At the 2014 O2X Northeast Summit Series, O2X started a tradition and debuted the Rise Higher Award. The idea behind the award was to look at a Summit Challenge as a metaphor for the real life hardships and pain that we are inevitably faced with and to recognize and honor individuals who have risen above that adversity and inspired others with their resilience and strength. After receiving and reviewing numerous submissions from friends and family, O2X nominates a Rise Higher Award recipient for each event and presents their award on race day. At the Grouse Mountain Summit Challenge on July 11, 2015, Dawn Tonge was the recipient of the Rise Higher Award.
After a devastating diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, Dawn has not only maintained a positive outlook but has also continued to challenge herself both mentally and physically. She was nominated for the Rise Higher Award by a close friend who recounted numerous examples and stories that speak to Dawn’s positive spirit, her athletic prowess, and her incredible ability to push others to do great things and reach beyond their limits. Since her diagnosis, Dawn has run rim to rim in the Grand Canyon, completed both an adventure race in Ireland and the Polar marathon, hiked Machu Piccu, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and completed Seek the Peak twice (the list goes on!).
Dawn – we are so honored to have you as a part of the community and thank you for coming out to be a part of O2X at Grouse Mountain. We wish you all the best in your pursuit of a life filled with adventure, dedication, and inspiration and can’t wait to see you at a future Summit Challenge. #risehigher
*We are accepting submissions for the 2015 Loon Mountain Summit Challenge Rise Higher Award – please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Rise Higher” in the subject line if you have an O2X racer in mind who has displayed extreme perseverance and strength in the face of life’s challenges. We would love to hear their story and are continually inspired by instances of extreme resilience and Human Performance.