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Archive for August 14th, 2012

ENDURANCE ATHLETE NIKKI KIMBALL ATTEMPTS TO BECOME THE FASTEST PERSON TO RUN VERMONT’S 273-MILE LONG TRAIL

This week Vermont native Nikki Kimball is attempting to become the fastest person to run the iconic Long Trail by breaking the world record for both men and women.  Kimball has been running continuously since 6:00AM on Monday morning, August 13, 2012, and today she navigated the tough technical sections of the trail up Mount Mansfield and Camel’s Hump.

Currently Kimball is headed south towards Appalachian Gap as part of her effort to break the Long Trail speed record set by Jonathan Basham on September 11, 2009.  Basham’s record stands at 4 days, 12 hours, and 46 minutes.  The women’s record is currently held at more than 7 days.

Kimball hopes to complete her run in less than four and a half days to become the fastest person in history to run the trail, with an expected finish at the Long Trail’s Southern Terminus along the Massachusetts border near Williamstown on Friday morning, August 17, 2012.

Kimball, who grew up in North Chittenden, learned to take her first steps just moments from the Long Trail.  She is a three-time winner of the North American Ultra Runner of the Year Award, three-time Western States winner and 2007 Ultra-Trail Du Mount Blanc winner.

As part of her expedition, Kimball will be raising money for Girls on the Run Vermont, a non-profit organization that inspires girls to become strong, healthy and confident through physical activity. “Through the gift of a donation I am hoping to make it possible to help every Vermont girl have access to the skills they need for success and health throughout all aspects of their lives.  This will be a very challenging attempt, but the bigger goal is to inspire women and girls of all ages, and show that there’s an equal place for women in professional sports, ” said Kimball.

Nearly a dozen volunteers are aiding Kimball in her record-breaking attempt on the Long Trail, including family and friends from Vermont, Montana and across the United States.  Pacers report that Kimball’s incredibly optimistic on the trail and feeling strong.  So far her pace is ahead of the current record holder.

A documentary film crew headed by Fours Five Productions and MontanaPBS is documenting Nikki’s expedition as part new documentary film, THE LONG TRAIL, set for air on PBS in 2013.  To learn more, visit the THE LONG TRAIL film’s website at: http://thelongtrailfilm.com/, and check out the Blog for live updates from the field.

What an amazing day!  Nikki logged in nearly 70 miles on Day 1 of her Long Trail expedition, running from 6 in the morning until just after 2am at night. The film crew and support team caught up with her as she came in to camp near Smuggler’s Notch, which is at the base of Mt. Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont.

To re-fuel, Nikki downed a classic All-American meal — a cheeseburger topped with bacon — before heading to bed in the back of the truck with plans to wake up three hours later at 5:30am.  Day 2 will start with a 3000+ ft climb, as she and pacer Jenny Pierce scramble up ladders and dodge crevasses while making their way up to The Chin of Mt. Mansfield.

Pacers report that Nikki’s incredibly optimistic on the trail and feeling strong. So far her pace is ahead of the current record holder.

Check out some photos below from the evening, and stay tuned for updates from Day 2 of the expedition!  ~ Jaime

Trailhead sign at Eden Crossing, approximately 29 miles in to the trail from the Northern Terminus

 

Blister maintenance from the support team at Eden Crossing

The crew pours over the map to figure out the location of the next aid station on the trail

The crew pours over the map to figure out the location of the next aid station on the trail

Off with the shoes and down with the burger at 2:30am at Smugg's

Off with the shoes and down with the burger at 2:30am at Smugg's

 

The film was funded!