In June of 2019, local hiker Michael Meinig will attempt to run/hike the equivalent elevation of Mount Everest in one day.
Meinig is completing the Everest Running Challenge to raise money for the food programs in School Districts 5 & 6. He aims to raise $5000 for each school district.
Meinig, who works for SD5, moved to Kimberley in 2001. Both of his children, Nathan and Michaela, go to schools in SD6.
“The meal programs provide breakfast and lunch to any child whose family cannot afford them consistently,” explained Meinig. “The idea behind these programs is to help children learn, rather than worry about hunger.”
Meinig has years of experience with hiking and started training for the challenge last year.
“My wife Leah and I spend a lot of our spare time hiking, running and cycling,” said Meinig. “We find the East Kootenay to be a hidden gem.”
He adds that this challenge also co-insides with his 55th birthday.
“When I was turning 50, I was thinking of doing something special to celebrate. I ended up climbing three mountains in three days for three different charities,” Meinig said. “Now that I am turning 55 next year, the idea of doing something special popped into my head again. Everest has always been the ultimate mountain to climb and there is no way that I could do the actual mountain. I stumbled upon this everest running challenge and the idea started to grow.
“I feel that if someone can test themselves with a challenge (whatever it may be) and connect it to raising funds for a worthy cause, it’s a win-win situation for everybody.”
In terms of what inspired him to complete such a feat, Meinig says Julie Moss in the 1982 ironman was his inspiration.
“[She] inspired me; test your limits and find out that you can do more than you think you’re capable of,” Meinig said.
When asked what challenges he will face, Meinig replied, “I will be doing the challenge solo but may have some friends with me on a couple of the climbs. Hopefully I will be able to o the climbs on sulphur mountain in Banff so it is close to a major centre.
“I am not really scared of the challenge, just a little nervous [that] I may have jumped into the really deep end of the pool. I am excited about what I will learn about myself in this challenge (plus you get a really cool jacket if you make it).”
Meting says that the Everest Challenge will see him climb 29,029 feet in an estimated time of 18 hours. It is comparable to hiking up Fisher Peak from sea level three times.
“Basically I am a pretty average person,” Meinig said. “It would be a bonus if this challenge also shows people that they can do anything if they want to.”
Meting would like to thank his sponsors: Chalet GM, Hammer Nutrition, Creekside Physiotherapy, Gerick Sports, M&K Plumbing & Heating and Summit Church.