American utlrarunner Sabrina Stanley has set the Nolan’s 14 female fastest known time (FKT) for the second time in as many months. After Stanley broke Meghan Hicks‘s four-year-old FKT on the 100-mile route through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains in August, Hicks lowered the record once again in September. With her recent run of 48 hours and 49 minutes, Stanley regained the Nolan’s 14 FKT just 54 days after winning it the first time.
The Nolan’s 14
The Nolan’s 14 run has a reported success rate of just 15 per cent, but Stanley and Hicks have made it look easy in the past few months with three-straight triumphant runs on the route. The low rate of success is not only due to the route’s length, but also to the challenge’s 60-hour cutoff. The route takes runners up 14 summits of at least 14,000 feet (4,267m) in the Sawatch Range of the Rockies. It’s often about 100 miles long, but with the freedom to choose one’s own path between each peak, the total distance of the Nolan’s 14 varies. Some runs have been as short as 88 miles and others are closer to 110.
A two-person battle
In 2016, Hicks set the FKT on the Nolan’s 14 in 59 hours and 36 minutes, completing the run just before the time cutoff. This summer, Stanley shattered that record with a showing of 51 hours and 14 minutes. She got to enjoy that record for a total of 26 days before Hicks snatched the FKT back with a run of 50 hours and 32 minutes in early September. Stanley gave Hicks a little more time to spend with the FKT, but not too much, ultimately winning it back just four weeks after she had it taken away from her, becoming the first woman to post a sub-50-hour time on the route in the process.
Sabrina Stanley sets a new women’s supported Nolan’s 14 fastest known time in 48:49. (Prev: Meghan Hicks, 50:32, 2020) https://t.co/INYL4N4luP
— iRunFar (@iRunFar) October 4, 2020
Stanley’s running resume
This is Stanley’s first FKT (well, second if you count the first time she broke the Nolan’s 14 record), but she has many impressive ultramarathon results. She won her first race at a 50-miler in Utah in 2016, and since then, she has won several others, including the top women’s spot at the Hardrock 100 Endurance Run in Silverton, Colo., in 2018. She also placed third at the Western States 100 back in 2017, and in 2019 she won the brutal 170K Grand Raid de la Réunion on Réunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean.
Based on the way she and Hicks have been running the Nolan’s 14 over the past couple of months, Stanley might not get to keep the route’s FKT for long, but it’s hers for now, and it likely tastes even sweeter the second time around.