Jeff Garmire Sets Arizona Trail FKT
Photo courtesy Jeff Garmire

Jeff Garmire Sets FKT on 800-Mile Arizona Trail

Top photo credit: Jeff Garmire

Jeff Garmire hiked and ran the 800-mile Arizona Trail, which stretches across the entirety of Arizona, faster than anyone else. For the feat, he averaged more than 50 miles per day.

Verified by FastestKnownTime.com, Garmire set the self-supported and overall fastest known time for the Arizona Trail on April 21, 2019. He completed the 800-mile trail, which stretches from the top to the bottom of Arizona, in 15 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes.

Jeff Garmire Sets Arizona Trail FKT
Photo credit: Jeff Garmire

Arizona Trail Fastest Known Times

Garmire bested the previous self-supported record-holder, Witt “El Matador” Wisebram — who held a time of 18 days, 16 hours, 45 minutes — and the supported record-holder, Michael Versteeg, who completed it in 15 days, 22 hours, 39 minutes.

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The Arizona Trail connects mountain ranges, deserts, forests, canyons, and historical sites in Arizona. In the southern part of the state, it crosses the cactus landscape of Saguaro National Park. Toward its northern end, the Arizona Trail crosses Grand Canyon National Park.

It varies widely in elevation, from less than 2,000 feet to over 9,000 feet high. There is a total of 110,683 feet of elevation gain, according to the Arizona Trail Association.

Garmire’s Instagram post below capped off his accomplishment:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

It took 15 days, 13 hours and 10 minutes to complete the Arizona Trail. A new self supported and overall FKT (Speed Record). It was truly one of the harder things I have ever done. My feet are cut and bruised, my mind is cloudy with exhaustion, and my body has wasted away down to nothing. It was not exactly the experience I was expecting, but it was the one I was searching for. But enough about me. Thanks to a lot of people: my family for accepting I’m quite crazy and always supporting it, my friends for letting me stay on couches (when I’m not in nature) this last year of being homeless, all the companies that have helped out with gear for the trip, @elmatador.witt for breaking the FKT last fall and putting the thought in my mind, and everyone who sent a positive message. There were many low points out there, and positivity and mental toughness were the only ways to overcome them. I’m quite tired, my body needs to recover, and my mind needs to process this incredibly taxing accomplishment; but I do have more giant goals for 2019. #DoEpicShit

A post shared by Jeff Garmire (@thefreeoutside) on

Jeff Garmire Sets FKT on Arizona Trail

Garmire recorded his FKT via GPS and posted regular updates on Instagram. Prior to his FKT, Garmire sought to break the self-supported FKT, without ruling out the possibility of also breaking the supported record.

Jeff Garmire Sets Arizona Trail FKT
U.S. Forest Service map of the Arizona Trail

His style, self-supported, meant he resupplied on his own without using a vehicle or arranging support from others.

He battled 90-degree days through the desert, dehydration, and sleep deprivation.

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According to one of Garmire’s Instagram posts, on his 15th day, he climbed out of the Grand Canyon and encountered more than 10 miles of snow. It was up to 4 feet deep in some places.

Despite the physical and mental difficulties on the trail, Garmire pulled through to set the fastest known time on the Arizona Trail. Congratulations go out to Garmire for this incredible accomplishment!

Nate Mitka
By

Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.

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