Hello everyone! My name is Lars Knudsen and I am a freshman Aerospace Engineering major. I am from Horsham, Pennsylvania and I love the outdoors! When I visited the University of Maryland, I heard about a club called the Terrapin Trail Club. Specifically, a hike they sponsor called the 4STATE Challenge which involves hiking a portion of the Appalachian trail through Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The second I heard about this hike I knew I wanted to do it. In total, the hike is roughly 48 miles, and the challenge associated with this is that it must be completed within 24 hours. Prior to doing this hike, I had run a marathon and backpacked hundreds of miles. While planning this hike, my friend Josh DiGiorgio and I thought of the idea of making it a charity hike. With the connections and cause behind Terp Thon we felt that this would be a fantastic organization to support especially in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. For the next few weeks I fundraised on DonorDrive, Instagram, and raised over $1,200 for Children’s National Hospital.
The actual hike was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I started the hike around 4 pm on a Friday and hiked throughout the night. It was rainy, foggy and cold the entire hike and even snowed at one point during the night. The one thing that made the hike bearable was the fact that two of my friends pit crewed for me, so every 8 miles or so I got to see them and they would refill my supplies. I also made sure to call my friends and family multiple times throughout the night. Overall, this was both mentally and physically tough and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I knew the money I raised would be able to save children’s lives. I am very grateful for the fact that I was able to support Terp Thon and support this cause while also completing a very fulfilling challenge!
I would like to thank everyone that supported me in my challenge, especially everyone that donated money and rooted for me throughout the night, as well as my two friends who pit crewed for me. It definitely wouldn’t have been possible without them. If there is one thing I have learned from my hike, it’s that with enough motivation and support from friends and family anything is possible!