Tomorrow, as hundreds, if not thousands, of people don jackets and head out to sell or shop at garage sales, one West Seattle resident will take on an intense challenge just hours from home. Riley Nachtrieb sent this announcement of what she plans to start tomorrow morning, whatever the weather:
20-year-old West Seattle-based ultra-runner Riley Nachtrieb will again attempt to run the first fastest known time (FKT) recorded on the 135-mile Olympic Discovery Trail this Saturday, May 14. An FKT is a speed record for a race route. It’s not a race; there is no contest or reward for completion. They are self-organized and ran solo with a support crew.
The ODT stretches from Port Townsend to La Push, and Riley aims to cover the 135 miles in under 30 hours. The trail is 90% pavement, mostly on the side of the highway. She attempted to hike this route for the first time in 2019, but her father made her stop at 82 miles in 21 hours because she suffered a stress fracture in her foot. Despite this unwanted ending to his first attempt, Riley, also an aspiring filmmaker, turned his story into an award-winning short, “Brokenpremiered at the Auburn Adventure Film Festival (watch it here).
Since quitting in 2019, Riley has been hungry to finish it. As preparatory training last month, she established the first female FKT on the 55 miles Crossing Whidbey’s Islandin 11 hours, 10 minutes.
“Running 135 miles won’t be easy,” she says. “I do these hard things because I want to show people that women can do hard things. I run ‘unbelievable’ distances to disrupt the narrative that society knows, not only about running, but also about abilities. As a young woman in sport, I had many experiences of people doubting my abilities – But these experiences only ignite the fire in me to show how capable we are as women, if we dare to try.
She starts running in Port Townsend at 7 a.m. on May 14. A crew full of family and friends will meet her at checkpoints. You can follow it live via this link: share.garmin.com/rileynachtrieb
And you can see the photo updates on her Instagram, @rileynachtrieb.
Riley adds that she is grateful for the community support she has received over the years.