BETHEL — Madelyn K. Given of Poland, a retired teacher and grandmother, will discuss "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" at the final spring meeting of Down Home Maine, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 3, at the Bethel Congregational Church, Church Street.
Given's age-group record-setting journey as a North bound through hiker on the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, took more than four months to complete. She hiked more than 2,000 miles across 14 states over rugged mountains and wilderness terrain.
Down Home Maine is sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College to showcase unique and adventurous Maine people and this spring's series focused on strong and courageous women who serve as powerful role models.
"Mrs. Given's record of accomplishments certainly serves her motto, 'Dare to be different,' very well," said Peter Gartner, WMSC program committee chair.
When Given retired from teaching, she began to take on some outstanding adventures. She became the first woman in Maine to run a marathon on every continent: the Antarctica Marathon; the Athens, Greece Marathon; the First Sahara Marathon; the Great Wall of China Marathon; the Gold Coast Australia Marathon; the Vina Del Mar Chile Marathon; and the Maine Marathon.
She also began climbing high mountains, one on each of the five continents: Kilimanjaro in Africa, Kosciusko in Australia, Aconcagua in South America, Elbrus in Europe and Denali in North America. The Appalachian Trail hike was her most recent.
Given, a native of Maine, ran other marathons, including the New York City Marathon, and traveled to other areas of the world. She said, "The value of these adventures is the self-confidence that is gained, helping others along the way, making lifelong friends, cultivating courage, committing yourself and giving it your all. It is living your dreams and seeing them all come true."
As a married mother of two grown children and a grandmother of two young granddaughters, she also enjoys being close to home.
The program is open to the public and admission is free. Donations will be accepted to offset senior college expenses. For more information, contact Gartner at 665-2181.