Over the last 30 years, running the “big ditch” has inspired men and women to see just how fast it can be done. The rim to rim to rim, double crossing, out-n-back, or simply r2r2r is a substantial overnight hike for most people, who must already possess a level of fitness the average American will likely never attain. To run the r2r2r in a day takes the adventure to a new level, a goal that has been plunked into most trail runners’ bucket lists. This brings us to the crème de la crème brimming the rim of the canyon, the elite who train and plan for the undertaking in the hopes of having everything come together to set the FKT (Fastest Known Time).
Peter Bakwin’s site on FKTs briefly covers the men’s FKT accomplishments,
Allyn Cureton held the R2R2R record for 25 years at 7h51m23s, set in an actual race on 11/9/1981 (S to N to S Kaibab trails). Races have long been banned in the National Parks. The record was finally bested on 11/10/2006 by Kyle Skaggs, 7h37m. Kyle had to run a little extra due to a bridge being out. A year later (11/10/2007) Dave Mackey ran 6h59m56s, for the current record. Dave reported being held up for several minutes on his ascent back up the South Kaibab by a mule train.
Over the weekend Dakota Jones eclipsed Mackey’s record by 6 minutes, reaching the south rim finish in 6:53. Brendan Temboli, one of a group of runners who started with Dakota said, “The weather forecast was not promising going into it. woke up to ~3″ of wet snow, lots of wind… hit the trail around 6:45am and within a few mins of dropping in elevation conditions improved a lot. north rim was very snowy too.” Epic day. Congratulations Dakota!
Pinhoti 100: In the woods of Alabama, Karl Meltzer solidifies his already granite-hard legacy with his 31st WIN at the 100 mile distance at the Pinhoti 100. Meltzer ran unchallenged, breaking his own course record crossing the finish in 16:42. Pinhoti was his fifth 100 miler of 2011, two of which he won (Massanutten being the other). He ran a steady solo race, staying on or under 17 hour splits. Second place, Joseph Czabaranek of Shalimar Florida, was a distant 2.5 hours behind, crossing the line in 19:10. Jamie Anderson rounded out the top three in 19:16. Last year’s champion, John Dove, regrouped from some mid-race problems to finish 4th in 20:38. For the women, Jill Perry, fresh off her win at Oil Creek 100, dominated the field for the win in 22:16 and 7th overall.
Mt. Masochist 50 Mile: Eric Grossman is an instructor and he held class on Saturday with hard-earned lessons for his competitors at the Mt. Masochist 50. Running his personal best in his sixth MMTR, Grossman hit the finish line in 6:58:22. His star pupil was Brian Rusiecki, who came charging in for 2nd, just 1:12 behind in 6:59:34. Paul Terranova earned 3rd place in 7:09. Sandi Nypaver continued her winning form shooting to the line first on the tough 54 mile course in 8:05. Alyssa Wildeboer came in a distant 2nd in a hair under 8:34. Young Dacia Reed rounded out the women’s podium in 8:48.