter - goto top
enlarge image During my 1978 "C&O Saunter" I spent 7 days running 241 miles with a backpack, carrying everything I needed (except major meals) and camping out at the campsites along the C&O Canal.
My story about the adventure appeared in Dec '79 Runners' World magazine.

Cape Cod Caper - goto top
enlarge image During my 1981 "Cape Cod Caper" I ran/biked 652 miles (348 run/304 bike) from D.C. to Provincetown, Cape Cod for 2 weeks, carrying everthing I needed (except major meals) in a backpack and camping out in fields, woods, even a cemetary in Rhode Island.

Horses -
I don't have a lot of experience riding horses, but I have taken horses on afternoon rides. It is something I enjoy doing a lot. If we can't get local horseback riding experience and insight (I have a local friend who plays polo and knows the Middleburg crowd), I could see if the Rolling Rock farms at my family's cottage would be willing show us a few tricks.

Miscellaneous - goto top
· I also had an introduction to hang gliding and own a hang glider.
· The BAH Eco team would also be welcome to train and strategize at my family's cottage in Western PA (near Seven Springs). Mountain biking and hiking trails, rock climbing, (maybe horseback riding), canoeing (flat water, or OhiopPyle has the rapids), and camping are available in Linn Run Park.
· I'd also be interested in creating a BAH Eco Team web page to help drum-up support for the team and to help in it's fund-raising efforts.
· I was in New Zealand (map) in 2000 (albeit the north island) for the Millenium Marathon, so I already know the language! ;-)

Personality, et.al. - goto top
You already know I am positive and easy to get along with.
I feel my inherent strengths are being: These are not attributes that someone learns in a few months. On the other hand, my horseback riding, mountaineering, and mountain biking skills can easily be honed in the next few months.
BTW, I already know Gary Hellenga, if you are considering him. We have worked together on the BAH Track and Marathon teams, as well as the Colorado Relay.
I also know Trish Gumina well, and would highly recommend her as a strong contendor and good team member (though she is outside the BAH family and living in San Francisco). We work together well. Maybe we could all meet halfway in Colorado and train. That would be nice!

Thanks for getting this team organized again Maureen, and no matter who's on the team, best of luck. You (we?) all will do great!
Cheers! :^)
- Grun

February 21, 2001 (updated May 22, 2003)