Fast Times (and aesthetic lines) - Page 7
Last year, Krar crushed the Grand Canyon's Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim FKT by over 30 minutes, but says he'll never beat that time. Photo by Kenetzel
In the predawn of May 10, 2013, on the precipice of the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Arizona’s Rob Krar hit his GPS’s start button and plunged down the South Kaibab Trail toward the canyon’s bottom, up to the North Rim via the North Kaibab Trail and back the way he came. Forty-two miles, about 10,000 feet of descent and ascent and a double crossing of a big hole in the ground later, Krar returned and shut off his GPS.
The numbers on the watch? Six hours 21 minutes 47 seconds. Krar became the FKT holder of the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (R2R2R) route, massively improving upon Dakota Jones’s previous record of 6 hours 53 minutes 38 seconds.
So stout is Krar’s FKT that trail runners mostly guffaw about it, and so does Krar. When he arrived to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim at halfway, he used a video camera for documentation. Krar panned the camera around the trailhead and then focused it on his watch. The video footage captures his reaction— a slew of expletives.
“I didn’t look at my watch until then,” says Krar. “I’ve run the canyon enough times that I know what my effort should be. But I was not expecting to see my effort translate into that number.” That North Rim time was just 11 minutes slower than his FKT for the one-way R2R of 2 hours 51 minutes 28 seconds.
Says the 37-year-old pharmacist, “The canyon is a harsh place and I’ve had many bad days in it. But, this time, I was given a magical day.”
In 2011, when Jones broke the then-R2R2R FKT, he wrote in a blog post that he thought the record would go under six hours in the near future. Krar’s effort has gotten the FKT closer to that six-hour barrier. Says Jones, “I’m impressed by Rob’s record. He’s a great example of a fast [track and road] guy taking up ultras and doing very well, so he is a natural to set records like this one. But I think his record will be broken, and soon, too.”
“I would love it if someone broke my record,” says Krar, “but I will not run the Grand Canyon FKT again. I don’t think I could repeat the magic of that day.”