The Boulder Skyline Traverse, a 16.9-mile trail running route that traverses several of the most iconic peaks on the skyline of Boulder, Colorado, has become one of the country’s most competitive FKTs (fastest known time) in the month of September. The route has 3,049 feet of vertical gain and includes a mix of technical and flowy single-track, reaching a highpoint of 8,500 feet. Runners must take time to study the route beforehand, as there are no course markings. All times must be GPS recorded to be considered record eligible.
Some of the top names in trail running, including 2-time World Mountain Running Champion, Joseph Gray, 2020 Pikes Peak Marathon winners Seth Demoor (video below), Brittany Charboneau as well as Darren Thomas have all made record attempts in the past several weeks.
This route is attracting the attention of such top level athletes because of its status as a Golden Segment in Salomon’s Golden Trail Series, one of the world’s most competitive trail race series, announced this past July that it would award 76 Golden Tickets ** to the fastest woman and man on specific running segments in 20 countries around the world.
Winners of these Golden Tickets are invited to the Golden Trail Championship in Portugal’s Azores islands, scheduled to take place October 29 to November 1, 2020. The Boulder Skyline Traverse is one of only five “Golden Segments” in the United States where runners can earn a Golden Ticket and secure their spot in this highly anticipated final.
September Segment Race!
To be eligible for a Salomon Golden Ticket on a designated Golden Segment, athletes must run the fastest recorded time on that particular route between July 1, and October 1, 2020. This makes the month of September one of the most exciting months for trail running in 2020 because elite trail runners around the world are racing to record their times before the October cutoff.
In just the past few weeks, the Boulder Skyline Traverse records for men and women have been broken three times. Currently, the men’s record of 2:32:40 is held by Joseph Gray, and the women’s record by Bailey Kowalczyk, 3:10:20.
Here are the current leaders for the US Golden Segments:
Golden Segment Arizona – July 1st to Oct 1st – Strava Segment – Jim Walmsley and Michelle Hummel
Golden Segment Colorado – July 1st to Oct 1st – Strava Segment – Joseph Gray and Bailey Kowalczyk (pictured above)
Golden Segment California – July 1st to Oct 1st – Strava Segment – David Sinclair and Kimber Mattox
Golden Segment New England – July 1st to Oct 1st – Strava Segment – Aaron Newell and Jess Marion
** Salomon Golden Trail Championship “golden tickets” are not related to the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run’s golden ticket program founded in 2015.