— iRunFar (@iRunFar) June 30, 2018
Mountain runner Joe Grant of Boulder, Colorado set a massive new unsupported FKT of 49:38 at Nolan’s 14 on Friday. The previous FKT was Andrew Hamilton’s 53:39, set in 2015.
Not long afterwards, Alex Nichols, 33, of Colorado Springs set a new supported record of 46:41, bettering Iker Karrera’s previous record (set last year) by 59 minutes.
Nolan’s 14 is the 100-mile mountain “race” in Colorado that involves 14 peaks (all over 14,000 feet or 4,267m) and a 60-hour time limit. Runners may be supported by a crew or attempt the feat entirely self-supporting.
Nolan’s is not actually a race, and there is no set course; it may be attempted at any time, by anyone. There are some basic rules, and runners must summit all 14 peaks within the 60-hour time limit to be recognized.
Grant followed a southbound course, while Nichols travelled north in their respective quests.
Joe Grant sets new Nolan’s 14 unsupported FKT in 49 hours, 38 minutes trailhead-to-trailhead. (Previous: Andrew Hamilton, 53:39, 2015) Grant was 47:06 from trailhead to summit 14. (Mt. Shavano) #Nolans14
— iRunFar (@iRunFar) June 29, 2018
Grant was born in the UK, grew up in France, and has lived in the US for the past 10 years. He has done all the major world ultras (some numerous times), including Hardrock 100, Western States 100, and Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). One of his proudest accomplishments is the the “Tour de 14ers,” a trip involving all 57 of Colorado’s “fourteeners,” (14,000-foot peaks), by bike, over 31 days, self-supported. Grant is a writer and photographer as well as a running coach.
Nichols is a two-time Pikes Peak Marathon champion. He finished in second place last year (behind Ryan Sandes) at Western States 100, in a time of 16:48:23, in his first appearance at that race.
Nolan’s 14 takes its name from mountaineer Jim Nolan, who first plotted a roughly-100-mile route involving 14 of the 54 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado, back in 1991. It was first attempted in 1998 by Fred Vance, Gordon Hardman, and Blake Wood.
Mountain runner Matt Mahoney maintains an informative site about Nolan’s here.