In her first attempt at a world record on Vermont’s Historic 272-Mile Long Trail, Nikki Kimball, 41, obliterated the previous women’s unsupported speed time of 7 days, 15 hours by more than two days.
The Long Trail through the state's Green Mountains can be brutal. It includes 67,000 feet of elevation gain and crosses Vermont's highest peaks. Kimball started the run on Monday, Aug. 13 with a plan to finish in just four days. The pace would have set a new best for men's and women's attempts. The journey took longer than she expected, but her time of 5 days, 7 hours and 42 minutes still ranks in the top five speed records of all time.
In an interview with The North Face, Kimball said her primary goal was to inspire women and girls of all ages and to prove women’s equal place in professional sports. Kimball raised money for Girls on the Run. The nonprofit organization uses conversation-based lessons and running exercises to teaches girls 8-15 life skills as they train for a 5K run.
As a Vermont native, Kimball learned to walk and run not far from the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. She now lives in Bozeman, MT.
Her journey was filmed by Fours Five Productions and MontanaPBS as part of the documentary “Long Trail.” The film highlights the sport of distance running and the role of women in professional sports, and will air on PBS in 2013.
You can learn more about each day of the journey on The North Face Blog.