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Meghan M. Hicks February 24, 2014 TWEET COMMENTS 1

Fast Times (and aesthetic lines) - Page 5

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Former Zion Traverse FKT holder Krissy Moehl and Jared Campbell on a run in Zion National Park. Photo by Fred Marmsater

Bethany Lewis holds the women’s FKTs for both the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim and the Zion Traverse, an almost-50-mile, point-to-point route across Zion National Park. Lewis set the women’s Zion Traverse record on April 21, 2013, at 8 hours 32 minutes, bettering Krissy Moehl’s previous record of 9 hours 9 minutes.

Mike Foote, the 30-year-old co-men’s FKT holder for the Zion Traverse (with Justin Yates) who works as a race director in Missoula, Montana, says, “The traverse is dynamic and inspiring with steep climbs, technical descents, deep sand, hot temperatures and, in places, herds of tourists.”
Why does Lewis, a 35-year-old academic dermatologist from Salt Lake City, Utah, run FKT efforts? “I like to run fast with my husband, Ben. It’s easier to get a babysitter for my daughter if we’re going for an FKT. People get behind that kind of effort.” She laughs and continues, “I don’t look at numbers or read about FKTs on the Internet. I rarely wear a GPS.” Lewis runs by how she feels and lets her fitness—and husband—take care of the records. “Ben keeps tabs on the numbers and tells me what records he thinks I can break. It’s really that simple.”

For the Zion Traverse, she started on the route’s east side at 7 a.m. sharp. “Because I always accidentally shut off watches,” she says she needed a simple starting time of day as a backup. “I ran the first 11 miles or so, from the East Rim Trailhead to Zion Canyon alone.” There she met Ben, and together they climbed out of Zion Canyon and onto the western half of the route. The hardest part for her was a stretch of several sandy miles in Hop Valley, which they hit with about 10 miles to go. “Oh, how the sand swallows your momentum!” she says. “I’m sure some people run the last hill, but I had to hike. My legs were done.”

“My record is soft,” says the modest Lewis. “There are so many people doing far more amazing things.”

 



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