Local woman establishes fastest known time on Sierra High Route
While the outbreak of COVID-19 has curtailed the majority of endurance events, it hasn’t stopped the area’s top long distance runners from smashing records on trails across the nation.
The latest fastest known time on a course came on Aug. 24 as Donner Party Mountain Runners Board Member Renee Elsdon Jacobs finished the Sierra High Route in 4 days, 23 hours, 53 minutes to establish the first female record on the nearly 200-mile trail.
“A lot of women have attempted it and have not done it — have not finished for a variety of reasons,” said Jacobs, a recently turned full-time mother during an interview on the Run Hard Mom Hard podcast. “It happens to men too … a lot of people get in over their heads with this route.”
The route, which runs from Twin Lakes to Road’s End, winds through Yosemite, goes through mostly unmaintained trails, and has a majority of its trail at elevations above 9,000 feet. Jacobs is the third person, according to http://www.fastestknowntime.com, to finish the route under five days, a goal she had before setting out.
“I was literally sprinting at the end down thousands of feet of trail to try to get it,” said Jacobs on finishing seven minutes ahead of the five-day mark. “The whole time I was calculating in my head what my pace has to be to get it below five (days).”
Jacobs was awarded the fastest known time on the route under the supported category, but according to the Donner Party Mountain Runners, she spent almost the entirety of her trek alone. Her support team met her the final three of four nights on the trail, camping at a trailhead or deep in the wilderness.
Jacobs also holds the supported fastest known time on the California Fourteeners, which represents California’s 15 peaks of more than 14,000 feet.
Jacobs will be taking part in an interactive interview via the Mile 99 Interview series from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday. To check out Jacobs’ interview next week, visit http://www.facebook.com/themile99interview.
“I want to connect with moms and be like ‘Don’t give up!’ It’s hard but it’s possible,” said Jacobs.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun a sister publication to the Tribune. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643.
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