The Flatirons are a prominent fixture in Boulder, CO that attracts the likes of hikers, runners, and climbers. For decades, there have been a handful of dedicated runners and climbers who have devoted themselves to test their mettle as they surge up the 1,000-foot rock faces in record time.
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Earlier this month, local runner, Michael Reese, added his name to the Flatiron history book by ascending all 1,000 feet of the first flatiron in a matter of 9 minutes and 23 seconds. Reese just barely managed to surpass the previous record by two seconds which was formerly held by Stefan Griebel.
Although Reese did not shatter the record, this ascent is still very impressive. The first flatiron sits at a stout 60-degree angle and even its easiest route goes at 5.3. As such, many climbers use trad gear and climbing ropes to ascend the face because a fall could likely end in catastrophe. With eyes set on a record, Reese had no time for ropes or gear and instead soloed the whole route.
According to Reese, he climbed the first flatiron approximately 50 times in preparation for his record attempt. Reese comes from a competitive running background and is a competent rock climber which made him well-suited for this kind of endeavor.
“It’s pretty much pure joy. I think the best part about it is kind of killing multiple birds with one stone. You’re in nature, you’re pushing your limits, you’re bettering your physical state, you’re getting in a workout, you’re going for a record.”
– Michael Reese
Congratulations to Michael Reese on his successful and mind-blowing record up the flatirons!