Illinois’s Coree Woltering recently set the FKT (fastest known time) on the Pinhoti Trail, a 566K route through Alabama and Georgia. He completed the monster run in five days, seven hours, bettering the previous FKT by six hours. Woltering’s new record comes almost a year after his first official FKT, which he set in 21 days on Wisconsin’s 1,800K Ice Age Trail.
5 days, 7 hours, 22 minutes…unofficially new FKT on nobo Pinhoti Trail. That was an ass kicker. Lows in the 20s, highs in the 80s, and so many rocks lol. pic.twitter.com/UBlIUnX0VL
— Coree Woltering (@GCXC13) April 8, 2021
A diverse resume
Woltering competed as a collegiate athlete, running for Greenville University (a Division III NCAA school) in Illinois. He focused on middle-distance races back then, but after graduating, he moved on to longer events. In his first marathon (the Quad Cities Marathon in Illinois), he finished in sixth place, running 2:37:13. At the time, he was an avid triathlete, too, and he wanted to race as a professional. After pacing a friend at the Leadville 100 in 2014, though, he decided that ultrarunning might be the sport for him.
He turned out to be right about that, and he has excelled in the years since diving into the world of ultras. He won the Tunnel Hill 50-miler in 2015 and 2016, and ran to a third-place finish at the event in 2017, and in 2018, he posted a 25th-place result at the Western States 100, where he completed the 100-miler in 19 hours, 31 minutes. So far in 2021, he has raced four times, recording two top-10 finishes.
While his main focus is ultrarunning, Woltering hasn’t been able to kick the multi-sport bug that he picked up in his triathlon days, and he now competes in adventure races as well. His journey in the world of adventure racing was put on display in the 2020 show World’s Toughest Race, a program that documented the arduous multi-day Eco-Challenge race in Fiji.
In addition to all of these race results, Woltering of course has his FKTs as well, and they’re arguably some of his most impressive accomplishments. His 21-day FKT on the Ice Age Trail was an inspiring feat of endurance and determination, and although his more recent run on the Pinhoti Trail was just a quarter of the length, it’s still wildly impressive.
The Pinhoti Trail
Starting in northwestern Georgia, Woltering set out with a small crew on the Pinhoti Trail. The route travels southwest into Alabama, and it ends basically right in the middle of the state, with the finish line between Birmingham and Montgomery. Despite the fact that the trip lasted close to a week, Woltering wrote on Instagram that he only slept four hours throughout the entire journey. He credits his pacers and crew for keeping him in the run, as he said he “was broken, and broken early.”
Woltering said he wanted to quit on multiple occasions, but his crew convinced him to stay on his feet and continue his progress. “I knew the discomfort could be solved with a hotel and hot tub a few miles away,” he wrote. “But even in the dark moments, I kept pushing forward.”
His perseverance paid off in the end, and Woltering made it to the end of the route hours ahead of the previous FKT of five days, 13 hours set by Caleb Yawn in 2020.