Mallory Brooks (left) and Allison Macsas (right) on the Wonderland Trail.
Yesterday, runners from Austin, Texas, Allison Macsas and Mallory Brooks set off on the Wonderland Trail, leaving the Longmire trailhead at 6 a.m. Today, they arrived at the end of the roughly 93-mile trail that circumnavigates Mount Rainier in Washington in just over 29 hours. Completely unsupported along the way—with a team tracking them only via GPS—they have broken the previous Wonderland Trail women’s unsupported speed record of 31 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds set by Candice Burt in 2012.
There of course were obstacles along the way on the single-track trail that has over 22,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. This includes a hard river crossing 64 miles into their journey at South Mowitch, where the bridge has been washed out and the water is waist-deep. Macsas and Brooks successfully crossed the river at 12:04 a.m. in the middle of the night, as reported by Macsas’ fiancé Gabe Steger, who co-founded running tour company Rogue Expeditions with Macsas, and has led the charge in updating the Austin running community about the duo’s progress. Brooks is the founder and race director at Spectrum Trail Racing based in Austin.
Mascas (left) and Brooks (right) relaxing at the finish point.
Earlier this year, Macsas won the Austin Marathon in 2:48:17, over 10 minutes faster than the second place female. In 2016, the Skechers athlete finished 22nd at the United States Olympic Marathon Trials. Brooks is no stranger to Mount Rainier, as the trail runner summited it, along with Mount Baker, Grand Titan, Mount Whitney and Pico de Orizaba. She coaches runners at both Rogue Running and Pure Austin Fitness. The athletes spent time training at elevation in order to prepare for their Wonderland Trail Fastest Known Time (FKT) attempt.
Brooks and Macsas’s goal was to break 30 hours on the trail as reported by the Austin American-Statesman. They finished with a final time of 29:12:25.