In the summer of 2013 Colorado ultrarunner Scott Jaime began what became a record breaking attempt at the 486 mile Colorado Trail. Beginning in Durango, CO and ending in Denver, CO Scott ran the entire length of the trail in 8 days, 7 hours, 40 minutes and 17 seconds; setting the new record for the fast known supported crossing of the trail. Accompanying Scott was accomplished outdoor photographer and first time filmaker Matt Trappe, who documented not only Scott’s efforts on the Colorado Trail, but his preparation leading up to the attempt. The result: Running the Edge: The Colorado Trail. The film focuses on Scott as a runner but also ruminates on what it means to be a highly accomplished athlete within the context of family and career.
Scott has extensive ties to the Colorado Springs community and uses the Manitou Incline extensively to train for various races, including the Hardrock 100. Scott managed to free up some time from his current movie star lifestyle to answer a few questions for us.
- In the months leading up to the Colorado Trail FKT attempt you hit the Incline a few times. Can you talk about what the Incline offers as far as training for an undertaking like the CT?
I’ve hit the incline from March thru July for the past decade to -primarily- get ready for Hardrock. Doing the incline multiple times simulates several pitches on the Hardrock course. Through this process I’ve found the incline to put me in the best climbing shape for any terrain so I also used multiple laps for the CT [Colorado Trail]. The CT has around 90,000 feet of climbing from end to end.
- As an ultrarunner, you have climbed up and over many mountains. Is there something on the Colorado Trail that compares to a hard effort on the Incline?
There are several short sections of the CT that resemble the Incline, nothing quite as long though. One segment (15) that comes to mind, which is between Hwy 50 and Marshall Pass, 250 miles away from Denver.
- What is your fastest Incline time? Any personal Incline records you track (most climbs in a day, fastest repeat times, etc)?
Faster than JT. Actually I don’t remember the exact time but I know I haven’t broken 24 minutes. It’s more of a consistent effort for me. For example, the most I’ve done in one outing is 4x, which consisted of a loop of Incline-LLR-UPT, with all incline times between 27:30 and 28 minutes. The loop is about 7.5 miles, 30 miles total.
- As a runner, what do you think are the values of an Incline workout?
The value of the Incline is that it allows the muscles I use for speed and flat stuff to rest an extra day or two. The older I get the more I value rest or varied workouts.
- You are Denver based but have some strong connections to the Springs and many of your pacers on the CT are from the Springs. Can you talk about how those connections developed?
I moved to Colorado 12 years ago and quickly got into trail running. I went to a local running store and they told me about CRUD. They liked beer, trail running, and eating so it was easy. Paul Dewitt then coached me to a previous PR at Hardrock and a PR in the marathon, so I made the bi-weekly trek down from Highlands Ranch; once during the week to run up to the 7 miles to go sign, and then on Saturday for the long run. Rick, Harsha, and Paul all paced me on my first crossing of the Colorado Trail. This time Rick, Harsha, and Brandon all helped me in critical sections.
- Not many people know that you are the (two time?) champion of the Coloradans Running Ultra Distances (CRUD) eating contest, winning both the Krispy Kreme (?) and pancake (?) challenges. Did your ability to consume food help on the Colorado Trail run?
Actually 3X champion. In fact, Paul Dewitt officially banned me after I won the 3rd time. Large Dominos cheese pizza (9mXs), 2lbs of pancake (10m41s), Krispy Kreme challenge (2mile run dozen donuts, 2 mile run) (29m41s). Very proud of those accomplishments! And yes, learning to eat a lot real fast helped on the CT, quick pit stops followed by food comas. A skill I honed in the Army at basic training.
- Colorado Springs is home to a lot of great breweries. What is your favorite local beer?
Phantom Canyon Brewery. It’s the first one I went to back in the early 2000s on a college soccer trip.
- What were your Top 3 favorite moments from the CT Attempt?
1) My two boys surprising me at Copper Mountain on Day 6
2) Finishing-just a flood of emotions.
3) Brandon playing me music on Day 2 (song called Walk It Out). Harsha does get brownie points though, he had committed to learning and then signing some of my favorite songs by Sully Erna, but he said he couldn’t understand the words of this “angry” music.