Thursday, August 20, 2015

Two Ultrarunners Become First Women to Complete Nolan's 14

Ultrarunner's Anna Frost and Missy Gosney completed one of the toughest challenges in endurance sports on Tuesday when they became the first women to complete the notorious Nolan's 14. The ladies wrapped up their grueling endeavor in a time of 57 hours and 55 minutes, bagging 14 different 14,000-foot (4267 meter) peaks in the process. 

Frost and Gosney set out on their journey on Sunday, hitting the trail near Leadville, Colorado. Their first summit came on Mt. Massive, but that was just the beginning. On Tuesday, they wrapped up their record-setting attempt by descending from their final peak, Mt. Shavano. 

For those not familiar with Nolan's 14, it is a unique ultrarunning challenge that requires athletes to summit 14 different mountains beginning or ending with either Massive or Shavano. They can go travel either north or south, and the route they take to nab the other 12 peaks is entirely up to the athlete attempting the feat. In order to successfully complete the challenge, runners must also finish within 60 hours. 

The two endurance athletes tell Nat Geo that along the way they got lost on the trail, faced some scary storms, and were constantly nauseated while above 13,000 feet (3962 meters), which is about 25% of the entire course. They even experienced the "sleep monsters," which are hallucinations brought on by sleep deprivation. At times, Frost said she saw elephants and giraffes, as well as a black koala and Mickey Mouse, while out on the trail. Fortunately, the did not suffer any injuries however, and aside from some issues with their feet – which is to be expected on a 100-mile (160 km) run, they came off of Nolan's 14 in relatively good health.

Congratulations to both Anna and Missy on a job well done. You two are an inspiration to adventure runners everywhere! 

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