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4 Adventure Runs for the Aspiring FKT’er

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Whether you want to try for an FKT or take a more leisurely outing, here are a few adventure runs to put on your list

Editors’ Note: This article originally appeared in conjunction with “Fast Times (and Aesthetic Lines)” in our March 2014 issue.

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1. Four Passes Loop

White River National Forest, Colorado

About 28 miles and 7,600 feet of climb.

  • Men’s FKT: Sage Canaday, 4 hours 27 minutes 10 seconds, September 5, 2013.
  • Women’s FKT: unknown.
  • (source:fastestknowntime.proboards.com/thread/22).

A lollipop lop in Colorado’s Elk Range that crosses, you guessed it, four passes above 12,000 feet altitude. In this quintessential Rocky Mountain terrain, soak in the wildflowers, turquoise lakes, scree slopes, snowfields and chirping marmots.

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2. Wonderland Trail

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

About 93 miles and almost 23,000 feet of climb.

  • Men’s supported FKT: Kyle Skaggs, 20 hours 53 minutes, September 23-24, 2006.
  • Women’s supported FKT: Darcy Africa and Krissy Moehl, 22 hours 22 minutes 45 seconds, August 22-23, 2013.
  • Men’s unsupported FKT: Richard Kresser, 27 hours 16 minutes, September 14-15, 2013.
  • Women’s unsupported FKT: Candice Burt, 31 hours 11 minutes 57 seconds, September 19-20, 2012
  • (source: fastestknowntime.proboards.com/thread/40).

The aptly named Wonderland Trail traces through wondrous, rainforest-like lowlands and treeless alpine around Mount Rainier.

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3. White Rim Road

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

About 103 miles and 7,300 feet of climb.

  • Men’s FKT: Peter Bakwin, 18 hours 43 minutes 22 seconds, December 2-3, 2006.
  • Women’s supported FKT: Jennilyn Eaton, 21 hours 52 minutes 33 seconds, November 9, 2013.
  • (source: fastestknowntime.proboards.com/thread/12).

Ninety-six dirt-road miles (plus seven on pavement) thread through Canyonlands National Park’s Island in the Sky District, named for its 1,400-foot red, orange and tan sedimentary rock cliffs.

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4. Smokies Challenge Adventure Run (SCAR)

Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

About 72 miles and 18,600 feet of elevation gain.

  • Men’s unsupported FKT: David Worth, 14 hours 50 minutes 22 seconds, May 19, 2011.
  • Women’s unsupported FKT: Unknown.
  • Men’s supported FKT: Will Harlan, 15 hours 45 minutes 7 seconds, May 19, 2011.
  • Women’s supported FKT: Unknown
  • (source: fastestknowntime.proboards.com/thread/128).

The SCAR is the 72-mile section of the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and clings to its 6,000-foot crest.

Meghan M. Hicks, based in Moab, Utah, holds the FKT between her front door and refrigerator for an after-run beer.