I moved at over 3.5 miles per hour despite feeling like I was leisurely walking… but it would soon catch up to me. Four days before my first and only ultramarathon, I had a wave of anxiety and decided I needed to run the entire Tenmile Range to make sure my body could handle the elevation and abuse of the upcoming 50k race. I was fueled by fear. “It was a critical point, because I knew I had finally made up the distance I had lost, but it cost precious time,” he said. Despite the quick pace, being a decent human came first. Princeton. The trail had immediately become so difficult. Immediately pressure and liquid was released from my foot and I felt better. My body just wanted to sit and snack, but I only allowed the thought to manifest once. Nine days, 8 hours and 18 minutes: That’s how quickly Jeff Garmire hiked the 486-mile Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver last week — a record time. The climb was relatively gentle, but the heat was drastically different from the cool weather and precipitation of the last two days. It was late morning and the trees unnaturally blew in the wind, a crumbled stump moved like a bear, and a safari guide sat peering through his binoculars at me. Griswold, incidentally, has the record for most votes received by a Colorado woman, with 1,116,693 in the 2018 election. It had been the most unique challenge I had ever undertaken. It began to stick on the ground as I crossed over multiple logging roads. Waterton Canyon was hot and heat glistened off the gravel. Being successful allowed my mind to wander to even more ridiculous and painful challenges. I knew it was unsustainable, yet my legs kept pumping. The trail meandered through the forest, across the ridges with amazing views, and turned through Tennessee Pass. The excitement of the trail disappeared quickly, leaving only the realization of the uncomfortable weight on my back and the difficult climb underfoot. Most people who set out to cover the entire Colorado Trail route take two to three weeks, carrying heavy backpacks full of gear and food. Copper Mountain Ski Resort felt within reach. Slowly after the crest, my route dropped down to Clear Creek Road. It would have to wait for a lower elevation to consume. The elevation was behind me for the morning. We said our goodbyes and I charged on, newly rejuvenated after blowing someone’s mind! Home 1gridPREPS Football: Cherokee Trail evens record with 35-14 win over Rocky Mountain Cherokee Trail's Jack Pierce (11) eludes a Rocky Mountain defender on his way upfield during the second half of the Cougars' 35-14 non-league football win over the Lobos on Oct. 29, 2020, at Legacy Stadium. Jeff Garmire. “The mood was kind of sour.”, Things didn’t improve on day four, as they once again started on the trail late. My watch was set along with multiple alarms on my phone. Still early in the adventure, I reminded myself: this is Colorado and the sun will be out again before I know it. It was a smooth trail, well groomed with continual use close to civilization. We had even booked rooms in hotels and cabins that we had planned on sleeping in night months in advance. I was completely out of food. It was time to sleep for a few hours in the brutal cold of 12,000 feet…. But, any hopes of breaking nine days were slowly slipping away. At the very least, the extra layer would take the edge off the biting wind. I would be introduced to the Collegiate Wilderness and a visit to the alpine once again. With the strength left in my legs, it wouldn’t necessarily be a sprint, but a mental success at arriving within a realistic distance of the end. “When I heard that I was really bummed; we had planned on running the trail together, and now I was alone. It was a challenge that had never been done as part of the CDT or my even longer GWL, but I thought there was at least a sliver of hope for me completing it in under the cutoff of 60 hours. The horizon transitioned from black to gray and the rain turned to sleet as I climbed over the 12,500’ passes. If I could maintain a keen alertness for mountain bikes approaching, I could let my head swivel and absorb the majesty of the ridgeline.. Hikers were everywhere at the pass. 9d12h32m (E-W) The first speed record on the Colorado Trail happened in 1988, almost immediately after the trail was completed -- so soon that the route was hard to follow in many spots. After my second nap of the darkness, the daily push began at 4am. I could only imagine the cold at 13,000’. “Bryan had been alone for the past couple days, and his running partner Eric had to drop two days earlier, so he was a little down,” Stonesmith said. The first nap would take place anytime after dark when I felt I needed it, and the second would take place sometime before dawn. It was incredible to see the far-out peaks and to be walking through a landscape similar to the Lord of the Rings. It turned out to be quite a poor idea. Colorado Trail Info: For the most part, the Colorado Trail is very well marked. The segments of productivity were painfully small and every flat rock looked like the most inviting place to take a seat. I huffed and puffed and felt like each step was the last I could take. There were shimmers of hallucinations. After a day in cow country, the water flowing across the trail was a welcome reprieve. When I developed this strategy, it was cloudy, but patches of blue sky were scattered overhead as I passed some sheep and a small structure. By that time, the Colorado Trail Race, which challenges mountain bike riders to ride the entire trail, was just 3 years old. That's how long it took Jeff Garmire to cover 485 miles from Durango to Denver on the Colorado Trail, shattering the previous speed record by more than four hours.. Garmire ran the entire length of the trail unsupported carrying … The trail first traveled through a small subdivision. My body had worn down at the same rate as my pack weight and despite every attempt to maximize the hours of hiking, I could not add more miles to my average. Scott Jaime, the previous record-holder, who had been following Williams’ progress, showed up at Kenosha Pass and ran a leg with him, giving a lot of positive encouragement. I made mistakes along the way and would do things differently if there was ever any reason to do the Colorado Trail in an unsupported style again. I slowly circled around San Luis Peak, crossing the pass and losing all the altitude I worked so hard to gain with descents immediately following each climb. It seemed that despite my early blunder with oversleeping, things were falling in my favor. I hobbled downhill as quickly as I could until I hit my arbitrary goal, where I quickly set up my tent (for fear of rain) and passed out like a rock. I eventually had the trail to myself again. It was indeed mindless. The trail would not be mine again for some time. A light rain woke me up, and I began my 2nd day in the pitch black night, well before the first hints of morning began. But even so, I wasn’t ready to give up on it. But the trail was no longer a physical feat but a mental battle, and the thought of gaining altitude slowed the pace of my feet. I tried headphones and loud music, but that only frustrated me. It was the heat of the day and I tried to find small bits of shade to complete my sporadic dry heaving. Nine days, eight hours, and 18 minutes. “I thought to myself, I’ve been training for 400 miles to run a 100-mile race, and I have 29 hours to do it,” he said. No period of rest exceeded 40 minutes, but it took three down periods to combat the nighttime figures my mind was creating. My knees were locking up and my muscles screamed. “I gave up, and in that moment, I learned to trust others, to really trust my crew. On the final switchbacks to the CDT, I tried to eat a Clif bar. When he finished running his first mile, he signed up for his first marathon. A climb that took all my stamina and motivation to endure. Only a couple days ago it had been snowing on me. The giant bright moon sat just above the opposite ridge, and lit up the landscape more completely than my headlamp could. I would carry everything I needed from Durango to Denver. At roughly 9 years old I can only imagine how bored she was of the same continuous view. It was the first challenge where I truly considered what I had gotten myself into. Its highest point is 13,271 feet (4,045 m) above sea level, and most of the trail is above 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The trail had really tallied up some challenges along the way. In my diminished morning state, the snowflakes glittering in the light of my headlamp and fluttered through my vision. But things didn’t go right, from the very first day all the way until the last day. I crossed Highway 114 and the weather stayed mild. The mystery rages on. I knew I was done setting up my tent for the rest of the CT, so I threw out my items under the stars and took a nap. I tried to push my legs into a jog but the pace was only controlled falling as I descended. The solo unsupported style amplifies mistakes and provides few opportunities to either make up time or right a sinking ship. I would not have the luxury. “But really, it was an amazing experience, and I just want people to realize that they are capable of so much more. Veteran adventurer and trail runner Peter Bakwin of Boulder, Colo., started and maintains the website Fastest Known Time as an unofficial record keeper for FKTs and attempts. Two runners seeking Colorado Trail record finishes had to drop out after each completed more than 225 miles of the 485-mile route on record-setting paces. I spent the morning dodging the bikes all the way to Highway 91. But when they opened they saw daylight. Massive Trailhead and entered several miles of wilderness. I donned a rain skirt and cinched my rain jacket tight. I spent my first summer in the Mile High City climbing all 58 14ers in the state. It is like losing a relationship you tried so hard to maintain. On September 21, Mike McKnight set a new men’s supported fastest known time (FKT) on the Colorado Trail while traveling west to east and by using the trail’s Collegiate East variation. It is the crux of the route, at the intersection of sleep deprivation and tough terrain. I planned to both ration food and be without for the last day. The night went surprisingly smoothly. Not only was he impressed I knew the mascot of LSU, but he also couldn’t wrap his mind around the idea of backpacking for 500 miles. It was short and I woke up ready to move quickly. I crawled in deeper and stayed protected from the cold for 30 more minutes. Every part of me was tired, so tired that sitting in a chair felt like hard work. Within the hour, the drizzle had turned to a true rain and then eventually a snow. “I remember the first day when I could run all the way around the block, that was the coolest thing for me,” he said. Over the next few years I explored Colorado in every way that I could. I overslept by two hours. It was over. Upon waking up, I knew the beginning of my day would be tame, so my pace was fast. Garmire made the 486-mile journey in nine days, 8 hours, and 18 minutes. Denver led 41-24 after the first quarter. The last third had become a battle of desire and feasibility. I so badly wanted to make it to Twin Lakes, but being many hours short, I put any planning out of my mind. A short time after the crossing I tossed my sleeping bag out on top of the soft pine needles and slept. With my heavy thru-hiker’s pack, I had walked down to the fish hatchery and given the challenge everything I had. Mikaela Osler’s goal was to finish the Colorado Trail in a record 14 days. A short climb into rattling aspen trees and I was back into the woods. It is the area I know best of any in the entire United States, so I wanted to find a different way to experience the CT. At first I considered a self-supported FKT, caching food along the route. Photo credit: Mikaela Osler. I went from inspired at Kenosha Pass to simply ready to be done. The last time I spent any amount of time in Colorado was when I lived in Denver after college. The intersection of 390A out of Winfield and the Colorado Trail on the morning of the sixth day; Bryan (in front) being paced by previous CT record holder Scott Jaime on the final day; Early morning on the third day atop Carson Pass, the highest point on the Colorado Trail. But starting early on the morning of Aug. 26, Williams and his friend Eric Truhe set off to try and run the trail in under 8 days and 7 hours, the previous fastest known time record set by ultrarunner Scott Jaime in 2013. Indeed, his organization has issued more than 500 certificates for finishers of the 485-mile trail. It was frustrating, especially in the intermittent periods of rain that came and went as quickly as I could pull on my rain gear. The early morning miles are always a blur, and this was no different. I ate my food at the perfect pace and was content with everything I had packed. Despite the awful morning weather, this was the daily moment where I knew I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else or doing this any other way. I cruised over the hills in a refreshingly chilly breeze. Colorado Trail Record (FKT) Trip Report. I wanted to finish so bad but with miles still remaining I turned my legs to autopilot and tried to maintain steady progress. All of that was thrown out after the first day.”. A swift climb up Snow Mesa followed, and my legs began to feel the day. My choice for Collegiate East came down to time and mileage. Any time elevation is so casually lost, it is followed by a bit of remorse. I hiked through the last dark hours before morning, never eclipsing 3 miles per hour. At the top of the climb I had 13 miles left and the day was growing hot. By the end of the first night Williams and Truhe were already several hours behind schedule. But going into hour two of the terrible weather, I shifted to accepting this bad weather would only aid in knocking down some of the fires and smoke that I feared would blow into the area. It felt like just another day of extreme physical exertion. More plateau grassland awaited at 12,000’ but I had to coax my tired legs to carry me there. But with 2020 full of calls for hikers to avoid putting unnecessary strain on trail towns, I put more thought into it and decided this could be my chance to take on a new kind of challenge: Unsupported for nearly 500 miles. It was cold, clear, and refreshing. Every mile my hands fell to my knees for a session of dry heaving. First I dropped down to Animas River and crossed the railroad tracks. In the desperate attempt to turn my mood around I had binge eaten the last of my calories last night. But in the driving rain my pace was slow. I turned right onto the Collegiate East section and quickly dropped down Fooses Creek. But now that I had, I could only focus on how tired my legs were and absent my mind felt throughout the day. My focus struggled to stay on the ground. Williams was way behind on his record attempt, but now the trail became more familiar as it mirrored part of the Leadville 100 course, a race he had run before. This was both to psychologically feel like I had a good start to this attempt and to physically feel like I was in a good position moving into the difficult terrain on days 2 and 3. It was gentle but it was also hot. The later the morning grew the more gentle the storm became. I was out of water, but as I walked through a fire station that I knew gave out water I put any thought of using a man made source out of my mind. I had finished my hike at 2:43pm for a final time of 9 days, 8 hours, and 18 minutes. With new found resolve I crossed Clear Creek on a bridge, walked by all the loud RVs with generators running, and ascended up to the top of another mesa. My eyes were on Kenosha Pass. My pace jumped to 4 miles per hour, which in most cases would be unsustainable for hours on end with a heavy pack. In every direction, it felt as though I were on top of the world. My eyes opened to the sound of an alarm. Each intersection required a glance at the map to assure I didn’t end up heading the wrong direction. It was disorienting and spooky. I crossed Marshall Pass Road and climbed back up to the Divide. I topped it off with a few electrolytes and tried to methodically climb the switchbacks from 9,300’ to 11,900’. All motivation had to come from within, and I would not be calling out for the support from family or friends. My pace slowed to a crawl and my mind and body fought over the desire to keep pushing versus the need for sleep. I used most of my water flavoring on this day to counteract the cow-manure laden streams and troughs that I depended on for water. This was the last 150 miles, and it was time to ignore every temptation to slow down. I ran out of water too far before Highway 9 and the final mile was defined by a sandpaper tongue and unquenchable thirst. I quickly turned back and forth down the switchbacks to the banks of Twin Lakes. The Colorado Trail is a long-distance trail running for 486 miles (782 km) from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango in Colorado, United States. I filled up water from Lujan Creek before finally climbing into the mountains and away from the questionable water sources. I had tried incorporating faster miles into my days with the hopes of maintaining a striking distance of breaking my arbitrary goal of a 9-day unsupported hike. It was like a switch flipped, before I knew they had my best interest at heart, but now I just trusted them, deeply, physically, emotionally.”. I could not increase that already daunting mileage in this unsupported style. I hobbled down the back side of the pass and slept at just over 50 miles. I was up and moving before 4 am and I finished the climb up to Kokomo Pass and immediately felt the 12,000’ altitude that had been absent for the last segment. The second half of the Colorado Trail FKT really began on this fifth night. I saw multiple hikers in this area and it seemed the tale of the man wearing a tiger sweatshirt had traveled. This gave me something to consider for hours as I slowly lost elevation on one side but could see how I would gain it on another. It was a gentle trail and a nice reprieve from the bustling traffic even in the early morning along the roads. The scenery is dark, with only a faint moonlight and my mind has not fully snapped to attention. Resigned to the fact that a time under 9 days had slipped away, I took a short nap. The fact that it was so hard is the same fact that made it so appealing. After 16 hours of pushing on day five, Williams was bonking hard, uncontrollably sobbing, seeing faces in the rocks of the endless talus fields; he was ready to give up, to call it quits. The last of the light faded on the final climb. The last ten miles of the day would be brutal, but my afternoon would be mild. Added new Men’s Colorado Trail Race record by Jesse Jakomait. The terrain would transition from the gentle pine-needle covered trail of yesterday afternoon to multiple climbs and descents. My mind and body were thoroughly exhausted. A few short miles later I was back below 10,000’ at the Silver Creek Trailhead. Bikes appeared and my final descent to the finish began. I stowed the rest of the bar in my pocket. The last few moments on the high divide provided views that rivaled the San Juans. A stone’s throw from the water, the trail turned straight east toward the dam. Then at Tennessee Pass his coach, Cindy Stonesmith, surprised him to pace him for the day. I tried more caffeine and forced down the last of my calories, but nothing improved my pace. I followed the river and eventually turned up Elk Creek. The alarm was set for one hour, and when it started buzzing, I felt like a new person. DENVER | Paul Millsap scored 18 points and Nikola Jokic had 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets Wednesday night in a 126-95 exhibition win over Portland. I was moving at 2 miles per hour with many breaks mixed in. The parking lot was full and both sides of the highway were packed. But as I climbed up Blackhawk Pass around Mile 46, my body began to scream “No More!” I desperately wanted (and needed) to get over 50 miles. . “Our goal was to try and run the entire trail in one push, to just see if we could run for 500 miles,” Williams said a few days after finishing, “but in the back of our minds, we thought, if we can do it right, if things go right, we might have a chance at breaking the record.”. “The only thing I have control over, I kept thinking, was eating and moving, so I started eating and eating, taking time at the creek crossings to cool down, and just really appreciating where I was, my crew, my daughter, my girlfriend,” he recalled. The trail meandered along the spine, sometimes connected only by a thin edge winding around the next curve of the montains. To get to where I wanted to be, it would be a long night. Dauwalter, 35, of Golden, had stepped onto the start of the Colorado Trail in Durango Wednesday at 2 p.m. with a goal to run the 486 miles to Denver in record time. My motivation was there, but the sleep was starting to wear on me. Added new Tour Divide records, both male and female, from the 2015 event. There was a breeze and an intermittent drizzle, but overall it felt like the only missing piece to a day of big miles was the sun cresting the horizon. On day two, my hands had been so cold that I wanted to throw up. Clambering over multiple quarter-mile sections littered with debris and crisscrossed logs slowed my pace to a literal crawl over nature’s toothpicks. The plan was to change my sleep schedule for the second half of the FKT, but when I went to sleep on night five I postponed the style change for another day. It was a slow progression through the landscape, but at a quick pace. After almost 30 miles for the day, I was ready to enjoy the gentle miles separating me from San Luis Peak. “Honestly, when I finished I was a bit bummed that it was over,” he said. I have spent time in every town along the trail, and throughout my adventures I’d already hiked over 90% of its length. I would not be drinking again until the South Platte River. The 14,000 foot peaks provided both a goal and 58 individual challenges. Garmire, 28, crossed the finish line the next day in 9 days, 8 hours and 18 minutes, breaking the trail record by about five hours. Not only would we be complying with the definition of unsupported, but we would take it even further. After winding through the rows of houses, the dreaded climb began. I prepared to embark on the journey by cramming 8.5 days worth of food (one full day less than I expected to need) and enough gear to simply endure the worst weather I could end up in. But then a disturbance to my left stopped me and I saw a giant bull moose shaking his head in the bushes. The moments of frustration were why I was out here. The Colorado Trail Race is on for 2021 The grand depart for the self-timed, self-supported, ultra-endurance bikepacking race is July 25, 2021 in Durango, Colorado. The first miles of the day leave only traces in my memory. Every crooked limb on a tree or downed log immediately became a limb of a walking night creature. The hikers at the water source did not hold me up, but also had enough questions to make my time there eventful. But my legs didn’t have the speed of day one. I followed the road to the turnoff and climbed back into the hills of the San Juan Mountains. As I twisted and turned over ridges and aspen forests, my mind was only on the future and the awaiting cross of Kenosha Pass. The site includes recommendations for establishing an FKT, namely to announce your intentions, keep records for accountability and be an open book to inquiries. I was over 300 miles in, and it finally felt like a morning on autopilot where the target pace could be achieved. Then the dawn came, and I could turn off my headlamp. Despite the weekend, the trail users were light. It was a unique style and one that had already surpassed the Long Trail in the length that my mind worked within itself. Around 4am I was woken by a slight rain and quickly packed up. The elevation gain began with small climbs and descents, but as I neared my goal for the day, it got even more difficult. My girlfriend shoved a cold Gatorade in my hand and I leaned over to lay in the grass. I enjoy the task, challenge, and mental oscillation of highs and lows, but not the physical measuring of when the challenge will be over. Colorado native broke the record for the fastest solo unsupported hike. “That began the toughest, darkest day and night for me,” he said. I had the new Colorado Trail Unsupported FKT. The goal of 9 days was slipping away and by morning it was completely gone. The temporary blips in reality were gone, and I slowly kept slogging toward Twin Lakes. On this day I was tired, but not on the verge of falling asleep like I had been two years ago. I wanted to avoid all emotional support, or anything that could conceivably be seen as emotional support. How could we film this record while staying within the boundaries of an unsupported attempt? I finally crested the final climb at a snail’s pace. When I checked my progress in the morning I saw that it took 13 hours to cover 22 miles. Jennifer Pharr-Davis set the self-supported female record for this trail at 7 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes. In a fit of rage, I stuffed my tent and sleeping bag in my pack and took off. My hands stayed in my pockets to avoid the pre-dawn chill. “We got to Carson Pass on the second night at like 2:30 in the morning.”. It was a night of watching stumps come to life, trees staring intently, and the pulsing of nature with each gust of wind. It was the beginning of the progression to what led me here. Now on day 8, I was so hot I feared dehydration or another heat-related malady. Hikers were a constant all the way to the Ben Tyler Trail junction. Breathing the dry air with a hint of smoke along with the altitude set my stomach against me. “By the second day we had lost serious time, we ran out of water, we were seriously dehydrated, and just falling behind,” Willams said. Despite the amazing day in the mountains and crossing a trailless spine, my legs were sore and heavy by the time race day came along. Within 11 hours I had covered almost 43 miles and it was still broad daylight. I now would take two naps per night instead of one longer period of sleep. It would motivate me, but also keep my pack light enough to manage at the beginning. My alarms had been going off for hours. I wanted to push with little sleep, but my mind was failing. My pace quickened across the open expanse and I finally crossed Spring Creek Pass. After all, the 2016 unsupported record holder, John Z, had made an amazing video about his attempt. I quickly moved on and entered Lost Creek Wilderness. It was soon nothing more than a socked-in ridge which was reminiscent of growing up in the Pacific Northwest. I ate one of my best snacks: coconut chocolate covered almonds and considered it motivation enough to keep pushing. 15 was my high school sports number and I have always used it as a benchmark when putting something off. I didn’t make it to my goal but left it for the morning. I had seen this fictional safari guide multiple times over the last few days and I could never decide if he was spying on me or simply observing me. But today was perfect. I knew the fun part of this FKT had begun. But with the mistakes I made, I learned more than any other physical challenge I have ever completed. “From the start things started to unravel,” Williams recounted.