Ultrarunner Jim Walmsley has unofficially taken down a pair of records held by Canadian Rob Krar.
Walmsley, who had a sizeable lead at the Western States 100 before a wrong turn ruined his race earlier this year, unofficially set the new fastest known time (FKT) for the rim-to-rim Grand Canyon route. The 26-year-old ran 2:45 taking more than five minutes off of Krar’s FKT of 2:51:28. The route is located in northern Arizona.
— Myke Hermsmeyer (@mykehphoto) October 4, 2016
Records are known as fastest known times because they are not run as part of races and instead recorded on an unofficial basis proven by eye witnesses and GPS data.
According to Brian Metzler, the editor of Competitor, Walmsley averaged 7:51 per mile (4:53 per kilometre) for the 21-mile (33.7 kilometres) route. He was travelling from South Kaibab to North Kaibab.
Walsmley’s rim-to-rim performance tops that of Krar’s 2012 run. The Canadian is one of the nation’s top ultrarunners. In 2014, Krar won the Western States, Leadville, and Run Rabbit Run 100-mile races in the span of 11 weeks. According to his website, he refers to the double Grand Canyon record as “one of his proudest running achievements.” The double Grand Canyon record is the return trip of South Kaibab to North Kaibab and back.
Walmsley also set a new complete “R2R2R” (rim-to-rim-to-rim) record by running 5:55:20, which betters Krar’s time of 6:21:47 (67.6 kilometres) from May 10, 2013. The Flagstaff, Ariz.-based ultra and trail runner needed just four minutes to refuel and rest up before beginning the return trip.
Jim Walmsley is your new Grand Canyon R2R2R record holder in 5:55:20 unofficially pic.twitter.com/9hvJNmMvDY
— Alex Kurt (@apkurt) October 4, 2016
Krar gave Walmsley a shoutout on Facebook congratulating him on the new record.
Earlier this summer, Walmsley broke the fastest known time for ascent of Mount Sentinel in Missoula, Mont. The Phoenix-born runner ran for four years at the United States Air Force Academy and graduated in 2012. His most recent Grand Canyon effort comes less than two weeks after winning the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon 55K in a new course record time.