10 x 14,000 feet in 24 Hours
Newton Athlete Chris “Big Sexy” McDonald broke the World Record this week for climbing the most 14ers in 24 hours. Chris climbed 10 x 14ers (a mountain with a peak over 14,000 feet) in 21 hours and 50 minutes, a new World Record by 1.5 hours. The journey was so much bigger than the record, below is his wife Erika’s account of the previous two weeks.
“Although Chris had been training for this feat for some time, his dedication took on a deeper meaning after the senseless murder of my little cousin, Nathan Garza. On Sunday, August 16th, Nathan was in a Safeway parking lot, delivering groceries, when a man drove up and shot him 3 times. A cowardly act, with no rhyme or reason. Nathan and the murderer had zero previous contact. It was just a senseless and evil crime.”
Nathan was only 18 and an avid baseball player with dreams of playing in the MBL. Chris got to know him at our family gatherings and unbeknownst to me, Nathan had talked to Chris about what it was like to be a Professional Athlete, etc. Knowing Nathan’s dream, and the sad fact that a murderer took that dream from him, pushed Chris to train even harder. He dedicated his attempt to break the World Record in honor of Nathan. We had a special shirt made for Chris to wear. Nathan’s last name (Garza) and the number 14 (Nathan’s baseball number) printed on the back of Chris’ shirt, written in forest green-Nathan’s favorite color. Our family took a baseball from Nathan’s practice bag and wrote messages of love on it. Chris carried the baseball for the entire 21 hours and 50 minutes, leaving it on top of the last summit.
After Chris finished, he hugged me and said, “Every time I thought about Nathan I got emotional. Poor guy never got the chance.”