A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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A Decade in Review
13 Jan
By 2020Visionquest
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Fireworks over the Piscataqua River and downtown Portsmouth, NH. Over the city scape, between the fireworks right of frame and the North Church steeple are the words "Welcome to 2020" in classic 2020 Vision Quest styling.I only have 5.4 of these decades under my belt so far, and yet, that is enough for me to find a little awe in the 2010-2020 decade of my life. The prior period was a marvel to me and I thought it would be tough to match, but this one has been astounding. The depth and breadth of experience has truly brought my life to a higher summit, literally for certain and metaphorically moreso.

It is the decade in which we made hiking mountains a foundational experience physically and for the 2020 Vision Quest charity we established in 2010 as well. We achieved hundreds of peaks throughout the beautiful White Mountains of NH with the summer and winter summits of the 48 guided by the “Four More Feet” of one Mighty Guide Dog. Thank you, Quinn, for a legendary lifetime of dedication.

To that end, the decade brought me tremendous loss, not only with Quinn’s passing but the death of both my parents in 2012 (Dad) and 2017 (Mom). All are with me always for the powerful influence they made in my life and for the place in my heart and memories where they will always reside. Those memories were captured along with a lifetime of experience in the release of our 104,000+ word memoir, See You At the Summit, which has been received very well.

This book highlights all the chapters of my life, including this decade’s discovery of running (thanks again, Quinn!) and in particular marathons. From my first marathon in Providence, RI with Thor guiding me to the first of two national marathon championships (thank you, Jose and Rodney), I’ve now placed 14 of the 26.2 mile journeys under my treads including, four Boston Marathon finishes. My first was my best at 3:50:37, thanks to Pete, Christine, and Greg.

Along the way we’ve had a movie about the winter 48, thank you Dina and Justin! A New England Emmy Award-winning episode of Windows to the Wild entitled “Hiking in the Dark.” Several video shorts highlight our various adventures including our signature clip on overcoming obstacles by Court Crandall and Oberto in their “Heroes of Summer” as they chronicled our Tough Mudder team out in California.

Speaking of that travel, it was a decade where my travels took me to the Grand Canyon, Scotland, Africa, and Peru–and those are just the broad stroke names of a host of incredible experiences. All of these are no doubt surrounded by, enhanced by, and perhaps made possible by one of the largest and greatest experiences of my life. On October 10, 2010 (yes, 10/10/10), I married Tracy White Pierce and we have continually worked to build our partnership into a challenging, rewarding friendship and love affair with which we welcome all aspects of life’s adventures together. This includes the welcoming of our beautiful pup, Autumn, who conveniently happens to be my Guide dog as well. Her joyous and loving infusion into our lives makes our home complete.

Complete too is this latest decade, but not my life as the journey continues. I don’t know how the next decade might compare but I have no doubt that the possibilities are as limitless as my imagination, determination, and the fortunate support of so many fantastic friends which are always at the root of the life I love. There will be challenges and triumphs, adventures and work aplenty. I’m excited to begin crafting it. Happy 2020 and beyond, everyone!

To summarize, my “top 10” of the decade:

  1. Marriage to Tracy White Pierce has to top the list for the decade (and a “bit” more!)
  2. “Winter Celebrations with the Mighty Quinn” – more like a legendary lifetime of celebration with my beloved boy, but this video is worthy!
  3. Release of our book See You At The Summit is a lifetime accomplishment
  4. Winning the National Marathon Championship in 2014 with Jose and repeating with Rodney in 2018! #NeverImagined
  5. A Trio of Tough Mudders, but none more epic than our Oberto highlight reel video captured in 2015!
  6. New England Emmy Award-winning episode of Windows to the Wild, “Hiking in the Dark,” tells our story to a new audience.
  7. Turning the pages of life poignantly as both Dad and Mom said their final farewells in 2012 & 2017 respectively.
  8. Hike all 48 of NH 4K peaks–also do it in a single winter season and even have a film made about it thanks to Dina Sylvester! “Four More Feet”
  9. Thanks to a tremendous team, hiking the tallest stand-alone mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in 2015
  10. Founded and sustained the charity “2020 Vision Quest” for a decade of accomplishments including a half million dollars in charitable donations to our supported charities, presenting to nearly 100,000 students and thousands more lives along the way. #StillGoingStrong!

Be well,
Randy Pierce

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