Summer of 2020 might just become known as the summer of F.K.T’s (fastest known times). With races canceled, runners, distance hikers, and cyclists have been charging hard and breaking records left and right. The sheer amount of F.K.T’s that have occurred this season are so numerous, it’s been difficult just to stay up to date.
Among the multitude of broken records this year, Mikaela “Fly-By” Osler’s endeavor on the Colorado Trail stands out as a highlight. On July 30, Osler set out to attempt the famous Colorado Trail. Spanning 486 miles from Denver to Durango and encompassing over 80,000 feet of vertical gain over 8 mountain ranges, the Colorado Trail is a behemoth of a trek that usually takes many weeks to complete. Additionally, much of the trail sits at an elevation of above 10,000 feet. Despite this, Osler set out on the trail with the goal of completing the whole length in 14 days.
This ambitious objective, if successful, would mean that Osler would break the previous female self-supported Colorado Trail F.K.T by 24 hours. The former record was held by Olga King with a blazing time of 15 days and 2 hours.
The female record for a supported attempt is 9d 10h 52mins, set by Betsy Kalmeyer back in 2003.
On August 9, Mikaela Osler completed her trek on the Colorado Trail… four days ahead of schedule. Osler’s goal of 14 days was impressive as is, but her finishing time of 10 days, 12 hours, and 36 minutes is downright mind-blowing. Furthermore, Osler successfully completed this thru-hike entirely self-supported- she had food drops and accepted trail magic. That means Osler hiked the whole trail by herself, without pacers, a crew, or any outside assistance.
Osler is no stranger to long thru-hikes and boasts an impressive hiking resume completing trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail.
Osler’s success on the Colorado Trail sets the bar high for those seeking an F.K.T. Covering just under 500 miles in 10 days is absolutely gnarly. Congrats to Mikaela Osler on her record-smashing hike in Colorado!