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:, and check out the Blog for live updates from the field.


  1. Kevin McGonigal on August 14th, 2012

    Past the hardest part, but still a long way to go. Keep it up Nikki, we’re rooting for you.

  2. Roger on August 15th, 2012

    Good luck Nikki . . . I posted a few pictures of her rest stop in Jonesville, VT and some of her and her brother Bill heading up Camel’s Hump. The most technical part is over. You’re awesome!

  3. Peter on August 16th, 2012

    Great job, Nikki. This whole endeavour is so impressive. What an amazing feat. Keep up the great work. Remember that cheetahs eat monkeys to get faster because monkeys eat bananas, and cheetahs can’t peel bananas so they have to eat monkeys to get bananas. You can probably just skip the monkey step all together and eat a banana directly to be as fast as a cheetah. Think about it between mile 230 and 235. Cheers to Nikki and the crew.

  4. Tonya Kent on August 16th, 2012

    You go girl ! You can do this.

  5. Relly Friedman on August 16th, 2012

    You are a champion already , Nikki. You can do this…go, go, go, girl!!!

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The film was funded!