Joelle Vaught – Trans Zion, May 20
This sweet set of trails totals 48 miles crossing beautiful Zion National Park, border to border. Joelle’s time of 8:26:09 bettered that of Krissy Moehl as well as Bethany Lewis before her.
Joelle Vaught is a Boise, ID ultrarunner who has a special fondness for running trails with her dogs. The 42-year old Vaught has an extraordinary ultrarunning resume, with 63 ultras completed, and 28 wins – including many large high-profile races in the west, among them, the Way Too Cool 50K, the Lake Sonoma 50-miler and Waldo 100K.
Nick Elson – Grand Traverse, August 13
In a surprise result, as this route is better known to climbers than to runners, voters recognized Nick’s bold achievement, which is a clear sign that “hybrid” activities are an accepted and important part of FKTs – people increasingly find the boundaries between sports as unnecessary and not representative of how they see ultra-recreation. The Grand Traverse is the 10 Teton summits clearly visible from Jenny Lake. Legendary alpinists have contested this FKT for decades, including Alex Lowe and for the previous 15 years Rolando Garibotti held the FKT at 6:49. The North Ridge of the Grand Teton, the hardest section, is done free-solo. There is 12,000 feet of vert in about 17 miles. Elson took almost 20 minutes of the record, completing it in 6:30:49.
Nick Elson is a 32-year old from Squamish, BC with only four ultra races completed- but they are stout including two wins at the Squamish 50-miler and a top ten finish at The Rut. Elson’s mountain running talent is exceptional, and earned him Canadian Mountain Runner of the Year last year, largely based on his second place at Alaska’s Mount Marathon.