12• August 6, 2014 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
South Pole adventurers honored at Fest Meet 2014 grand marshals Chris and Marty Fagan
his past winter, Chris and Marty Fagan of North Bend made a life-changing journey to the South Pole. They’re getting a hometown hurrah this summer, named grand marshals of the Festival at Mount Si Parade. “It seemed like, what an amazing thing that they’ve done!” said Festival committee chairwoman Jill Massengill. “They’re local. We wanted to make sure we honored local celebrities.” Below, Chris Fagan answers questions about their selection and what’s happening to this adventuresome couple now.
How does it feel to be selected to represent your community?
Chris and Marty Fagan at the south pole marker in January.
Faces, meet pies
“It is quite an honor to be selected to represent North Bend at the Festival of Mount Si. We love this community that we’ve lived in for 12 years. We love the small town feel and positive spirit. We are so fortunate to live in a community that embraced us throughout our expedition experience.”
High-stakes gorging at Twede’s Cherry Pie Eating Contest
What are you two up to now?
Kids and adults get messy and very, very full in the Twede’s Cafe Cherry Pie Eating Contest, happening at 2:15 p.m. at the Community Stage. In this competition, hungry challengers attempt to eat as many pies as possible in five minutes. The winner usually eats close to two whole pies, fruit, crust and all. Entrants will be divided into two age groups; age 5 to 12, and 13 and above. Winners will take home a mini-pig trophy and bragging rights. Twede’s Cafe, which has sponsored the event since its inception, supplies the fresh-baked, homemade pies. Participants devise creative stage names to represent themselves, and spectators cheer for their favorites by ‘name’ as competitors pig-out on pie. Those interested in competing are encouraged to register at 1 p.m. at the information booth on Saturday, as there will only be enough pie for a limited number of adults and children. Then it’s just a matter of working up an appetite and scarfing down as many pies as possible. The event draws upwards of 300 spectators and creates quite a bit of noise. Contestants need to be at the stage by 1:45 p.m., and all eaters must fill out a waiver form. Children under 18 must have their parents sign; you must be at least age 5 to take part. The contest has made good use of the staple cherry pies at Twede’s Cafe. The pastries got a shot of fame from the Twin Peaks cult mystery series; Cafe owner Kyle Twede says he goes through about 70 pies a week. They’re Twede’s most popular item. Twede advises contestants to stretch their stomachs prior to the contest. Another tip: Be hungry.
“We are both back to our regular routines, enjoying more free time since we aren’t spending every free moment planning and training. We are speaking at various organizations, sharing our story and hopefully inspiring others along the way. We are back to ultra-running and spending time in the mountains. I am working at my consulting business, SparkFire. Marty is getting back to work as a director of facilities and real estate.”
The Fagans’ polar trek
What do you think the significance of your polar trek is to your lives? “Our expedition reinforced our belief that to grow, we must push beyond our comfort zones and imagine possibilities that seem beyond our reach. Like past adventures, Marty and I grew even closer through our Antarctica experience. “When times got tough, it was ultimately the love and support of our family, friends and fans that gave us the final push to the pole. Feeling that deep connection and unconditional love, that’s what really matters in life. “In the end, our journey became bigger than us. Discovering the different ways that we inspired kids and adults made the expedition that much more worthwhile.”
Do people always ask you about it? Do you get tired of talking about it?
Their 2014 South Pole trip was three years in the making for North Bend’s Chris and Marty Fagan. The couple spent nine hours a day for nearly 50 days dragging 200-plus pounds of food and supplies across nearly 600 miles of glacier in round-the-clock daylight. The Fagans left home Nov. 17. As team 3 Below Zero, on Jan. 18, they completed that trip, an unguided, unsupported (no re-supply) and unassisted (powered solely by their own muscles), skiing expedition from the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole, 560 miles away. They were the first American married couple to make the trek. Visit the Fagans’ website at www.3belowzero.com.
“We feel honored when people ask us about our expedition and are thrilled to meet people who actually followed along during our trip. Talking about our South Pole adventure is a joy since it holds such a special place in our hearts.”
Have you ever taken part in the Festival at Mount Si? What’s your favorite part? “We enjoy the variety of events offered by the Festival at Mount Si—there is something for everyone. When our son was younger, he loved the bouncy house and discovering the fun arts and crafts booths catered to kids. We always look forward to listening to awesome music with beautiful Mount Si as a backdrop.”
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