Erie ultrarunner breaks record for fastest known time on Colorado Trail

From the Times-Call

Bryan Williams runs ahead of Eric Truhe at Hotel Draw, 42 miles into the Colorado Trail. Truhe ran with Williams for about 200 miles until reaching the first aid station of the day at Sargents Mesa on the fourth day of Williams’ eight-day journey. ( Courtesy photo )

It isn’t typical of Bryan Williams to devour Snickers candy bars or jog in his skivvies. But it also isn’t typical to hear of someone running the 490-mile Colorado Trail in record time, like he did.

The 42-year-old Erie endurance runner crushed the supported record for the fastest known time, or FKT, running the Colorado Trail on his own in eight days and 30 minutes. He started at 5 a.m. Aug. 26 in Durango and finished at 5:30 a.m. Sept. 3 in Denver.

“To jump to a 500-mile project was pretty huge,” Williams said Monday after returning to work as the general manager of AOV Inc. in Boulder. “A lot of people have asked, ‘Well, how did you prepare training for that?’ and I can answer that quickly, but it’s like, man, I don’t know. I think we just got lucky.”

Williams and his crew shaved off seven hours from the last supported record held by Scott Jaime, of Highlands Ranch — a professional runner Williams said he admires — who set it in 2013 at eight days, seven hours, 40 minutes, according to records.

The trail traverses the Continental Divide in Colorado, with backcountry lakes and creeks, six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,271 feet, according to the trail’s website. Travelers include hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers and long-distance runners.

“It’s amazing all the things people are doing out there,” Williams said. “This is just one little piece, one state.”

Seven years ago, Williams committed to his first full marathon — 26.2 miles. He said he was seeking change — going through a divorce and becoming a single dad, struggling with weight, living with his parents and facing debt — and rather than buying a ski pass, he decided to save money by running instead.

“In the early stages of running, it was the only thing I felt like I had control over,” he said. ” … Running can be very meditative. It’s something I’ve developed a passion for, something I always look forward to. It’s my daily dose of adventure.”

Among those adventures, he said he has run nine 100-mile races and 21 other ultra races, not to mention the hours and mileage as part of training for each.

How it started…

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