After years of avoiding any hilly route, I’ve finally learned to embrace hills. I never thought my friends would say, “I should know if Sheri created the route, it’s going to be hilly.” Well, my hill repeats up Violet, a local climb, doesn’t even come close to what pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo accomplished on May 31, 2020.
Lauren’s fiancé Jim Snitzer planned to attempt an Everesting to raise money for his favorite charity. Lauren wasn’t going to miss out on the “fun” and seven days before the attempt threw her hat in ring. She decided to use her effort as a way to raise money for Craig Hospital, where Lauren spent time recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) five years ago.
What is Everesting? It’s climbing the same hill over and over again until you climb the equivalent elevation as Mt Everest. Yes, that’s right, a mere 29,029 feet (8,848 meters). Everesting became popular last year because cycling races were canceled due to the pandemic. Pros and amateurs alike were looking for a challenge, or maybe a way to torture themselves.
Lauren selected Hogpen Gap, a climb in Georgia’s Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. Climbing and descending an impressive 24 times in 9 hours and 57 minutes, with an average grade of just over 9%, which nabbed her the women’s record.
For giggles, I looked up her Strava post from that epic day which showed a historic effort score of 1,118! I just can’t fathom the mental and physical demands.
Wearing my polka-dot jersey I sat down with Lauren to discuss hill training, Everesting, returning to cycling after a TBI, and much more.
Enjoy the climb and ride!