Emelie Forsberg Sets Kungsleden Trail FKT

Kungsleden Emelie Forsberg day #1 (6)

Photo by Philip Reiter

Emelie Forsberg on Day 1 of her Kungsleden Trail FKT attempt, in the Swedish Lapland.


By James Rogers

Huge thanks to Laura Font of Lymbus for allowing Hooray Run to share this historic FKT (Fastest Known Time) attempt in writing and in photos. Congratulations to Salomon-sponsored athlete Emelie Forsberg for the incredible achievement.

From the Lymbus press release: “The Kungsleden (King’s Trail) is a 450km hiking trail in the Swedish Lapland that hikers usually cross in no less than 15 days. The spectacularity and the wilderness of the aspects make it for a very popular hiking destination in summer and for cross country in winter. It starts in Abisko in the north and finishes in Hemavan in the South, the highest point is the Tjäktja Pass at 1.150m and the lowest at Kvikkjokk (330m). However, the trail is challenging not only for the distance and the terrain but also around the logistics as, the trail also involves crossing some of the rivers that cross the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Europe. For those water parts, there are sometimes scheduled ferries, and some other parts, the runners have to row themselves, and therefore the timings have to adjust to the boat schedules as well.

The challenge for Emelie Forsberg started on the midnight of July 3rd in the northern part of the trail, in Abisko. The first stage was the longest, running 116km through the midnight sun until reaching Saltoluokta, the hut where Emelie worked when she was 19 and where her love for the mountains started.

From there, the Swedish athlete ran the 70km of the second stage until Kvikkjokk. Despite the amount of kilometres, Emelie’s legs were feeling fresh and so was her mood. The third stage was probably the wildest, running through a wild and not concurred track of 96km. “I was running alone today, and it’s so nice the state I got into, just one step at the time, a good pace and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I am so lucky”, explained Forsberg.

On the fourth stage, Emelie started in Jäkkvik feeling very tired. Little by little she started to feel better and managed to finish in high spirit the 97km of this stage. It was hard, but the end was near.

Finally, on Saturday, July 7th Emelie ran the last stage of the Kungsleden. Despite having sore legs, the motivation was up to achieve the challenge, and Emelie completed the stage, and therefore, the trail. Stopping the watch: 4 days and 21 hours.”


According to Forsberg’s data, she ate 25 cheese sandwiches and two cakes along the way. The previous FKT on Kungsleden was set just last year by Sondre Almdahl, a Norwegian ultrarunner, who completed King’s Trail in 6 days, 2 hours, 51 minutes.

Forsberg, 31, offered some words upon completion: “I can hardly believe I have done it! When I started planning this route, I looked at the distance, the hut system and the plan we made, and I thought it was possible, but that it would be a big challenge for me. To actually achieve it, it’s a dream come true. I had some really bad moments, but it wouldn’t be a challenge if you didn’t have those, because it makes you learn and appreciate what you’ve done. Now I feel very tired but extremely happy.”

HR Pod: Boston Marathon Recap with Amanda Loudin

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Desiree Linden, 34, en route to her first Boston Marathon victory on April 16, 2018.


Boston 2018 was historic. Cruddy weather didn’t stop 34-year-old American Des Linden from gutting out a victory on the women’s side. Linden became the first American woman to win Boston since 1985. On the men’s side, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi took top honors. It was the 31-year-old’s fourth marathon of 2018 and his first major victory. James Rogers does a quick solo recap, then health and fitness freelance writer Amanda Loudin (aka Miss Zippy) joins James to give her reactions to this wild day. James and Amanda also discuss the depth of American distance running.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:

Hooray Run Podcast on Apple Podcasts—Podcasts app on iPhone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Randy Rogers and His Running Streak, Chapter 2

Photo by James Rogers

Randy Rogers’ log entry for April 1, Easter morning.


Hooray Run Podcast host James Rogers chats with his dad, Randy Rogers, in a follow-up episode to their August 2017 conversation. Randy’s running streak has now eclipsed 11,900 days and 57,400 miles. Since the August episode, Randy fought through excruciating nerve pain and still battles the setback today. James has his dad recall the few months of misery—what they agree was the most difficult stretch of his streak so far.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:

Hooray Run Podcast on Apple Podcasts—Podcasts app on iPhone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

Hooray Run Podcast: Episodes 13-15

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Hicham El Guerrouj set the 1500-meter world record in 1998 in Rome.


Ep. 13: Kari Rogers and Her Running Streak (Oct. 31)

Hooray Run Podcast host James Rogers welcomes his older sister, Kari Rogers, to Episode 13. Kari’s running streak turned a year old on Oct. 18, as she runs at least one mile every day but aims to hit a minimum of 50 miles per week. Pre-streak, Kari lived in Rwanda for over three years and logged plenty of miles there, so the siblings cover her African running days. They also discuss the streak’s origin, Randy Rogers’ influence, her conversion to Nike Pegasus and her ideal running climate. James and Kari’s mom, Linda Rogers, gives a one-minute take on her 28-year-old daughter’s streak.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Ep. 14: Talkin’ Track World Records with Tyler “T-Dot” Brinks: Men’s 800, 1500, Mile, 3K, Steeplechase

James Rogers and Tyler Brinks decided to do a pod series dedicated to the insane track world records, starting with the men’s 800, 1500, mile, 3K and steeplechase. JimCity and T-Dot take a deeper look at the following world records in this episode: David Rudisha’s 1:40.91 in the 800; Hicham El Guerrouj’s 3:26.00 1500 and 3:43.13 mile; Daniel Komen’s 7:20.67 in the 3K; Saif Saaeed Shaheen’s 7:53.63 in the steeplechase. Which record is the most vulnerable? Which is the safest? As Jim and Ty’s friend Zach Zandbergen would say: Let’s break down these STUPID-FAST times!

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Ep. 15: Zach Zandbergen and His Boots 5K

Zach Zandbergen joins the line from London. Former XC/track teammates at Hope College and veteran Starburst consumers, James Rogers and Z discuss the Boots 5K. Z had to run a 5K on an XC course in hiking boots and authentic jeans after Jim hit a basketball shot from DEEP in the Ridgepoint Community Church parking lot on Sept. 2, 2017. Hope hosts its annual season-opening meet (Bill Vanderbilt Invitational) at this church in Holland, Michigan, and James and Zach were two of many alumni present on this day. Listen as Z gives his firsthand account of the infamous 3.1-miler—a run he could not have completed without the help of Josh Kammeraad.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:

Hooray Run Podcast on iTunes/Podcasts app on your phone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

Top 7 American Marathon Performances from 2017 WMM Races

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Amy Cragg poses after finishing third in the marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.


By James Rogers

If, at the start of 2017, you wished for American marathoners to deliver historic, unforgettable, tear-inducing runs on World Marathon Majors stages throughout the year, then 1) your wish-granted rate ballooned and 2) you should get paid to give wishing advice.

Who woulda thought? An article toward the end of the year ranking several noteworthy American marathon performances from major 26.2-mile races—from the same 365-day span.

TIMEOUT: Wait, what are the World Marathon Majors? Apologies for any confusion caused by “WMM” in the headline. I’ll proceed to give the abbreviated explanation of the WMM: A series of six of the best, most competitive marathons in the world (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York City) scores points to determine a male and female winner of each cycle, with the winner snatching $500,000. NOTE: Olympics and IAAF World Championships have a say, too. For example, this year, the London World Championships marathon counted as a WMM race.

Point allocation for each race:

  • 1st place — 25 points
  • 2nd place — 16 points
  • 3rd place — 9 points
  • 4th place — 4 points
  • 5th place — 1 point

We are in Series XI (they officially use Roman numerals) of the WMM, which consists of the following eight races:

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WorldMarathonMajors.com

The current WMM series flows into 2018, but for the sake of this article and the following rankings, I’m scratching series, cycles—whatever you wanna call them—and choosing from solely 2017 WMM-labeled races. I picked the top seven from these 2017 races: Tokyo, Boston, London, IAAF World Championships, Berlin, Chicago, New York City.

TIME IN: Still with me? Good stuff ahead. The depth of American marathoning success made this an unenviable ranking task. As a fan of USA distance running, you should be exuberant about that, almost bewildered.

Arguably the best year ever for American marathoners? As Shalane Flanagan would say, “F–k yes!”


7. Laura Thweatt, London Marathon, April 23

Laura Thweatt finished more than eight minutes behind the leader, but the top two women at London—Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba, respectively—went sub-2:18 (!), with Keitany setting the women’s-only world record (2:17:01). There was plenty of noise at the front, but Thweatt’s 2:25:38 sixth-place finish didn’t wash away in silence.

Fall Finish [Runner’s High]

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Photo by James Rogers

Homestretch of the Frank Lloyd Wright Races on Oct. 22 in Oak Park, Illinois. What a fall finish.

HR Pod: Noah Droddy, Professional Runner for Saucony

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Photo by Matt Trappe

Noah Droddy signed with Saucony in May 2017.


Noah Droddy ran 2:16:26 on Oct. 8 at the Chicago Marathon—his first-ever attempt at 26.2 miles. He finished 19th overall (eighth-fastest American) amid a strong elite field. You’ll want to hear how the 27-year-old got to this point of his career. An NCAA Division III runner at DePauw University, Noah had no sponsorship offers upon graduation and questioned both his work and running futures. So…how did he become a 61:48 half-marathoner and 28:22 10Ker now fully sponsored by Saucony and training with the Roots Running Project out of Boulder, Colorado?

Noah joins James Rogers in conversation. They discuss Noah’s marathon debut, his progression from DePauw to Roots, his move to Boulder, the All-D3 Professional Running Team, racing in hats and sunglasses, air mattresses, signing with Saucony, life outside of running, much more. Plus: Hooray Run Podcast introduces “Complete the Tweet”—a fun game toward the end of the chat.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:

Hooray Run Podcast on iTunes/Podcasts app on your phone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!