In early June, Scott Russell, husband of GISTer Carol, participated in the Fourth Annual Allegheny 100 Backpacking Challenge held by the scenic Pennsylvania Allegheny National Forest Chapter of the North Country Trail.
This event is not a race, but an endeavor to hike 100 miles of trails in 50 consecutive hours. The trail cuts diagonally across the western corner of Pennsylvania, beginning in Marienville and extending north east to Willow Bay, close to the New York border. The North Country Trail winds along the scenic shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir and passes through forests of 300-year-old beech, eastern hemlock and white pine.
Hikers experience the canopy of Cooks Forest State Park and the Clarion River.
Completing the course is a test of stamina, determination and resilience, as the hikers have no access to first aid or watering stations throughout the event.
Scott not only took on the trail, but managed to rally dozens of friends and family to donate per mile, thereby motivating him to reach the 100 mile goal.
As he posted on his Facebook page, “Carol has a rare type of cancer called Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor. GIST affects only about one percent of all cancer types, so it doesn’t get much funding for research as do other types of cancers. The Life Raft Group is one of the few organizations who pour [dollars] into GIST patients through support and research. Your support for Carol, LRG, and me is much appreciated.”