Last summer, I backpacked the 500-mile Colorado Trail alongside my good friend Kristina Bodewes in 19 days, making for an average of 26 miles per day. This was a leisurely endeavor, in which we slept 9 hours per night, never hiked in the dark, and made stops in towns. This accomplishment made us feel empowered, connected us with nature, and made us realize what we are capable of. This summer, I am upping my goal for myself and am setting out to set the self-supported fastest known time (FKT) on the Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver, with the Western Collegiate Route with a goal of 11 days which makes for ~45 miles per day. I am positive that with a little less sleep and a little more drive, I will be able to meet my goal. The current self-supported record for one of the Colorado Trail routes is a 9-day record by Nika Meyers, who hiked in the opposite direction from Denver to Durango. There is not currently a women's record for the direction and route I will be hiking. Learn more about the Colorado Trail here: https://coloradotrail.org/trail/, and see the FKT website here for more information: https://fastestknowntime.com/route/colorado-trail-co.
For my Colorado Trail FKT attempt, I will be raising money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. When I was 17 years old, my dad tragically took his life and it has impacted me so greatly over the years. This event has inspired my drive to get involved with endurance sports, as it has motivated me to truly live up to my potential, find my purpose, and create the most adventurous, courageous life I can. This past fall, I ran my first 50-mile race, and many times throughout the race when I felt like giving up, I reminded myself that "If I can get through my dad taking his own life, I can do anything -- and he would want me to". While this experience has fueled much success on my end, I still live with the trauma of it every day and do not wish for anyone else to experience the terrible impacts of suicide, whether personally or through a loved one. I hope that by sharing my story of how I have allowed this tragic experience to brighten my life and live through my dad's loss, others can be inspired to realize their own potential and worth.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is my choice of charity because they support all sectors of suicide awareness and prevention, including education, support, and research both for people who personally need help, as well as those who have lost a loved one. By supporting my CT FKT attempt, you are not only fueling my fire, but you are also helping anyone impacted by the tragedies of suicide. All donations will go directly to the AFSP (they don't take a portion in the way that other platforms like Go Fund Me does). Depending on my work/life plans this summer will determine the exact date of my attempt, but I will be clear with the updated date as the time arrives. For now, I am estimating that it will take place in July. Thank you so much in advance, and I can't wait to see what we can do! If you have any questions about the AFSP or this cause, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. If you can't donate, please don't feel pressured and your moral support is well appreciated, too:) Please follow along on my instagram -- @holly_proulx where I will be posting updates!