Touching the Waterton Canyon sign, the unofficial finish point, Williams completed the Colorado Trail in 8 days, 30 minutes on September 3, 2017. I planned to hike through until morning, but I did leave the possibility of a power nap open if the weather offered a break. Each would be about 45 minutes long, with 15 minutes of downtime on each side to collect myself. Sunlight shone into my tarp and my anxiety spiked. “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. His mom got a dog for his daughter, and in walking the dog every day he started to think about running and getting in shape. The trail seemed perfectly graded and the intermittent rain showers cooled me down as I climbed straight into the San Juans. There were shimmers of hallucinations. First I dropped down to Animas River and crossed the railroad tracks. Along the footpath, across the highway, and back up towards the mountains. Jennifer Pharr-Davis set the self-supported female record for this trail at 7 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes. . Thin, clear frozen sheets clung to all sides and rested on the shell of the tarp I used as a groundsheet. Darkness hit and my energy vanished between Tennessee Pass and crossing Highway 24. The goal of 9 days was slipping away and by morning it was completely gone. Day 2 was supposed to be a day of stacking miles on an already solid base of day 1. The first cracks in reality appeared. From the highway, the trail climbed. With races canceled, runners, distance hikers, and cyclists have been charging hard and breaking records left and right. The trees were peering at me, and with the bright moon, any irregularity in their bark looked like an eye. It was short and I woke up ready to move quickly. 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. Every .1 I would check my map. The Trail – The Colorado Trail a continuous, narrow path from Denver to Durango for hiking, horseback, and bicycling. Thru-Hiker Smashes Record on Colorado Trail Spencer Cox | August 19, 2020 Backcountry. I planned to both ration food and be without for the last day. 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. We had even booked rooms in hotels and cabins that we had planned on sleeping in night months in advance. The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. Despite my attempts, the elusive goal kept sliding further and further away. The Nuggets shot 52% from the field … Welcome to the Trail . Then the dawn came, and I could turn off my headlamp. I met new hikers and recognized others out on the Collegiate Loop from past thru hikes. I didn’t make it to my goal but left it for the morning. I stowed the rest of the bar in my pocket. 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 dropped lower and joined the road. I was fueled by fear. 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. It was worthy of a picture and a few moments of observance. “That began the toughest, darkest day and night for me,” he said. It was a devastating downward spiral of thoughts. Free Outside: Colorado Trail Record (FKT) Trip Report. I would not make phone calls to anyone throughout the attempt. The mystery rages on. I hiked through the last dark hours before morning, never eclipsing 3 miles per hour. For days I had constructed the point in my mind as when I could really throw caution to the wind. Once I reach zero it’s go time. It made each climber specifically measure their progress at predefined intervals. The fact that it was so hard is the same fact that made it so appealing. I would feel better for twenty minutes before starting the pattern over. It was the beginning of the progression to what led me here. The miles were not quick and my feet had begun to ache, but shortly after 2am I settled in for my second nap. I tried headphones and loud music, but that only frustrated me. It was time to sleep for a few hours in the brutal cold of 12,000 feet…. He is a regular contributor to several running publications, and is co-author of the forthcoming book "Best Trail Runs: Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs" (Falcon Guides, 2017), 8 Record-Setting Days on the Colorado Trail, The Colorado Trail high in the San Juan Mountains on day, The intersection of 390A out of Winfield and the Colorado, Bryan (in front) being paced by previous CT record holder, Early morning on the third day atop Carson Pass, the highest. As the sun crested the horizon I dropped down. I exited the meadow and eventually the wilderness, only to begin the longest night of my hiking life. My legs grew tired and my heart rate skyrocketed. But I made it there and quickly walked the bike path to the Blue River to refill my bottles. 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. Shortly after moving to a new city, I spent weekend after weekend climbing peaks instead of visiting bars and trying to make friends or meet girls. It was over. He was so determined, so humble, so consistent.” Finally things started to click, and Williams, who sometimes calls himself “Buffalo Wild Wing” began to motor along the trail. A University of New Mexico graduate student has shattered the fastest known time for a self-supported hike by a female on the 485-mile Colorado Trail. Shortly after my first observations of the strange trees, I took a nap. Nine days, eight hours, and 18 minutes. The last few moments on the high divide provided views that rivaled the San Juans. My day lasted only long enough to eclipse the 100 mile mark. Before I left my resting spot I pulled on the ultralight tights stowed in the bottom of my backpack. I took multiple breaks on the 3,600’ climb up to 12,400’. 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. 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. Ultrarunner Bryan Williams, who is the general manager of AOV Inc. in Boulder, set the supported record for the 490-mile Colorado Trail with the fastest known time of … The trail had immediately become so difficult. The whole time dropping down from the 12,400’ saddle in the mountain range I could see the trail switchbacking up the far side of the valley. As I neared the South Cottonwood Trailhead I instantly flashed back to Nolans 14—the route uses the trail for a bit to climb up to Mt. “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. I knew the fun part of this FKT had begun. I feared my body would fall apart even faster in this final push. I pushed through the demoralizing weather. I remained optimistic. When he finished running his first mile, he signed up for his first marathon. Breathing the dry air with a hint of smoke along with the altitude set my stomach against me. Colorado’s list of FKTs includes 114 routes, some offering multiple variations of records, like ascent-only and descent-only or supported and unsupported. At that moment a light appeared in the distance. Overcoming them taught patience and mental toughness. I had every intention of trying to push all the way to Twin Lakes. The previous record-holder on both counts was Democrat Michael Bennet, who won a second full term in the U.S. Senate in 2016 with 1,370,710 votes. 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. Instead of setting up my tent, I took the risk. Joe Grant, Colorado Trail (via Collegiate West route), Supported. In my diminished morning state, the snowflakes glittering in the light of my headlamp and fluttered through my vision. When the trail lost elevation heading down to the river I began to dread climbing up the other side. It began to stick on the ground as I crossed over multiple logging roads. The night was crisp, but much better than the range of weather I had experienced throughout the first 36 hours. 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