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A Dialog With Andrea Sansone About Her Girls’s Supported Nolan’s 14 Quickest Identified Time – iRunFar


Andrea Sansone just lately set a brand new girls’s supported quickest recognized time on the Nolan’s 14 route in a time of 45 hours and 52 minutes, taking the ladies’s file effectively beneath the two-day barrier for the primary time. The earlier file was set by Sabrina Stanley in 2020 at 48:49.

The route contains 14 peaks of better than 14,000 toes (4,267 meters) within the Sawatch Vary in Colorado. There may be free route alternative between the peaks, and the problem quantities to round 95 miles with roughly 44,000 toes (13,411 meters) of elevation acquire. You may learn our information article for extra particulars and background on her run.

On this interview, Sansone talks in regards to the highs and lows of her build-up and provides an in depth breakdown of what was actually occurring behind the tracker dot we had been all glued to for these 45-plus hours.

[Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for brevity and clarity.]

Andrea Sansone - 2022 Nolan's 14 FKT - training

Andrea Sansone coaching for her 2022 Nolan’s 14 quickest recognized time effort. All images courtesy of Andrea Sansone.

On How She’s Feeling a Few Days After Ending

I suppose I’m feeling a bit of bit worse than I used to be. I completed at 1:52 a.m. on Monday morning, and I couldn’t sleep that night time as a result of I used to be coughing a lot. My first full night time of sleep was in all probability the night time after I completed, after which final night time I truly slept good. I’m a bit of bit swollen now. My voice is simply getting worse. That’s in all probability the place I’m at proper now, ready for all the pieces to get higher.

On Background and Buildup

Again in 2020, Andrew [Hamilton] and I did Nolan’s, as a workforce. I used to be sort of residing my summer time on prednisone as a result of I had all this knee ache. I used to be making an attempt to determine what was occurring with my knee. After our profitable try of Nolan’s, I wished to attempt to get my knee found out. I ended up having knee surgical procedure in January 2021. After which it took me till April or Could to get well from that; it was a very large surgical procedure. After that, we had Andrew’s [Colorado] Centennials file that summer time, so I crewed for him and I climbed 21 mountains with him. I wouldn’t have been in a position to try this if I didn’t have my knee surgical procedure. I actually felt that was sort of the start, a brand new web page for me.

So, 2021 was Andrew’s yr, after which quick ahead to this yr. We had been coaching all by means of the winter and we didn’t actually know what we had been coaching for. When spring got here, I feel in April, I used to be on a path run and I broke my foot. I used to be so upset. I needed to take a couple of month off. After three weeks, I began mountaineering Mount Morrison, simply to see how I used to be doing, to see how my cardio was.

I used to be doing okay, in order that’s once I had the concept to exit to [do a record attempt on] the Manitou Incline. A pal had achieved it and she or he was telling me about it, and I used to be like, That appears like enjoyable. I used to be speaking with Andrew and I used to be like, I ponder what number of laps I might do on the Incline? It sort of tailors to my energy, you’re simply going up hills for a very very long time.

The plan was 16 laps. I put my splits collectively and I ended up going on the market for twenty-four hours; Andrew supported me. I did it for 19 laps, and I did that in 23 hours and 36 minutes. That was actually cool. I used to be like, Wow, I blew myself away, I didn’t know I might do 19 laps.

After that, I suppose there was speak. We had thought in regards to the Colorado 14er 24-hour file for a very very long time however by no means acted on it. After I did the Incline, we had been simply speaking about how this may be the yr to do it. We put numerous work into that. We went out and we scouted to get some real-time splits and we actually simply sort of blew ourselves away with a few of our break up occasions.

Going into the 24-hour file try, I didn’t assume that 12 peaks had been truly doable. However I really feel like at any time when I do these makes an attempt, I all the time carry out higher on the day. You recognize, it’s a psychological factor. When the 24-hour file got here, I ended up doing the Mount Columbia by means of Missouri Mountain leg in six hours and 55 minutes. I ended up doing 12 peaks in 22 hours and 16 minutes.

Andrea Sansone - 2022 Nolan's 14 FKT - Mount Princeton

Andrea Sansone climbing Mount Princeton on her solution to setting the ladies’s supported Nolan’s 14 quickest recognized time in September 2022.

On Planning the Try

Actually, after I completed and we’re within the automotive, returning the ATV, Andrew brings up Nolan’s. I used to be like, No. In my head, I used to be not ever going again to Nolan’s. It was an accomplishment that I did it in 2020 and I closed that chapter, and I used to be achieved. I used to be like, I’m not ever going to return to Nolan’s.

However he was tremendous excited, with all of our splits and all the pieces, simply taking out the breaks that we had after we did it in 2020, a file appeared doable. We took 5 hours off of our Mount Columbia-Missouri Mountain leg from our 2020 Nolan’s.

He was like, “Even in case you take two hours, three hours off of that, and bam, there may be the file proper there.” This yr I’m a stronger descender, I’m a sooner climber, and so I knew that on paper it appeared doable. However I’m an emotional particular person greater than I’m logical. You may put numbers in entrance of me all you need, however I’ve to consider that I can do it. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually had confidence that I can do something, I’m not a really assured particular person. However Andrew satisfied me to only go for it.

Then every week earlier than, I used to be like, “Hey, can we do it collectively, go north to south? That sounds extra enjoyable to me. Me going on the market and simply doing a south to north one, I’ve already achieved that.”

Andrew had an enormous psychological swap and it was our plan to exit and go north to south collectively. That weekend he ended up with a kidney stone and his prospect of doing a full Nolan’s was out.

It was this enormous emotional curler coaster for me as a result of it was like, Oh I’m doing Nolan’s south to north on my own … Oh no, Andrew’s doing north to south with me … Oh no, I’m again to doing it on my own. I by no means felt emotionally ready to be on the market, however I simply knew that I needed to strive as a result of I knew that it might be now or by no means.

Just a few days earlier than the try I despatched out a [social media] put up, which I feel took the stress off of me. I used to be like, “Look, I’m going to strive Nolan’s but when I get three, 4, 5 peaks in and I’m not feeling it, I’ll name it. I’m not out right here to show that I can do Nolan’s.” I feel that took the stress off of me, to really feel like I’ve to succeed or I’m going to let all these individuals down.

A Good Begin

We used our 2020 splits for this file try. Principally for the primary eight mountains, Mount Shavano by means of Mount Yale, my solely objective was to satisfy my splits. My up occasions had been a bit of bit sooner, however not a lot. However the place I actually gained my time was on the descents. I’m a a lot better descender now.

In 2020, I bear in mind once you interviewed me and I used to be like, “Yeah, I don’t run something.” However I’m higher now and I understand how to do some gradual hike-jog, and take a half hour off of those hour-long descents by simply choosing it up a bit of bit. I don’t need to run laborious. I don’t need to harm my physique in any respect. However jogging a bit of bit goes a good distance. That first day I used to be an hour and a half forward of my splits going into the night time.

Andrea Sansone - 2022 Nolan's 14 FKT - with Andrew Hamilton

Andrea Sansone with companion Andrew Hamilton between Mount Yale and Mount Columbia, earlier than Andrew began pacing Andrea.

A Tough Evening

After we put our splits collectively it wasn’t that first day the place I anticipated making up time, it was Mount Columbia by means of Missouri Mountain. In 2020, that leg took Andrew and me 11 hours and quarter-hour. After we did it within the 24-hour file try, it was a 6:55. Andrew was with me by means of the nighttime [this time] and we gave ourselves 9 hours to try this Mount Columbia by means of Missouri Mountain hyperlink. That’s the place we wanted to shine, that’s the place we thought I used to be going to make up all my time. However that wasn’t the case. I had the longest night time of my life.

That night time, it was stunning, the total moon and the inversion of the clouds. Going up Mount Columbia was actually nice. My low didn’t begin there, it began on the summit of Mount Columbia and it actually lasted till the top of Huron Peak. I needed to push myself in a single day, over Huron Peak within the day, by means of this low, and it was one of many hardest issues I’ve ever achieved. I used to be able to be achieved and I used to be so drained. It was so sudden due to all these 24-hour efforts that I had achieved, my nights had been nice. I used to be anticipating my nighttime to be not that tough.

However we figured that, I used to be going laborious throughout the day and so I feel it simply sort of caught up with me. However I feel the gorgeous factor is that even once I’m in such a mentally low state, my physique nonetheless is aware of the right way to hike. I used to be nonetheless mountaineering 1,800, 2,000 toes per hour generally. It was simply psychological, and generally that may actually overpower you.

Coming off of Missouri Mountain, we had been on the point of meet Dan Hobbs and Forrest Hobbs. They’d a crew spot at Clohesy Lake for us. Earlier than we acquired there, I simply bawled my eyes out, I simply cried. I sat down, we wasted a couple of half hour at Clohesy Lake, however I simply wanted to take a seat.

Ultimately, we left the crew and headed up Huron Peak. It felt like I used to be going so gradual, it was a demise march. Then we get to the highest and it’s morning, it’s 8:30 a.m. We had been afraid to have a look at our splits as a result of we thought we went so gradual, however after we lastly appeared, we had been proper on monitor. That was key.

A Turning Level

I began feeling higher from then, I simply actually wanted the solar to come back up. The remainder of the day was very laborious however I didn’t hate it. I used to be having time, I had my crew with me and my pal Jaime Bakeman got here up with me on La Plata Peak. I used to be in numerous ache, and it was nonetheless actually laborious however I used to be again to being like, Oh, okay that is what I love to do.

The Ultimate Push

I had an incredible break up on Mount Elbert. My pal Joey [Campanelli, the men’s overall and unsupported Nolan’s 14 record holder] was with me, and we had such a good time. Coming off of Mount Elbert, we mainly acquired off when it was turning darkish. It’s simply clockwork, , as quickly because the solar goes down, then my mind is like, Oh yay, now you get to be depressing. TJ [Pitts] and his pal Josh [Pater], they had been planning on developing Mount Huge with me however actually, additionally I craved the presence of Andrew. You recognize, I really feel prefer it permits me to be okay with my feelings. He actually didn’t need to come up Mount Huge, however he was ready and so he ended up coming with us and it was actually laborious. Trying up and seeing the ridgeline so distant — I simply felt prefer it was by no means going to finish.

Then we acquired to the ridgeline and it took what felt like an eternity to get to the summit. It was false summit after false summit.

TJ and Josh, they’re actually humorous guys and so going up I simply take heed to their tales and stuff. I nonetheless had my moaning and groaning. It was simply laborious for me to be tremendous completely satisfied. I used to be fascinated with you [Meghan Hicks, former Nolan’s 14 record holder] and the way in your Nolan’s run, you began off and then you definitely simply sped up by means of the complete factor and I assumed that was wonderful. I felt dangerous for my angle as a result of my crew put in a lot work for me and right here I’m simply groaning.

However I adore it , I really like the problem, I really like the mountains. That’s why I do this stuff. I really like being on the market. Even within the hardest of hards. I put all the pieces, I put my tears on the market, I put my laborious work on the market, I put my scouting on the market, and I left all of it on the mountain. I didn’t need to go away the Nolan’s course with something that I had left in me.

Andrea Sansone - 2022 Nolan's 14 FKT - Tabeguache Peak sunrise

Andrea Sansone descending Tabeguache Peak at dawn throughout her profitable Nolan’s 14 try in September 2022.

The Ultimate Miles

There are two miles after you get all the way down to the timber and you may get again onto the path to the fish hatchery, after which you’ve got 5 miles left. These first two miles, Andrew did the mathematics, he was like, “We’re getting you beneath 46 hours, it’s doable, however it’s solely doable in case you run.”

My physique harm head to toe, each step was simply so painful. Josh and TJ had been drill sergeants; they had been pushing me so laborious. The primary two miles I used to be operating, and I look over, and TJ is subsequent to me and he’s strolling! And that sort of turned a swap on for me as a result of I used to be like, If I’m going to beat my physique up operating, I’m darn effectively not going to do it at a strolling tempo!

I turned it on after that two miles, and it was nonetheless solely 12-minute miles, 11-minute miles, however it nonetheless felt so quick. It felt like a dash. They had been identical to, “Go, go, go!” And the entire time I used to be crying and saying, I don’t need to do that, I’m high quality with 46 hours.

For 3 hours, everybody simply sort of pushed me and was like, “You are able to do it, you’re going to do it.” It was simply their encouragement and laborious work and perception in me that made it doable. This might have been inconceivable with out my crew. They labored laborious, they suffered with me.

It’s so particular that I had a workforce of people that cared and cherished me sufficient and wished to do that, wished me to succeed as a lot as I wished to succeed. It will simply be completely inconceivable with out each single considered one of them on the market with me.

On Encouraging Extra Girls to Try Nolan’s 14

I really like Nolan’s, I feel that it’s so humorous [that there aren’t more women doing it]. I’m nothing particular. I feel that what I do, anyone else can do. I feel that in case you simply put within the work, the time, and energy, then anyone can exit and do it and I feel that I’ve undoubtedly discovered loads and I’ve grown. I feel that there’s undoubtedly a part of that in my growth through the years.

I feel that Nolan’s, it’s important to, not grasp — I don’t assume anybody actually masters this — however it’s important to have a grip on the psychological part of it for certain. However in case you simply observe getting on the market and mountaineering mountains and doing laborious issues, anyone can do that. I feel that it’s actually rewarding and it’s a enormous accomplishment. It’s cliché, however in case you actually consider and put your thoughts to it and might break by means of the barrier of doubt and the desirous to give up, that psychological part, anybody can do that. It’s so enjoyable and rewarding.

You recognize, I simply need to say that all the ladies who’ve gone earlier than me have simply been an entire inspiration. Once I was on the market, Andrew and I saved saying, “You recognize, I’m not the one one who’s suffered, everybody else who has achieved this previously has suffered identical to this.” Since you begin feeling dangerous for your self and so I considered you a lot, I’m like, Meghan did this, she was hurting too, she needed to undergo the nights too.

You recognize, Sabrina [Stanley] needed to undergo the nights and she or he was hurting. I imply goodness, Sarah [Hansel], she did this alone. All the ladies who’ve gone earlier than me have actually been an inspiration. It’s doable. These girls have achieved it earlier than me and I’ve achieved it. I’m simply actually grateful for everybody who goes on the market, will get themselves out on that line, and simply even makes an attempt it. It’s a ravishing factor.

Andrea Sansone - 2022 Nolan's 14 FKT - with crew at finish line at Fish Hatchery

Andrea Sansone (in pink) with a few of her crew on the Leadville, Colorado, fish hatchery on Monday, September 12, 2022, after she set a brand new girls’s supported quickest recognized time on the Nolan’s 14 route.

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