FKT: Alex Barkley - Flagstaff Fearsome Four (AZ) - 2020-07-22

Route variation
Ultra Version (no vehicles)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
13h 46m 0s
GPS track(s)
A7M51328.FIT145.89 KB

Originally conceptualized by Helen Galerakis, the Flagstaff Feasome Four (FFF) route connects four prominent mountains around Flagstaff (Kendrick Peak [10,432'], Mt. Humphrey's [12,633'], Mt. Elden [9,301'] and O'Leary Peak [8,937']). 


This past winter, coming back from a training run in Black Canyon City, Buck Blankenship planted the idea of riding a bike between the FFF and running up each mountain. This idea really stuck with me. Then on June 8, I saw he had ditched the bike idea and simply linked them all together via foot. I was blown away with his effort and thought it was such a cool idea. 


Buck suggested I should give it a shot. After a month of stewing it over and feeling a little like Marty McFly being called chicken, I had to do it.  


So far, everyone who has completed the run has taken a different route. I was able to pour over Helen, Deron, and Buck's GPS files and piece together what I thought the best bits of each were. There are a few tempting route decisions I found a bit unethical so I steered away from. 


The first of which is a route up Humphrey's from the Bear Jaw/Abineau trailhead which cuts up the backside of the mountain. This would save a handful of miles and cut down on vertical gain. However traveling off trail above 11,400ft is restricted to help protect native flowers. 


The second, is a road that goes through private property in Hart Prairie. Fortunately, Buck was kind enough to answer any route questions I had in addition to showing me his solution to the problem which I have absolutely no idea how he came up with. It involved running off trail through fields up to a cattle gate which linked together to properties kitty corner to one another. Buck's help was priceless in this endeavor. 


I would also like to thank my wonderful pacer's. Pete Mortimer, received a text from me the night before my run to see if he wanted to go up Kendrick with me at 5:00. He simply replied "sure". He kept me company for the first 10 miles up and down Kendrick which were some of my favorite miles of the day. Then at the beginning of the Deer Hill trail, my go to training buddy, Ben Cook picked me up and dealt with me while I was at my grumpiest. P.S. I hate the Deer Hill trail. 


When I arrived at the O'Leary Peak parking lot, Colleen Lingley was waiting with arguably the most impressive aid station set up ever assembled. Unfortunately, I was cutting it close on time and didn't stay as long as I would have liked.


A huge thanks to everyone that helped out! It was a long challenging day that wouldn't have gone nearly as smoothly without the support of others.