FKT: Helen Galerakis - Arizona Trail (AZ) - 2019-11-03

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
17d 11h 3m 0s


Route note: I used the guthook app as guidance throughout my adventure. One point to note, however, was that when I came out of the Grand Canyon, the Guthook was a bit wonky (I don't know if it was the close proximity to the canyon, but another user also made the comment on the app that it was wrong). We were following the trail markers (on the East Side of the road through GC village, close to the park entrance) and at one point we were actually standing in front of the trail marker but the app was saying the trail was on the other side (west side) of the road (we were parallel to it). We continued to follow the physical trail markers for another half mile or so and it then took us across the road and we were once again aligned with the gut hook app.

[According to the AZT website, the trail is on the west side of AZ Hwy 64 here.  Helen's route deviated from that for roughly 4 miles by staying on the east side.  Her route was slightly longer - about 0.1 miles.]

Some reports during the run on Facebook:

Notes we made during Helen's run (based on her Instagram & tracker) (may not be completely accurate):

Tracker: Trackleaders

Day 1 (10/17, start 4:01am) on the AZT started out with an unbelievable sunrise and some coyotes singing in the dark. Today’s total is 64 miles and I didn’t get lost ?? I’ll be posting up for the night at the Grand Canyon National Park Boundary. Thanks for following along on this journey and I cannot wait to see how the rest unfolds. .

Day 2 update: 46.6 miles done, bringing my total mileage to 110.6. I traversed the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, Inner Gorge, and North Rim. It was a good, long, hard day. I had some IT band and hip flexor flare-up’s, but I am I. good spirits and ready to crush tomorrow. Major thanks to her phenomenal crew chief, @osam0@robkrar, and @bckblnknship with @paragonathletics for the company ❤️ onward .

Four days, 216 miles, countless high-fives, hugs, foot rubs, and a lot of wraps down, about 600 miles to go ?? It’s been quite the adventure so far, with some knee issues, very long days, emotional ups and downs, picturesque forests, lonely nights, breathtaking sunrise, and a lot of love and support from fans and friends. My spirits are still high and I am steadily making my way to Mexico and the #fastestknowntime on the #azt. Until the next sunrise ?

Day 6 of my #AZT adventure. I am currently making my way toward Happy Jack, still smiling, moving strong and steady, and enjoying every aspect of this journey. After today I’ll have logged 307 miles

Note after 6 days:  Helen is going in the opposite direction of overall FKT holder Jeff Garmire (who was self-supported), so it is difficult to make direct comparisons.  But, Jeff was at about 301 miles after 6 days, vs. 307 for Helen.

Day 9 (10/25) to Pigeon Spring, 436.2 (at the end of Day 9 Garmire was at 444 miles) "I can’t believe I am more than halfway through! I am about to hit some really difficult sections, but I am loving this adventure. Some of the terrain has made for some long days and slow miles, but it’s stunning and I can’t stop talking about how beautiful and dramatic the views and trails have been. I am so thankful for all the love and support (near and far) from people who have bandaged my feet, cooked me hot meals, enabled me to brush my teeth, high-fived and hugged me along the way, endured some very cold, dark hours, and continue to send me messages and post about my progress. I’ve had continued knee and IT-band issues, but they haven’t stopped me. By the end of today, I’ll have hopefully logged nearly 440 miles and I am currently averaging 49 miles a day and still smiling"

Day 11 (10/27) end at Picketpost TH, 503 miles (about 300 to go)

Day 12 (10/28)  20:35 at Kelvin, about 540 miles.

Posted 10/29:  "Hello! It’s been a minute. My #AZT journey has taken so many unexpected twists and turns, but that’s why we do these amazing, crazy hard things, right? I am sad to say that my #FKT goal is no longer possible due to several factors and logistical issues, but I am still going. This is what life is about: rolling with the punches, being grateful for what you have done and can do and for the people who love and believe in you, and staying positive and in the moment. I know I am putting my body through something most people would never think to attempt, and that’s beautiful and scary. For the rest of my journey, I will focus on putting one foot forward, however long it takes, and I am committed to doing the best I can. I can’t tell you how much all the support means. I don’t know what day it is and I don’t care, all I am focusing on is #onward"

10/30 at 5:50 at American Flag Ranch, 605 miles after 13 days, 2 hours.

10/31 at 4:00 at Gordon Hirabayashi CG, 639 miles

11/1 at 6:00 (15 days) at X9 Ranch Rd, about 680 miles - 120+ to go.  Helen is about 2 days ahead of Heather Anderson's (self supported) FKT pace.

11/2 at 7:10 (16+ days) at Gardner Canyon, 730 miles.

"Here I am, the unicorn, waving goodbye to the 15-day, 13-hour, and 10-minute #FKT I had been chasing here on the #AZT and not giving a F about it. Does that mean I am going to let my foot off the gas? HELL NO, I am going to push harder on that pedal. I want to see what I am capable of, what records I can break for and within myself, and maybe set the women’s supported fastest-known-time while I am at it. I am running through the night again tonight and hopefully will reach Mexico tomorrow."

"I am. Almost. There. I have a solid 4-hour night of sleep (most I’ve gotten in more than a week) under my belt, incredible pacers (@robkrar and @annemcguffey), and more crew and support as I tick off the final hours and miles of this unbelievable journey. Stay tuned."

11/2 at 15:00 - Patagonia, about 51 miles to go!

11/3 took a break at Parker Canyon Lake, 21 miles to go, 17days.  Reached the boarder at 3:08pm.