Last month on July 11, Emkay Myers and Tommy Sullivan set out to attempt a daunting endeavor: the Ruby Crest FKT (fastest known time) for the mixed-gender category. For those who are unfamiliar, the Ruby Crest is a stunning trail that traverses through the Ruby Mountains of Northeastern Nevada. Over the course of 37 miles and nearly 10,000 vertical feet, the trail ascends mountain passes and meanders alongside crystal blue high-alpine lakes. Due to its rugged terrain and jaw-dropping beauty, the Ruby Crest Trail is a quintessential Nevada endurance run.
Although the couple had their sights set on a record, they had another goal to accomplish as well- to help out a good friend. Earlier in June, their dear friend Sean Kent was severely injured in an unfortunate dirt-biking accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Sean is a fixture in the Tahoe skiing community and sought to live life to its fullest. “Any of us who know Sean knows that he is an adventure athlete in the skies, waters, mountains, and cities. He is a certified skydiver and ski team instructor. He mountain bikes, rock climbs, river rafts, practices yoga, swims and snowmobiles” stated Sean’s mother, Margaret, on his GoFundMe page.
After the accident, Sean underwent emergency spinal fusion surgery and is now in the process of a multi-month rehab. In order to alleviate some of the medical expenses, a GoFundMe campaign was initiated. Since it’s inception in mid-June, the campaign has raised $59,000. A portion of these donations are a result of Tommy and Emkay who opted to use their FKT attempt as an opportunity to spread awareness for the campaign.
During the campaign, the pair was able to gain assistance from running companies such as Altra, Coros, and Spring Energy- all of which either donated to or shared the GoFundMe link on their social media.
Emkay and Tommy commenced their run at 4:50 am and set off to tackle 37 miles. The pair elected to attempt an unsupported FKT, which meant that they could not receive any outside assistance. As such, Tommy and Emkay carried all of their own gear, food, and water. Throughout the run, they would refill water bottles at streams and lakes using a water-filter. At one point in the midst of their attempt, the team encountered a 10-mile stretch of trail with no place to refill water. Tired and dehydrated, Tommy and Emkay carried on.
By pure coincidence, Tommy and Emkay ran into a friend who was backpacking the trail. Immediately noticing their lack of water, Tommy and Emkay’s friend offered up some of his own. The pair promptly and politely refused, as any outside assistance would disqualify their attempt.
Despite hardships and trials of perseverance, Tommy and Emkay successfully completed the Ruby Crest Trail with a new record time of 8 hours, 56 minutes, and 18 seconds. Additionally, had Emkay been running on her own, the time would have been fast enough to secure the Women’s FKT as well.
Upon finishing, Emkay and Tommy were met by a select handful of close friends who sprayed the duo in a celebratory PBR shower (they had forgotten to bring the champagne). Tommy and Emkay are grateful and proud of their experience on the wonderous Ruby Crest Trail. They also would like to encourage anyone who has the means to please donate to Sean’s GoFundMe.
“Sean has always been about spreading love to everyone and now is our chance to send some love back. Please help out however you can to help Sean and his family with expenses and energy during this time. All funds will be used for Sean’s treatment. They will be transferred directly into a trust that is being set up to support Sean’s expenses at Wells Fargo” Margaret Kent writes.
Congrats to Emkay and Tommy on their tremendous effort and if you would like to help out a fellow skier, please donate to Sean’s GoFundMe campaign– every little bit helps!