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New FKT in the Grand Canyon

Ida Nilsson changes her race plans and sets a new fastest known time on the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim trail in Grand Canyon National Park

On November 16, Swedish athlete Ida Nilsson set the new female fastest known time (FKT) on the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (R2R2R) trail in 7 hours 29 minutes and 16 seconds, breaking the previous record by over 20 minutes. Starting from the South Rim trailhead in the Grand Canyon, she ran the 63.5K route with over 3,600 metres of elevation gain. Nilsson currently resides in Flagstaff, AZ, which is about an hour’s drive from Grand Canyon National Park.

RELATED: 26-year-old runner sets new record for Grand Canyon rim-to-rim route


Nilsson was registered for The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-mile (80K) race on November 17 in San Francisco. When the race was cancelled due to wildfire smoke, she adjusted her weekend plans. The R2R2R FKT adds to the list accomplishments for the Salomon trail and ski mountaineer. Nilsson placed third this year at CCC (UTMB), first at Horindal Rundt 75K in Norway, first at Transvulcania 73K in Spain, and first in the 2017 North Face 50-mile Endurance Challenge. 

RELATED: The North Face 50 Endurance Challenge Championship cancelled


Fall may be the perfect season to break records in the Grand Canyon. One year ago Cat Bradley set the previous female FKT on the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim trail in 7:52:20. In October 2016, Jim Walmsley set the overall FKT on the trail in 5:55:20. 

RELATED: Video: Jim Walmsley’s crazy, breathtaking Grand Canyon record run


There are two route options for the Rim-to-Rim trail in the Grand Canyon. Nilsson set her record by running the shorter and steeper option, which begins on either the South Rim or South Kaibab Trail. The longer option utilizes the Bright Angel Trail and is less steep with approximately 77K.   

Update: Less than one week after, Taylor Nowlin set a new FKT in 7:25:58 on November 21, 2018.