The North Face Athlete Nikki Kimball Sets Long Trail Record
Ultrarunner breaks female record for speed, while raising money for Girls on The Run
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The North Face athlete Nikki Kimball completed Vermont’s iconic Long Trail today in just 5 days, 7 hours and 42 minutes, setting the women’s supported speed record and surpassing the current women’s unsupported speed record by more than two full days. Her time is the top five speed records of all time, both men’s and women’s.
Kimball, a three-time winner of the North American Ultra Runner of the Year Award, three-time Western States winner and 2007 Ultra-Trail Du Mount Blanc winner, reached the end of the 273-mile trail at the Massachusetts border near Williamstown Saturday, after setting off on her journey at the Canadian Border near North Troy, Vermont on August 13. Jennifer Pharr Davis previously set the women’s record of 7 days, 15 hours in 2007.
â€œFor a first attempt, I couldn’t be more please. The overall experience was amazing, and I learned so much about myself, the trail and my crew,â€ said Kimball. â€œBut the bigger goal for me was to inspire women and girls of all ages, and to show that there’s an equal place for women in professional sports. I hope I did a little bit of that today.â€
As a Vermont native, currently residing in Bozeman, MT, Kimball learned to take her first steps just moments from the Long Trail, which is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The historic trail runs through the heart of Vermont’s backwoods and crosses the state’s highest peaks as it winds its way past pristine ponds, alpine bogs, hardwood forests and swift streams. The Long Trail is â€œsteep in some places, muddy in others, and rugged in most,â€ according to the Green Mountain Club that built the trail in 1910.
Along the way, Kimball raised money for Girls on the Run Vermont, a non-profit organization that teaches girls 8-15 life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running exercises in preparation for a 5K run.
Kimball’s journey is being filmed by Fours Five Productions and MontanaPBS, which will examine the role of women in professional sports and explore the world of distance running. The documentary â€“ â€œLong Trailâ€ â€“ will air on PBS in 2013.
To learn more about the â€œLong Trail,â€ visit MontanaPBS.org/LongTrail or www.thelongtrailfilm.com. For more information about Girls on the Run and how to donate, please visit http://www.active.com/donate/thelongtrail or www.girlsontherun.org.