Alex Elizabeth and crew smiling at night next to southern terminus trail sign

Alex Elizabeth Sets Female FKT on Superior Hiking Trail

Alex Elizabeth is a motivated endurance athlete. And despite heavy obstacles last week, she set a new record on the Superior Hiking Trail.

Alex Elizabeth was moving fast. Really fast. The Minnesota woman completed the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail on Sunday in only 6 days, 12 hours, 32 minutes.

This is the fastest known time for a supported female and the second-fastest supported time overall — just 4 hours behind the male record.

This was Elizabeth’s second FKT attempt on the trail. Her first attempt was a northbound trek of the route in May of this year, but she had to drop due to a bad ankle injury. Last week, she traveled southbound instead despite harsh rain and intense trail conditions.

“Second time’s a charm,” Elizabeth wrote on Instagram. “Such a beautiful piece of time and space that I am so grateful to have experienced.”, the de-facto monitor of FKTs around the world, recognized her run as official.

Superior Hiking Trail Conditions

The trail stretches from Superior National Forest on the Canadian border south past Duluth, Minnesota, and ends in Jay Cook State Park. Due to the subpar weather conditions, Elizabeth had to deal with trail section closures in Duluth. Re-routing meant finding trail mileage elsewhere to complete the full length of the route.

“Got news yesterday that the Duluth section of the SHT is closed due to poor conditions so will be doing a re-route,” she wrote in an update while still on the trail.

“The best moment of the trip was when I realized that the only thing I could control was my reaction to all of the things that were happening out of my control,” Elizabeth said afterward. “I decided I needed to work with, not against, the trail.”

For Elizabeth, her first failed attempt inspired and motivated her more than ever to go back and finish the trail. And that’s exactly what she did, setting a record in the process.

Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.