Coree Woltering: I'm going for the Appalachian Trail FKT

March 5, 2021

Last week, Chaski Coach and pro ultra-runner Coree Woltering announced that he'll be going for the Appalachian Trail FKT, starting at Springer Mountain in Georgia on April 19, 2021.

The current record of 41 days, 7 hours, and 39 minutes was set by Karel Sabbe in 2018, taking 5 days off the ultra-running legend, Scott Jurek's mark from 2015.

For those keeping track, that's an average of 53 miles per day for almost 6 straight weeks over sometimes rugged and mountainous terrain.

Ty and Coree chatted about the attempt, Coree's training and planning, and what he's got in store before then. Watch/listen to the entire interview below and read some quick takeaways at the bottom

1. Why go for the Appalachian Trail?

After his huge FKT on the Ice Age Trail during the summer of 2020, Coree realized he was made for these long, grinding, multi-day efforts.

"The AT is "a bit" longer, but mostly its a much slower trail [Ice Age featured quite a bit of road and smooth trail], so I really need to get efficient and smooth at hiking and running on more technical terrain over the next few months."

2. Why start so early?

Starting in late April means that -- if all goes according to plan -- he'll reach the White Mountains of New Hampshire in late May, where there will likely be a lot of snow still.

"Yeah, I know there's going to be a lot of snow in the Whites (and probably in Vermont and Maine as well). I don't mind the cold; I've run well in some pretty brutal winter conditions, but honestly, it's more of a scheduling thing this time. Ice Age Trail took a very long time to recover from, so I want to set myself up to be able to recover well over the summer and, if things with COVID turn around, have some semblance of a fall racing season".

3. What will training look like between now and then?

Coree will run two 100km trail races, Stillhouse this coming weekend, and the Black Canyon 100km in February. He's currently stationed in Flagstaff, AZ at 7000 ft above sea level where he can boost his aerobic system from the high altitude and have access to a wide array of trails.

"I've really never run well at 100km, so that's just something I want to get under my belt before this. Black Canyon is a really fast race, so that'll be a totally different stimulus both to race and train for. Once that's over, I'll focus on some really long fast-packing/hiking routes for the month or two before the attempt. You only have to cover 3.5 miles per hour for 15 hours a day to get the record!"

"But, until then, I just want to feel fit and fast."

4. Is there anything specific you took from your Ice Age Trail FKT that you'll apply here?"Don't sprain your ankle early in the attempt! Haha - but really, staying healthy, having a great support crew, and having some other great athletes to join in along the way were all supercritical during IAT and will be on the AT as well. And then, afterwards, knowing to expect the body to just not feel right for quite a while; weird sleep patterns, lack of appetite, general unpredictable energy levels -- knowing what's to come is super helpful.But that's all for afterwards. For now, I'm just focused on getting there and then it'll be one day at a time, one step at a time!"

Make sure to follow Chaski and Coree for further training updates. We can't wait to cheer him on!

— Coree Woltering

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