Everest Marathon Essay Contest

[Editors note:] This essay contest presented by ATRA and One World Trekking was held prior to the recent earthquakes in Nepal. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the quake and we look forward to a successful 2016 Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon.

By Molly Mikita.

It is difficult for me to put into words what this experience would mean to me. This is so much more than a race, more than a trek, more than my own individual dream. It is also equally difficult for me to not only write this, but to then to actually submit it. Too often in life we let fear hold us back from what we are truly capable of. The struggle for me is one of overcoming fear and insecurity, and feeling worthy of what would be such an amazing gift.

Fear can either drive us to our greatest achievements, or cause us to live in a world where we are held captive by our own self-doubt. Fear is a boundary, set by our own self-imposed limitations, and I have chosen to use fear in my life as something that motivates me.

To be given this gift would be not only a chance for overcoming fear, but also a tremendous opportunity for me to raise awareness for two causes that are extremely meaningful and personal. When I began dreaming of this race and expedition in 2013, the focus was honestly more on how this would allow me to give back to Girls on the Run and W.A.T.C.H in Nepal than it ever was about me getting to run a marathon.

I have dreamt about the magic of Nepal and the Everest region since I first set foot in the mountains of Colorado nearly 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve spent time exploring our mountains, recharging my spirit with their energy. The goal is now to show others the beauty and magic of the mountains, and to find a way to share with others their life changing powers. To be able to do that while at the same time giving back to organizations that promote strength, courage and empowerment would be an unbelievable gift.

In 2013, my dream of going to Everest was put on hold while pursuing a dream of a different kind. All my resources, heart and soul went into starting a specialty running shop in Breckenridge, CO. It felt selfish at that time to continue to put my efforts towards something for myself, and instead put all my energy into the store and our running community.

I am unbelievably blessed to be able to work with this amazing running community. It has filled me with joy beyond what I thought possible to give back to these runners who have shown me such support. This is a chance for me to give back by contributing to two amazing organizations, but also to give back by inspiring others to chase their own dreams. To show that you can push through fear, doubt, boundaries and limits that we put on ourselves and turn it into strength.

Thank you for reading my words, I am grateful for your time and consideration and for this opportunity to help serve others.

Molly is the owner of Vertical Runner – Specialty Run Store in Breckenridge, CO and has earned an entry into the 2016 Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon to be held on May 29.