484 miles and 75,000 ft of vertical gain later.. and somehow life really is that much sweeter. i'm in moab right now, recovering and making my way back home, which is... yes, salt lake city, not my van down by the river.
i finished the colorado trail on july 23rd at 12:18pm. i ran the 484 miles as fast as i could, which was 9 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes. i believe this is the 3rd fastest time anyone has ever covered this beautiful and awe inspiring piece of trail. i knew from speaking with very fast ultrarunners who do this sort of thing that the record was super tight. i found that out. after 3 days i had run 180.6 miles to the dam road by twin lakes. at that point i was 10 miles ahead of the record pace. but i paid for it the following day where i only logged 38 miles and couldn't stay awake. and so it goes, i made a lot of mistakes, didn't plan well enough for some sections, was stranded a few times and hypothermic once. none of that matters or tarnishes the experience because that is the experience. all of these things are expected when the goal is something this huge ~ the shit that happens becomes the deepest burned memories. it's how you respond to that shit that really matters. all things considered the adventure went amazingly well on 3 days of planning.
i am however having trouble processing it all to create some concise blog posts. there is talk of an interview, which for me mentally is a lot easier. here are a few tidbits, i still haven't seen all the photos and video yet, but here is a selection of what i have.
FIRST AND FOREMOST THANK YOU!!! to dakota jones (young money). when i proposed this idea to him, literally 3 days before i wanted to start he was the most positive person i had spoken with. he believed we could do this, he believed i could break the record and he made me believe both of those things as well. thank you dakota, you are in fact the most remarkable 19 year old i've ever met. that is a testament to the job your parents have done... so thank you beth and steve as well. my crew was rounded out by ben reeves. "good ben" was awesome and organized and i literally could not have done this without him. he even joined me for a few sections. THANK YOU ben!! my lovely assistant linda barton came out for the last 3 days and jumped right into the mix pacing and crewing. THANK YOU linda! it was awesome to have you out there.
scott jaime, being the awesome guy that he is came over to ben's house the night before my start to impart wisdom. that was great. in september of 2009 scott ran the colorado trail in 11d 12h 46m. he planned 40 miles days and finished on his 40th birthday. pretty cool. he also joined me on a 13 mile section on day 2 that had us running into breckenridge, colorado (well north of town really). he made this video which i think is a good example of a typical day (at least before it started to rain and hail on me every day).
"the easiest 58 miles of my life" video
start video at waterton canyon - denver colorado - 4:30am july 15th
fun with mosquitos on sargents mesa video
highest mileage week ~ questions right after finishing are always fun
"what hurt the most matt?" ~ questions right after finishing are always fun
what i learned: if i learned anything it's that you must, at all costs surround yourself with positive people. i don't even care if it's delusional. it matters.