Two weeks back, on March 17, American ultrarunner Mike Foote set an impressive (and grueling!) new record for most vertical feet skied in a single day. The record-setting challenge took place at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana, where Foote kicked off his attempt at 9 AM on that Saturday morning. He started by skinning up the 1000 foot (305 meter) hill, and skiing back down. And by the time he was done, he had covered 61,200 feet (18,654 meters), which is enough to have climbed Everest more than twice in a single day.
To prepare for this challenge, Foote trained for six months to get ready. He is obviously already in tremendous shape since he routinely runs 100 mile ultra events, but he spent a great deal of time figuring out the optimum pace to set in order to run 61 laps up the mountain. He even finished second at last year’s Hardrock 100 in Colorado. But this was a different kind of competition, and he had to figure out how to move properly and maintain his hydration and nutrition while doing so. It wasn’t easy. His training regimen involved a lot of skiing and going up and down steep slopes to get his legs and lungs ready for the challenge.
The previous record for most vert skied in a day was held by Ekkehard Dörschlag who did 60,000 (18,288 meters) feet on the dot back in 2009. Foote says that this was his benchmark, although he also added ski mountaineer racer Florent Perrier’s 59,893 foot (18,255 meters) effort to his list as well. In the end, he was able to beat both marks and setting the number to beat.
Foote said that his efforts on the mountain was not unlike competing in a major ultra event. The time it took to complete the new record is a similar pace to what he would be use to in a 100 mile run. The difference came in that he was racing the clock and not another runner, which made things a bit more introspective and personal. He was racing himself most of the time.
Congrats to Mike on this amazing feat. To find out more, click here.
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