Mike got to spend his birthday doing what he loves.... hiking! Though I'm not sure hiking 100K is exactly how he wanted to celebrate. Last year's weather was unusually hot, this year it was unusually cold. Notice Mike all bundled up from the beginning of the hike.
I ended up having to sub in the afternoon so I missed the support stop 1 birthday party for Mike. We had hats, stickers, cupcakes.... and it was arranged that at the top of every hill there were birthday shouts... to the point where random people starting wishing him a Happy Birthday. We did thankfully get to see him at support stop 2. Izzy was there to cheer him on too.
Here he is in his fancy new red shoes. Notice the big smile.... they were making GREAT time!
Here's the team about to hit Checkpoint 3 and begin the big climb.
Mark, Mike, Lun and Brian (the same team as last year)
Unfortunately... the cold and wind won out. Mark physically got sick and quit. Then Lun's knees were bothering him too much and he quit. At this point, Mike was incredibly cold and unable to keep warm, which led to stomach problems and not being able to keep any food down. They still approx 40K to go and Mike knew that his body would not be able to physically handle those 40K without any fuel. So at 60K, Brian and Mike left the course.
I know it's incredibly disappointing for them... but I'm still proud. 60K is still a LONG way to hike in about 17hrs! And it was FREEZING too...
So that was how Mike spent his 32nd birthday and now he's paying for it with a cold. :) But we also celebrated during Sunday School with a Transformers themed party where they gave him a giant check for Starbucks. And at Nomads, the trailwalker celebration dinner, we celebrated with carrot cake.
So I hope that he's had a memorable birthday! We certainly look forward to what God has in store for the year ahead. I pray for good health and answers to his stomach problems and a passion to serve and know God more deeply than before.
I know we weren't with you very long on your birthday but you were thought about and prayed for and missed. We love you, Mike, and wish you the Happiest of years ahead!