Tahoe Rim Trail Unsupported Fastest Known Time Report

TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt is an avid adventure runner and member of the Donner Party Mountain Runners. Follow Mike on Instagram at @irontebby. Although his record breaking time of completing the Tahoe Rim Trail was subsequently broken shortly after his run, we are very proud of Mike and his herculean efforts. Way to go Mike!

On June 25th, I set out at 2:35AM from the Brockway trail head in counter clockwise direction in an attempt to break JB Benna’s unsupported fastest known time of 58h 43m 12s on the approx. 174 mile Tahoe Rim Trail. On June 27th at 8:52AM, I arrived back at Brockway to a great ovation by 10 close friends, family and our dog, having set a new FKT (fastest known time) for the TRT at 54h 17m, shaving over 4 hours from JB’s time! I had no idea if anyone would be there at the finish and having everyone there really put the cherry on top for me!

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Filtering water at the Truckee River. Ph: Mike Tebbutt

Unsupported means you have no external support of any kind. Typically, this means that you must carry all your supplies right from the start, except any water that can be obtained along the way from natural sources. This approach has also been termed “alpine style”. The longest trip I’m aware of using this style is Demetri “Coup” Coupounas’ 20-day thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. For most people, carrying enough food for more than a few days to one week will be prohibitive. Unsupported also means unaccompanied!

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Aloha Lake. Ph: Mike Tebbutt

Link to my Spotwalla GPS tracking where you can click on way points to get an idea of the rate of travel through the different sections.

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Sunset going into the third night from Snow Valley Peak. Ph: Mike Tebbutt

I had a really good couple of days out there and could not have done it without all of my equipment working as flawlessly as it did under such demanding conditions! My Brooks Pure Grit 3 Trail Running Shoes, along with my Injinji Socks, kept my feet blister free. My Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest held everything I needed and over 15#’s at one point, carrying and distributing the weight better than I thought a vest ever could with what I just put it through. My Black Diamond Distance Carbon Poles are absolutely essential for such a long run/hike. I carry them every step of the way and did not fall a single time as they act like extra legs to always keep you upright and distribute some of the weight from your legs and feet. I used the ultra light Sawyer Water Filtration System for the first time and loved it! It screws onto the top of a soft bladder and you squeeze the water out with minimal effort.

Thanks Tahoe Mountain Sports for outfitting me with all the best gear!

Please click HERE to read the full report on my run.

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Soaking in some of the final views about twelve miles before the finish! Ph: Mike Tebbutt

As I began writing this report on Friday, July 10, my friend Sean Ranney had just taken off at about 5AM that morning for his own attempt at what was still my Unsupported FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail at that time. I am finally back at the computer to finish my report 4 days later and am no longer the record holder. 15 days to the minute, after I beat JB Benna’s time by over 4 hours, Sean bettered my time of 54 hrs 17 min by two and a half hours, finishing at 8:52 AM on Sunday, July 12, 2015 in a total elapsed time of just 51 hrs 45 min. As I peeled myself from bed prematurely at 5AM that morning and began the process of accepting the inevitable, I felt a little deflated and on edge, however the only respectable thing to do was brew up some coffee and head down to Spooner Summit to greet Sean at the finish and congratulate him on his amazing run. We then went to breakfast and shared with each other a little of our own experiences. Good times! I look forward to hearing more about it from Sean when he is more rested and less loopy!

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Running into the finish at Brockway! Ph: Mike Tebbutt

Honestly, I was thinking about my next attempt and everything I can do to improve my time the day after I finished. I think something might be wrong with me! While I am stoked for Sean’s FKT, I’d be lying to you if I said I was truly rooting for him while he was out there and certainly did not want my record snatched so quickly, and yet now he has given me fuel for the fire that is my obsession with traveling as fast as possible around the TRT.  Thanks a lot buddy!

Tebbutt

Mike Tebbutt’s FKT Map of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

The gear Mike used for his journey can be yours too at Tahoe Mountain Sports!




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