Our next climber spotlight is the first of three Blazey’s that will be climbing Kilimanjaro with us. Jerry and his two sons, Ben and Sam, are avid outdoorsmen and look forward to the experience of climbing the largest freestanding mountain in the world together. Jerry was also one of our climbers that logged 16 miles in five hours during last weekend’s training session on the Great Western Trail.
Q: Who are you?
A: My name is Gerald C. Blazey, but I go by the first name, Jerry. I’m in my early sixties and a resident of Kaneville, IL on the western edge of Kane County, IL.
Q: What do you do?
A: I’m a professor of physics at Northern Illinois University serving as Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships. When time allows, I also work on a rare muon decay experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL.
Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?
A: My three biggest hobbies are long distance biking, in-line skating, and backpacking.
Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
A: The chance to trek a stratovolcano reaching over 19,000 feet in altitude and to take in Tanazani from the summit.
Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 foot mountain?
A: Biking for extended periods and with high effort three to five times a week and weightlifting as often.
Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?
A: All of them!
Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain.
A: Nope, this is my first time out.
Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?
A: Essential, wouldn’t be able to perform my job or enjoy down-time otherwise.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Not a book, but Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. I imagine the summit of Kilimanjaro will be reminiscent of Mars.
Q: What is your favorite memory from school?
A: Solving intricate mathematical or physics problems.
Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?
A: To summit Kilimanjaro, see Olduvai Gorge, and take a safari; the rigors of Kilimanjaro are daunting.
Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?
A: So we can leave as much good will in Tanzania as we receive.
To support Jerry’s fundraising goal for the climb, visit his 2019 Kilimanjaro Climb page and donate today!