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    07-Oct-2020

US ultramarathoner sets Fastest Known Time record in running 650km-long Jordan Trail

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Amy Sproston, a US ultramarathoner and resident of Amman, set a new record for the Fastest Known Time (FKT) in running the 650km-long Jordan Trail.
 
Sproston finished the trail in eight days, nine hours and 28 minutes, breaking the nine days, 10 hours and 17 minutes record held by British Ultra Runners Dan Lawson and Robbie Britton, while also setting FKT held by women.
 
According to information provided by Running Amman, FKT is the fastest recorded elapsed time between two points. It is usually recorded on notable or distinct routes that are recognised worldwide and interesting for other runners to repeat.
 
 Unlike stage races, FKTs include the time spent eating, sleeping, resting in addition to the time spent running.
 
 The cancellation of Tor des Geants, a 330-km endurance trail race that takes place in the Aosta Valley in Italy, as well as the travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic, had Sproston “searching for a solo adventure that she could do locally,” she said in a phone interview with The Jordan Times.
 
 After a weekend of running some segments of the Jordan Trail close to Dana Reserve, she had her eyes set on “discovering the beauty of her new home, Jordan, by running the entire trail”.
 
The Jordan Trail “goes through some of Jordan's most gorgeous scenery, from the rolling wooded hills in the north, going through the rose rocks of Petra and the dramatic sands and towering mountains of Wadi Rum, to the crystal waters of the Red Sea,” noted a statement by Running Amman made available to The Jordan Times.
 
It takes experienced hikers an average of 40 days to cross the 650-km trail, the statement added.
 
After discovering the trail, Sproston would spend the next few months planning her grand adventure.
 
“I ran several segments of the Jordan Trail, often alone but sometimes accompanied by friends. I kept the trail near and dear to my heart, never running the same segment more than once, but also leaving a few surprises for the week of the actual event,” she noted.
 
Sproston chose a window of time between mid-September and October, as the weather starts to get cooler, maximising the hours of daylight while minimising chances of rain and potential flash floods, noted the statement.
 
While researching the trail, Sproston came across the FKT record that was set by Dan Lawson and Robbie Britton in March of 2019. She reached out to Dan and Robbie to learn about their experience which they “happily shared, wishing her good luck on her adventure.”
 
However, the enormity of the trail meant that Sproston could not do this on her own. The ultra runner recruited co-founder of Running Amman Mohammed Al Razem to help coordinate and plan the attempt.
 
Over the coming days, both spent their time bringing in logistical experts, pacers and prepping other necessities.
 
Sproston’s permanent crew would include Mohammad Al Razem, ultra runner and co-founder of Running Amman; Fouad Kalbouneh, experienced hiker and founder of TREKS; Ahmad Bani Hani, experienced mountaineer and Jordan Tourism Board coordinator; and Ali Barqawi, who would be in charge of documenting the attempt.
 
The attempt started at 6:09am on September 25, 2020 and finished at 3:37pm on October 3, 2020, completed with the support of Running Amman, TREKS, Jordan Tourism Board and ASEZA.
 
Sproston’s attempt was live tracked by FastestKnownTimes.com, making her the first female athlete to run the entirety of the Jordan Trail.
 
By this, she “hopes to motivate local athletes, especially women, to take on big adventures and set bold goals”.
 
Sproston is from Bend, Oregon, and has been a resident of Amman since August 2019. She has consistently ranked as a top finisher at races and international events held across the globe, winning more than 30 ultramarathons around the world over the past 15 years.
 
“Running the trail also gave me the chance to briefly mingle with the locals by staying at some of their houses along the way or using their help to navigate the way. It felt nice to have people you do not know help you achieve your goal,” she said.
 
 

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