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“The Runner Box” Colorado Runner of the Month: Bryan Williams

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8 days on the Colorado Trail! Bryan Williams set a new FKT for the nearly 500-mile long trail from Durango to Denver. That giant adventure makes him our “Runner Box” Colorado Runner of the Month.

Bryan, wow, congrats.  I read the excellent Motiv Running article about the Colorado Trail FKT.  It’s pretty incredible – you were missing record splits from day one, and got back on pace thanks to a monster 20 hour day, on day five, is that right?  So that was a huge day, but the other days, how many hours were you typically running/hiking v. sleeping? 

Day 5 was big, but it came with a cost. I didn’t finish until 4:40 AM. Our goal was to start each day by 5 AM, but that was definitely not happening on day 6. I didn’t get started till 9:40 AM. A typical day was 16-18 hours on the trail. The last day was 89 miles in 24 hours. There were only two nights that we camped. All the other nights involved getting picked up, driving to a hotel, showering, eating and trying to sleep. Then getting up and driving back to the trailhead. We calculated there was only about 24 hours of sleep during the 8 days. This was also the case for the crew too.

Okay, and other basic questions – what was your longest stretch between crew points? Favorite part of the trail?  How much did you typically carry?  How many pairs of shoes did you rotate between?  Any wildlife encounters? 

  • 5 miles. From Spring Creek to Eddiesville. This section alone was 10 hours, 15 minutes.
  • That’s a really tough question. There are so many great sections of the CT. Nothing really beats the San Juans. The entire west side of the Collegiate’s is pretty sweet too. I just love anything above treeline.
  • My gear was pretty consistent day to day. Shorts, Smartwool S/S T, socks, beanie and gloves. I also had arm warmers, a thin vest, a UD Ultra jacket and gaiters, trucker cap, and sunglasses. I wore a UD Adventure vest & carried two liters of water and enough nutrition for 300 calories per hour.
  • I had two pair of Brooks Calderas. I wore the first pair for the first four days, then switched to the second for the remainder of the run.
  • Ha! Yes, a squirrel ran darted across the trail at night. Ran through my legs and almost took me out. I had to do some fancy footwork to stay upright. There was also some bear paws on one of the crew vehicles one morning.

Explain to me the Colorado Trail – there are two different sections through the Sawatch?  Is that new, and what’s the thought on which route runs better? 

My friend, running partner and teammate during the CT, Eric Truhe, gave some great insight and stats to this on the FKT site.

For CT East versus CT West clarification, according to the CT Guidebook (9th Edition):

  • The CT via the CT East is 484.6 miles with 87,645 feet of climbing (Durango to Denver)
  • The CT via the CT West is 489.7 miles with 89,665 feet of climbing (Durango to Denver)

Specifically:

  • The CT East section is 78.1 miles with 15,038 feet of climbing (south to north)
  • The CT West section is 83.2 miles with 17,058 feet of cl