FKT: Marie VanZandt - Mt Whitney (CA) - 2022-07-09

Route variation
Whitney Trail double
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
15h 22m 7s
GPS track(s)

The pre-adventure for the real adventure started around 8pm, July 8th, with a bear grabbing my small cooler filled with all my real food! The extremely fast bear was clearly staking me out as I left my back hatch open and fiddled at my passenger door. A brown flash three minutes later left me with only four cliff bars, 7 Gu's and plenty of Roctane Electrolyte powder for this double tap. I decided to push on!

I was inspired to go after Mr Kuntz's 2021 record but with no woman logging double tap attempts, I thought laying the gauntlet for the ladies was the second best outcome. Bright and early (1:20 ish AM) on July 9th I hit the trail! Solid pace with only a few places you can actually run had me up to the top in 3:58 minutes, just in time for the pre-sunrise peaking through the clouds. A quick turn around and one real stop along the switchbacks for some unpurified water - no signs of giardia as I write this post - had me back down at the portal by 7:06. This was where I was hoping that salami sandwich, watermelon and soda beverage would be waiting in my cooler for me.

With nothing but more Gu's and powder, I made a quick turn around and was headed back up the hill with more water by 7:15. It was clear within the first couple miles this lap was going to be a little slower, nothing horrible, but a few minutes each mile had me behind schedule and at the summit around 11:40. Another round of unfiltered water at the switchbacks and I was stumbling down the mountain as best I could. I was really hoping I would be able to pull it out the last 3-4 miles, but some nausea from 14 hours of sipping sugar made it hard to make up any time on the down hill. Finished strong at 15:22:07 total time, with 14:04 closer to my moving time.

All the Whitney hikers and runners were epically supportive and cheering me along each lap! I am inspired to come back with a better nutrition program and cut out some time filling water from a snow trickle. What a fun day and hope some ladies are inspired to put this FKT in its place and give me something to chase next time. Cheers!