Josh Sanders, 36
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.
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Sanders ascending Missouri Mountain (number 7 of 10)