Join the 2015 Moccasin Lake Challenge

Step by step, mile by mile.

Participating in last year’s Moccasin Lake Challenge, Kelly Goede didn’t expect to finish the 18 mile journey. But the encouragement of the volunteers, her two friends and an inner desire gave Goede and her tired body the strength to finish. Touching the ice cold water of the lake is a moment the Riverton resident will never forget.

“I cried,” Goede, Teton Athletic Club manager, said. “It was very emotional. I thought, ‘I can’t believe I did this.’”

At 47 years old, Goede said, the challenge gave her a new confidence to face life and its obstacles head on. Participating in this year’s event as a volunteer, which will be held September 5, Goede looks forward to passing on that same empowering feeling.

“The Moccasin Lake Challenge is part of my heart now,” she said. “It will change your life.”

Last year, Organizer Michael Chingman said, 244 volunteers and runners took part in the event. Starting at the bottom of the Wind River Mountain Range, participants run the 18 mile distance from Fort Washakie to Moccasin Lake. Volunteers are stationed at multiple resting points to provide water, food and encouragement.

In its fourth year, Chingman is expecting over 500 participants from all over the Rocky Mountain Region. All year, individuals have contacted Chingman asking how they can help with the event which has brought together the community in a positive way.

“This year’s challenge is showing me how people can come together for the passion of life,” he said. “It’s about seeing the bright in people. It’s something you dream of.”

Chingman wants individuals to remember that the challenge isn’t a race and those who fear they won’t complete the journey shouldn’t let that stop them.

“Use that fear,” he said. “Just see how far you can go. I guarantee you will see your life in a different view.”

This year’s challenge is dedicated to all military veterans and the memory of Taylor Harris. Participants are encouraged to donate $20 which will be used for a community feast that will be held September 12 at Rocky Mountain Hall. Sponsors for the event include Wind River Hotel and Casino, Eastern Shoshone Business Council, Eastern Shoshone Housing, Eastern Shoshone Entertainment, Eastern Shoshone Commode Program, Eastern Shoshone Tribal Health, Juvenile Services, Ft Washakie School Recreation Board, Wyoming Indian High School, Red Recon, T.E.R.O, Wind River Veterans Program, Destiny Program, Fremont Motors, Wind River Dialysis Center and the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR).

Registration starts 8 a.m. at the Rocky Mountain Hall with the run beginning at 9 a.m. For the opening ceremony, Chingman said, tee pees will be set up along the starting point with a local color guard conducting the flag ceremony. Local drum groups will also be providing music for this year’s event.

“It’s just going to be beautiful,” he said.

For more information or to volunteer, Chingman can be reached at 307 349 7290.