Critics Question Women’s Nolan’s 14 Feat

Disagreement around 60-hour cutoff

Aug 20, 2015
Outside
Outside Magazine
Critics Question Women’s Nolan’s 14 Feat

"The sun was out, the view was beautiful, and we were surrounded by great people," Frost wrote. "We made the decision to really enjoy that moment with everyone that had helped us get through."    Dakota Jones, courtesy of Anna Frost

Earlier this week, ultrarunners Anna Frost and Missy Gosney became the first women to complete Nolan’s 14, a run over the 14 summits above 14,000 feet in Colorado’s Sawatch Range. (The course features the largest number of fourteeners that can be run in a 100-mile distance.) But, because of varying interpretations of the 60-hour cutoff, some from the ultrarunning community say they didn’t actually finish in time.

The controversy centers on whether a Nolan’s 14 finisher must summit the last peak in less than 60 hours or descend down to the trailhead within that timeframe. Frost and Gosney made it up Mount Shavano, near Salida, 57 hours and 55 minutes after they started, but, after celebrating at the top, they didn’t make it back to the trailhead until after the cutoff.

Frost told Outside in an email that she and Gosney understood officially finishing as reaching the last summit in less than 60 hours, as stated on the website of Matt Mahoney (the unofficial scorekeeper of all Nolan's 14 attempts, according to the Denver Post). The site says that the "cutoff is 60 hours to the last summit."

"If people want rules, they can go to the webpage and see and disagree with whatever they like,” wrote Frost. “We did what is ‘officially’ stated as finishing Nolan’s 14."

She said that they decided to spend extra time on the final summit to celebrate with their crew, instead of rushing down.

"The sun was out, the view was beautiful, and we were surrounded by great people," she wrote. "We made the decision to really enjoy the moment with everyone who had helped us."

Frost, who spent six weeks last year exploring the route and much of last month poring over maps of it, said that she considers herself and Gosney finishers, despite the debate on the comment boards.

“I don’t care what they think,” she said. “Are they out there doing it?”

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