2014 Long Trails FKT Summary

The JMT, PCT, TRT, and lastly the AT … what happened on the big trails in 2014?

JOHN MUIR TRAIL (JMT)

The JMT is one of the premier backpacking trails in the world, running 223 miles through California’s Sierra Nevada from Mt Whitney to Yosemite Valley. It is a fabulous route: remote, rugged, committing, but yet with generally good weather, excellent (though rocky) trails and easy navigation. The JMT has become one of the key targets for FKT activity in the western US, and 2014 was definitely a banner year, with several new FKTs being set, both supported and unsupported, along with some spectacular “failures”.  Here’s the full recap, in chronological order – – –

Peter Bakwin, JMT record 2000.

Peter Bakwin, JMT record 2000.

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Pregnancy Expedition – Ultra Runner Soon To Be Mom Michele Yates Reflects

Pregnancy is no joke! I don’t care how many Ultra Marathons you have run, or how close together they were… pregnancy will suck the life and energy out of you like nothing ever before.  Regardless of how tough I try to be, it still slaps me upside the head and knocks me right out (in bed for days at times!).  Your energy level is limited, but the catch is…you don’t ever know what that day will bring.  You may be able to have a full day of energy, a few hours of productivity, or none at all as you lay in bed all day! As challenging as it has been, it also has been going by incredibly fast.  Partly, because I planned on keeping myself busy with still continuing to train, “run” races, and attain some family time.

Michele Yates hiking Taylor Park - 6 Months Pregnant

Taylor Park – 6 Months Pregnant

I think one could comfortably compare pregnancy with running an Ultra Marathon Stage race.   Despite how fast you want to go and get it over with, you still must endure the daily pain of it all, to attain the prize.

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UTMB 2014

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I didn’t commit to running UTMB this year until two weeks before race day. During the second week of July my historically-troublesome right shin became a worry once again, and I was able to do very little true running for all of July and August. In early August, in hopes of keeping my Hardrock Qualifier chances alive, but wanting to buy myself a little more time, I had even signed up for the Bear 100 and given up on racing UTMB altogether. However, my shin unexpectedly experienced a turnaround a couple weeks before the race, which made the opportunity to head back to Chamonix too appealing to pass up.  Continue reading