Lisa Hammond climbed her first '14er at age 46 and knew from there she wanted to do something physically challenging every year. So she started a new tradition.
The Castle Rock resident now celebrates her birthday by doing a lap on the town's 200-step incline for every year she's been alive.
In 2019 she tackled five laps on a Saturday and 42 on a Sunday to mark her 47th birthday. This year she wanted to do all the laps in one sitting.
On June 27, she arrived at Philip S. Miller Park by 5:30 a.m., headed up the incline and didn't stop until she completed 48 laps.
The task took more than four hours, she said.
“It was pretty challenging. I think around lap 39 I was questioning myself but once I got past 40, I was good,” she said.
Hammond said she averages 10 to 15 laps when exercising at the incline, called Challenge Hill, outside of her birthday tradition. She works out daily at her local gym. She also snowboards, hikes and enjoys weightlifting. She once tried an 18-mile run over Imogene Pass near Ouray, but only did it once, she said.
As a nurse practitioner, Hammond is a firm believer in staying fit and focusing on wellness, she said. But it is the need to push her limits that Hammond said motivates her to keep up the Challenge Hill tradition.
When she first shared the idea with her four children, “they were just like, 'Mom, you're crazy,'” Hammond recalled. This year her husband, Danny, congratulated her with flowers after she finished her the workout.
Looking forward, Hammond is not sure how many years she'll keep it running. For now she hopes her to inspire others to push themselves physically as well.
“We'll see,” she said with a laugh. “When I get to 50, I'll do 50 and then I'll be done.”
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