Two of the Best Wonderland Trail FKT Films (Yes, this is a very subjective statement.)

I am a slow runner. This is not a complaint, and it’s not a critique. It’s just a plain statement of the truth. I can hold a 12-minute/mile pace for about 10 kilometers, and a 15-minute/mile pace for 20 miles, but that’s about it. After giving it absolutely everything, I was able to finish my first 50-mile race in just under 25 hours. Yes, I did spend roughly four hours in aid stations and getting my foot iced and taped so that I could keep moving, but still, this is SLOW.

And so it might come as a bit of a surprise that I do, in fact, enjoy seeing people chase FKTs (fastest known times), even though I know that nothing like that will ever be possible for me. (Well, unless I establish a route and keep my snail-paced FKT until someone comes to take a stroll and beats it.)

Today, I wanted to share with you two of my favourite FKT documentaries (oh wow, saying I’ve got a favourite FKT documentary feels like choosing a favourite child), both of them from the wonderful Wonderland Trail (most up-to-date FKTs can be found on this link).

The first Wonderland Trail FKT film I ever saw was about Gary Robbins who got his FKT in 2015, made by Ethan Newberry, also knows as The Ginger Runner. I re-watched it several times since. Gary is a beyond-inspiring runner (seriously, watch “Where Dreams Go to Die” to see what real grit is).

The second film I’m going to recommend today is also by Ethan Newberry, and follows Kaytlyn Gerbin, the current holder of the female supported FKT, and Dylan Bowman, who held the male supported FKT on the Wonderland Trail for just five days.

I hope you’ll enjoy these, I hope they’ll motivate you, and I’ll be back next week, hopefully back from the dead so I can tell you all about my Cool Moon 50-mile race which I haven’t recovered from yet. Just a little teaser: I totally got my money’s worth, having experienced it all; hallucinations, chafing, unstoppable nosebleed, nausea and throwing up, ridiculous heat, being stripped naked at an aid station to be brought back from the dead, and having to walk downhill backwards because legs gave up on me.

takayna | What If Running Could Save A Rainforest?

Patagonia has some really good short films and documentaries, there’s no arguing that. But last week I happened upon one that, for some reason, had been elusive to me up until that point but which I consider one of my favourite ones now. (Ouch, this was a super hard thing to say — nearly all of Patagonia’s short documentaries are my favourite ones!)

And because I’m publishing this from an airport, which means that in a few minutes, I’ll be on an airplane, re-watching this documentary, and because I genuinely think this short documentary is as heart-breaking as it is beautiful, and as important as it is, perhaps, unwanted, I thought the best course of action would be to share it with you all.

We all have probably heard about deforestation and realize that it poses a certain amount of threat to our future and the future of the planet. But how often do we hear about how bad it really gets, or about the people who are putting their own bodies on the line against heavy machinery to save the lungs of the planet and the homes of millions of species?

“I’ve felt Country talk freely to you and then run back to the same place months later to a silent and sterile wreck of splinters and dirt. This is a fundamental fight. The disease of man chasing money is real and it’s an epidemic… We fight on.”

Stills Hunter

What is being done? What can we do? And how is one runner helping save the Tarkine forest?

Patagonia answered this and more in takayna | What If Running Could Save a Rainforest.

2 New Ultrarunning Films Well Worth Your Time

Despite the year that 2020 has been, in the past two months, a few new ultra/trail running films were released. And even though every single one of them tells stories of perseverance and resistance, there are two that spread the message more than others, accompanied by stunning visuals and featuring amazing humans.

For Rangers Ultra

For Rangers Ultra is a stage race through the beautiful and wild plains of Kenya. This race was put on in support of the rangers that roam those plains and are the last frontier between poachers and the wildlife.

Golden Trail Championship 2020

The Faial island in Portugese Azores hosted the 2020 Golden Trail Championship despite all the hurdles. With races being canceled left and right this past year, the championship pushed through. Jim Walmsley, Stian Angermund, Maude Mathys and Tove Alexandersson take the audience behind the scenes and through all the adrenaline-filled courses.

A Random Day in the Life of Point Reyes | Video

I put this short video together while Point Reyes National Seashore is ravaged by the Woodward Fire. Let’s consider it a ind of a get-well-soon card to this place that have become my home.

I’ve spent what are now hundreds of hours volunteering as a trail patrol there, walking the very trails that are now covered in the ash of all the beautiful trees that offered me cover from rain and sun alike, and sung songs in the breeze coming from the ocean. My heart is heavy with sorrow; Woodward Valley Trail where this fire started was my very favourite trail and I’ve walked it more times than I can count.


If you can and want to donate to the Point Reyes Disaster Council, you can do so via the following post on Facebook.

Mt. Tamalpais | Six-Pack of Peaks

About the challenge

What is the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Depending on your location or where you want to take this challenge (of course, you can take them all if you have the time!), you sign up for Southern California, Northern California, Central Oregon, New England or Colorado Rockies. Newly, there’s a winter challenge for Arizona. I write more about the Six-Pack of Peaks challenge in my first log from Mission Peak.

My log

Completed: December 25, 2018

It was a beautiful Christmas Day and… and instead of staying with family or friends and stuffing my belly with good food and Christmas candy as any other sane person would do, I got up long before sunrise and drove to Stinson Beach to hike up Mount Tamalpais.

That peak used to scare me; I did not believe I was fit enough or had the physical ability to hike all the way up from the sea level. But again, who says what you can and can’t do? And so I stopped thinking about my in/ability to get up there and just did it. And it was the best thing I could have done that Christmas.

The hike was just pure pleasure. The trails were so beautiful that I wanted to get back on them the moment I got back to my car. Mt Tamalpais instantly became the best hike I’ve done in 2018.

Trailhead: Stinson Beach

Trails:
Dipsea Trail
Steep Ravine Trail
Old Stagecoach Fire Road
Railroad Grade Fire Road
(and back)


The previous Six-Pack-of-Peaks-Challenge article is HERE.

You can connect with me on Facebook,  Instagram, and Twitter.

And have a day full of breathtaking views! 🙂

Mount Umunhum | Six-Pack of Peaks

About the challenge

What is the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Depending on your location or where you want to take this challenge (of course, you can take them all if you have the time!), you sign up for Southern California, Northern California, Central Oregon, New England or Colorado Rockies. Newly, there’s a winter challenge for Arizona. I write more about the Six-Pack of Peaks challenge in my first log from Mission Peak.

My log

Completed December 22, 2018

The night before, I could not for dear world sleep, so I ended up getting up way before the sun came up and driving south towards Mount Umunhum. This peak was a sacred place for generations and generations of Native Americans, its name meaning “resting place of the humming bird”, long before it was turned into Air Force radar station. Since Fall of 2017, it’s been open to the public.

I don’t have as detailed description for this peak as for Mission Peak or Mount Diablo, but I do have a video from there to share with you!

Trailhead: Baldy Mountain parking area

Trail: Mount Umunhum Trail

Total: 8 miles


The previous Six-Pack-of-Peaks-Challenge article is HERE.

The next one will be HERE as soon as I get to the top of the next peak (and write it down and publish).

You can connect with me on Facebook,  Instagram, and Twitter.

And have a day full of breathtaking views! 🙂

(Also, if you feel like it, you can follow my blog so you won’t miss any of the following Six-Pack-of-Peaks-Challenge articles!)

VIDEO: In the Name of Life | Yosemite National Park

In the Name of Life – a video from my May visit to Yosemite National Park. This time, I brought a friend of mine who’s never been there – and who’s never been camping, either. However, she fell asleep in the tent the moment she closed her eyes and, according to her words, had a great sleep. Maybe Nature is really where we belong…

Spring in Yosemite is the embodiment of young life full of energy and potential. What did the place teach me this time?