Two runners seeking Colorado Trail record finishes had to drop out after each completed more than 225 miles of the 485-mile route on record-setting paces.
Courtney Dauwalter, 35, of Golden had set a blistering pace as she aimed to beat a record time of 8 days, 30 minutes on the Colorado Trail working from west to east with a start in Durango and a finish in Denver. She chose to tackle the Collegiate West route that featured more climbing and five extra miles, and all was well Saturday as she turned up Collegiate West after she had already completed 258 miles with minimal sleep.
But Dauwalter’s crew took her to the emergency room in Leadville on Sunday after she was wheezing heavily. The 2019 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc champion was diagnosed with acute bronchitis brought on by either allergies or the dust and dry heat of the trail.
“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who followed along during Court’s CT attempt. Your cheers and kind words mean the world to us,” said Dauwalter’s husband, Kevin Schmidt, in a post to Instagram.
Dauwalter had tackled 310 miles of the trail in a little more than four days. Bryan Williams’ record set in 2017 will still stand, as will the women’s fastest-known time of 9 days, 18 hours, 52 minutes set in 2003 by Betsy Kalmeyer.
Michaud, who last year had set a self-supported fastest-known time on the Colorado Trail going from Denver to Durango, set out last week on a supported effort, as he aimed to beat Joe Grant’s time of 8 days, 20 hours, 9 minutes going in that direction.
But Michaud, 48, dropped Monday after he had run 236 miles in four days.
“Body responding well. Believe I could have improved on record,” Michaud said in a post to Facebook. “Then, I decided I wanted to not walk 180 of last 240 miles. Weak sauce but I’m still happy I did it. My body feels super strong.”