5 Years of Challenges

Running, climbing, cycling, obstacle racing, weight lifting, fundraising, cheerleading, smiling.

Time is going to pass anyway, we might as well accomplish something EPIC. Live without regrets, be proud of yourself, see the World, overcome fears, surprise yourself, inspire others, create awesome stories, be interesting, be positive, give back and jump for joy.

Be the best version of YOU. Do Epic Shit.

I cannot help but ponder the milestone of my last 5 years and be thankful I decided to jump clear out of my comfort zone. The years have taken me from a really tough 1st mountain experience to marathoner, ultra marathoner, Tough Mudder, Spartan, learning to ride a road bike really far, getting on the podium after my 1st Duathlon experience and capping off 7 climb experiences in 6 different countries.

I’ve changed, my life has changed and my dreams continue to change. This is my new normal and these are all experiences that will take me to the end with a smile on my face. If they were easy, it wouldn’t be worth the effort.

I often get asked about the ‘why’ and ‘what’s’ I’ve pinged off since I began this journey. The ‘why’ I’ve answered, this post is more about the ‘what’s’. It’s not all good, there were some injuries and rejigs along the way, but the journey is completely awesomely unbelievable and the accomplishments unfathomable in my previous life. This IS a journey with no end. There will always be some way for me to prove something to myself; not others, just me. Over the last 5 years I have never once looked back and said, “Gee, I wish I had stayed on that couch watching TV and eating crap in my spare time”.

The event is the reward and below are my rewards. Along the way, there are times we all need to step back, give back, raise money, volunteer or cheer lead to show appreciation for all we are blessed with and the people who give up their time to make things happen for the race community. Let’s not forget how we can help those not as fortunate; we are blessed to be able to take on these challenges. It’s also important to not take ourselves so seriously, put on a costume once in a while, forget about the PB and just have fun!

Here it is in order from July 2012 to November 2017:


  • Mt Beirstad, Colorado – July – 1st mountain climb and practice climb in altitude
  • Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa – Sept – 7 days of climbing and passion discovered! Last minute decision to fundraise for Alzheimers with Sis and Jeff raised $6200 in 4 weeks
  • 3 secretive 5km races – Could not finish any without walk breaks. I tried.
  • Awarded ‘Member of the Year’ by Evolution Fitness

Mt Kilimanjaro with Alison and Jeff $6200 raised for Alzheimers


  • 1st 5k without stopping in 23 years. Still one of my biggest accomplishments!

    Year in Review

  • 1st 10k – TO Yonge Street in April after my 1st winter running group experience 1:07 Time
  • 1st Tough Mudder – In May, it snowed! – If you want to feel really badass do an obstacle race and deal with all your potential fears in one day.
  • 15k – August – My 2013 goal was 10k but my sister pushed me to ramp up for a Half Marathon in 2013
  • Mt Rinjani, Indonesia – Sept – WOW! Most beautiful summit view so far
  • 1st HALF MARATHON – Niagara Falls – Ran 21.1k without stopping! 2:26 Time
  • 10k – 1st BRC Tannenbaum – Took 5:52 off my 10k time!
  • 1st Trail Race – 10k in deep snow. Ouch!
  • 1st 5k race in Full Santa costume – Jeff joined me 🙂

Summit of Mt Rinjani at sunrise


  • 1st Marathon running group began in January
  • 2nd Half Marathon – Chilly Half in Burlington – 6 minutes faster!
  • 1st 30k – Around the Bay race in Hamilton

    2014 Year in Review

  • 10k TO Yonge Street – Under an hour and thrilled!
  • Stress Fracture of my tibia plateau, 6 weeks NO running
  • 1st Spartan obstacle race
  • Give back moment – BRC Jazz run route marshall with Jeff
  • Tough Mudder #2 – Everest obstacle conquered
  • 3rd Half Marathon – Quebec City with my sister
  • 1st 10 Miler – Toronto

    1st Marathon

  • 4th Half Marathon – Prince Edward County – 2:13 PB created tears, wasn’t going out for time but everything was ‘on’ so I just decided to push myself hard. What a difference a year makes, 13 minutes faster!
  • 1st MARATHON – Toronto Waterfront – 4:44 Time Thrilled & still my marathon PB. Even took selfies along the way.
  • Tannenbaum 10k – PB 57:24 Time still stands – Volunteering for kit pickup was good karma
  • 2nd 10 Miler – Boxing Day in Hamilton


2nd Tough Mudder Yes, we did it again!


  • Hair of the Dog 9k with Schnapss 1/2 way & hot brunch. Great race!
  • 2nd Marathon – Disney World – How much fun can you have running a marathon?
  • 5th Half Marathon – Peterborough
  • 6th Half Marathon – Chilly Half in Burlington

    Sister fun run (marathon)

  • CrossFit 5 mornings a week while marathon training caused Adrenal Fatigue diagnosis. “Take these supplements and a long break”, says Doc. “I have goals!”, I said, “Well get lots of sleep and expect your body to give you a hard time”, confirms Doc
  • Became a Motivational Speaker for the Running Room and they keep asking me back 🙂
  • CN Tower Climb – Fundraising for World Wildlife Fund
  • 2nd 30k – Around the Bay
  • 1st DNF but 7th Half Marathon – registered for Toronto Marathon, ran 27k with bad pain and had to pack it in. Micro tears in my IT band OUCH! 4 months NO running.
  • Mt Baker, Washington State – August – 1st glacier climb with crampons, ice axe, crevasses, ropes, ice wall & avalanche threats, So Cool! The Cascades are gorgeous
  • 3rd 10 Miler – Toronto
  • 8th Half Marathon – Toronto Waterfront – Costume & Fundraising for Alzheimers $2200
  • 10km BRC Tannenbaum
  • Santa 5km in Burlington – who doesn’t want to see 3000 Santa’s?!

Ran a Half Marathon in costume Raised $2200 for Alzheimers

2015 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review


  • Trained with Adaptive Running all winter, the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself in run training. They made me an Ambassador
  • 9th Half Marathon – Peterborough Half
  • 10th Half Marathon – Chilly Half in Burlington
  • 4th Marathon – Ottawa – Officially the Hottest Day EVER in Ottawa, my PB went out the door at the halfway point
  • 10km – Inaugural TO Waterfront
  • 1st ULTRA MARATHON – 53k at 53 years! A very HOT Niagara Ultra – Great race!
  • 1st Ultra Marathon

    Mt Elbrus, Russia – Badass climb! 3 Blog Posts will take you through this adventure  1, 2, 3

  • Jumped off a mountain and went paragliding. Big fear dealt with high above a Russian valley.
  • Selected as Digital Champion for the Toronto International Waterfront Marathon!
  • 11th Half Marathon – Prince Edward County – One of my favourite races!
  • 5th Marathon – Toronto Waterfront – Ran in a costume, helped many racers on course & raised $2100 for Cystic Fibrosis (5 Marathons in 2 years + all this other stuff!)
  • Gotta give back – BRC Santa Cheerleader at the Tannenbaum 10k race

Ran a marathon in this! Raised $2100 for Cystic Fibrosis

Hardest challenge so far


  • Loved Guatemala!

    Mt Acetenango, Mt Fuego, Mt Pacaya, Mt San Pedro – Guatemala WOW! Climbing with active volcanoes

  • 5km – Inaugural BRC Easter Run
  • Learnt how to ride a road bike!
  • Ride for Heart – 100km (did extra loop)
  • Ride to Conquer Cancer – Toronto to Niagara Falls – 220km raised $3000
  • 1st Duathlon – 1st Podium – Run, Bike, Run – 3rd place in my age group

    1st Duathlon 1st Podium

  • 1st Commander Challenge – Canada Army Run – 5km followed by my 12th Half Marathon
  • Give back moment – Cheerleader for the TO Marathon helping a local charity, Pegasus, win $1000
  • Pico Turquino, Cuba – climbed across the Sierra Maestra mountain range, 5 mountain tops.
  • 5th BRC Tannenbaum 10k – Cheerleading and marshalling

220km on a bike $3000 for cancer

Cheerleader & Fundraiser

Find what turns you on! For me, I like to change it up, I enjoy the challenge of learning new skills and I definitely love having fun. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined this list. ‘One Hit Wonder’ was more likely in my mind the whole time I was training for that first climb.

The reality is the feeling of accomplishment and the tears that fell as I was scrambling over boulders at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro were a totally new experience for me. From that 1st difficult ascent I have an urgent desire to re-invent those feelings of pride and pain. Just like it gets more difficult for muscles in a well-trained body to hurt, you have to push yourself harder to get the feeling of joy from big challenges. I guess that’s how the term ‘Adrenalin Junkie’ was born.

What’s next? I’ll be turning 55 in December. I have a dream trip in mind 😉

Don’t you want to know what your body and mind are capable of before it’s too late? #LiveWithoutRegret

11 thoughts on “5 Years of Challenges

  1. sneville01

    Karen, you are an amazing, inspiring woman. This post gave me a little bit of much needed energy on a day when I’m feeling tired and depleted, with too much on the go. Just a little reminder to dig a little deeper and keep going!

    Hope to see you soon…


    On Sun, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:18 AM, karengeterdone wrote:

    > karengeterdone posted: “Running, climbing, cycling, obstacle racing, > weight lifting, fundraising, cheerleading, smiling. Time is going to pass > anyway, we might as well accomplish something EPIC. Live without regrets, > be proud of yourself, see the World, overcome your fears, s” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Goal For Everyone – karengeterdone

  3. Pingback: How to fight cancer sitting on your butt! – karengeterdone

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