March 18, 2020 47 Comments

While most of the nation is practicing social distancing away from large social gatherings, Kogalla athlete, Candice Burt is taking those measures to a whole other level — by running 800 miles in the Arizona desert with the help of a small support crew.

On March 15, at approximately 9:50 a.m., Burt began her attempt at setting the fastest known time (FKT) for the Arizona National Scenic Trail. The current female FKT for the trail is held by Helen Galerakis with a time of 17 days, 11 hours, 3 minutes, and was set going north to south on Nov 3, 2019. The overall FKT is held by Josh Perry, who set it October 2019, completing the distance in 14 days, 12 hours and 21 minutes. Burt has set a goal to complete the trail running south to north in under 14 days, which would clear the field on both the male and female sides.

Candice Burt: Mother, Entrepreneur, Race Director, Endurance Athlete

The 800-mile trail begins on the Mexico/Arizona border, and moves north toward Utah, traversing the entire north-south length of Arizona. The trail moves through parts of the Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Rincon Mountains, making for some steep and technical terrain. But it isn’t just the rocky terrain, desert conditions or long miles that will make this attempt a challenge. With 14 days, also comes nearly as many nights. And in order to complete the distance in the goal time, Burt will have to spend many of those dark, night hours on the move.

Like many ultra distance athletes, the night hasn’t always been a friend to Burt. In 2012, after her first Wonderland Trail FKT run, she experienced a very scary time during the night that left her not only frightened, but traumatized for years.

“When I ran the Wonderland route solo in 2012, I had several animal encounters, all in the same 4-hour window of time,” she said. “I saw two bears and two mountain lions. It was all on the climb up from White River, at night. Having never encountered mountain lions and being alone with no way to defend myself, it was an extremely frightening and life changing encounter. Not only did I feel stronger for having gotten through the situation, I was also left traumatized, and for years after that was scared when running alone at night.”

Thankfully, Burt has had several more positive experiences running through the night since that time, that have allowed her to not only embrace the darkness, but to use it to her advantage in running successes.

The ultrarunner, who is also the race director and owner of Destination Trail races, has many FKT’s under her belt, including the following:

  • Women's Fastest Known Time (5:18) on Enchantment Lakes Traverse
  • FKT of the Year Award, 3rd place for unsupported Wonderland Trail Record
  • Fastest Known Time on the 95 mile Wonderland Trail in 28hr 45min, Solo/Unsupported (August 2018)
  • FKT (fastest known time) for 48 mile Trans-Zion Crossing, unsupported record (Women), 2011

With two nights already in on the Arizona Trail, Burt is on track to get her goal with the help of her Kogalla Ultra Trail Light for what she says is “lighting up the night.”

Burt’s FKT attempt is in an effort to fundraise for Girls on the run in AZ, and the Arizona Trail Association. Updates to her progress can be found on her Instagram page @runcandicerun. You can also follow Candice via her live tracking page.


47 Responses

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Peter Filipowicz
Peter Filipowicz

May 02, 2020

Very cool! Motivating! Woooo!

Jon Bohnsack
Jon Bohnsack

May 01, 2020

Wow, what an adventure

Rebecca Ryan
Rebecca Ryan

April 30, 2020

Wow !! Amazing ! - Coming across those animals at night & by herself - Candice is one tough cookie & a strong woman !!! May you continue to do what you love and break FKTs.

Laura
Laura

April 30, 2020

Amazing! I’ll be following along and look forward to hearing about the adventure when she’s done.

Andy Wentzel
Andy Wentzel

April 30, 2020

Awesome! I can’t imagine running the entire AZT, I’m hoping to bike pack it this fall.

Thomas P
Thomas P

April 30, 2020

Not easy running technical trails in the daylight. Quite a challenge wih terrain, weather AND a deadline. Good luck.

Ian
Ian

April 30, 2020

800 mile FKT; get after it!

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April 30, 2020

Fight the dark and continue to press on

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April 29, 2020

Inspiring

Gwenn Case
Gwenn Case

April 29, 2020

That light is a game changer! What a beast of a runner!

Chris A
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April 29, 2020

I can’t even fathom doing this!

Erica
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April 29, 2020

That would be an amazing trail to run!

brent stewart
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April 29, 2020

Quite the epic adventures – very inspiring

Vesko Gavrilov
Vesko Gavrilov

April 29, 2020

Candice, your determination inspires me to achieve my goals! I wish you break many record FKT in the future!

Curtis M
Curtis M

April 29, 2020

Amazing, 800 miles! You can do it!

Miky Turrill
Miky Turrill

April 29, 2020

NICE!

Florence
Florence

April 29, 2020

Candice Burt is very brave. Mountain lions and bears on a running course would be scary!

Jon Rider
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April 29, 2020

Interesting vid. The nighttime stuff is particularly interesting.

Libby Dykes
Libby Dykes

March 20, 2020

YOU are amazing and what an incredible undertaking! Stay strong Candice! We are all cheering for you!

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