Josh San­ders, 36

Backpacker - - Skıll Set - TEXT BY CAS­SAN­DRA MAJEWSKI / PHOTO BY LAURA SAN­DERS

Here’s one for week­end war­riors ev­ery­where: This flat­lander just set a record on Colorado’s Four­teen­ers.

At mid­night on a clear night last June, Josh San­ders started up Grays Peak. It would have been easy to mis­take the Michigan res­i­dent for any hiker get­ting an early start on a Four­teener. But San­ders is not just any hiker, and this was not just any hike. Grays was the first peak of San­ders’s at­tempt to climb 10 Colorado Four­teen­ers in less than 24 hours.

Some 45 miles and 18,000 feet of el­e­va­tion change later, San­ders knocked off num­ber 10 (Belford) to set a new Four­tee­neer record (10 peaks in 23 hours, 33 min­utes). There were plenty of try­ing mo­ments along the way, but San­ders says fa­tigue fu­els him in a round­about way. “I try to be­come the dark­ness, chan­nel it, and get an­gry and ag­gres­sive,” he says, de­scrib­ing his Jekyll-like al­ter ego that kicks in when ex­haus­tion over­rides ev­ery­thing else.

San­ders, a mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive and fa­ther of two young chil­dren, started col­lect­ing speed records in 2015, when he and his sis­ter high­pointed the Lower 48 in just un­der 20 days. The ul­tra­ma­rathon run­ner says he’s cu­ri­ous about push­ing his body’s lim­its. “I’m mostly av­er­age, but hate it,” he says. He re­lies on work ethic and care­ful strat­egy to meet what he says are “out­ra­geous goals for a rel­a­tively nor­mal dude.”

His next out­ra­geous goal? San­ders is tak­ing aim at the sup­ported speed record on the Ap­palachian Trail.

Know some­one do­ing great things out­doors for the love of it? Tag them #NoSpon­sor and tell us why at backpacker.com/ nospon­sor.

San­ders as­cend­ing Mis­souri Moun­tain (num­ber 7 of 10)

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