In August 2020, marathon and ultra-distance trail runner Emily Halnon set out on an FKT (fastest known time). The goal: cover the 460 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail that traverses Oregon, from south to north, faster than any other human yet recorded. The purpose: to honor her mother, Andrea Halnon, who had been her inspiration and her biggest supporter.

Emily Halnon is also a writer, and this episode is being released on the publication day of her first book, To the Gorge: Running, Grief, and Resilience on 460 Miles of the Pacific Coast Trail.

In January 2020, Emily’s mother, Andrea, died of a rare, aggressive form of uterine cancer after a tragically short but fierce fight against the disease. Up to the end, Andrea had lived much as she always had: big, bold, and brave. For Emily, to honor her mother’s passing and to process the deep grief that followed, she felt moved to do the same.

Emily had first been inspired to go after athletic goals that took her out of her comfort zone by her mother. She’d begun running road marathons and then, seeking ever more challenging adventures, moved on to trail ultras, including several 100-milers. But the pursuit of truly pushing her limits had languished a bit prior to 2020. So, setting her sights on a goal that would undoubtedly take her to the edge, in her mother’s honor, felt exactly right.

The first thing that came to Emily’s mind was running across Oregon, a place she’d settled in several years earlier and fallen in love with. For its jaw dropping beauty and the terrific trail running community she’d become a part of.

This is the story of Emily Halnon’s running journey, the pivotal role her mother played in that journey, the totally epic, multi-day trail record that Emily went after in her mother’s honor, and how that FKT helped her process the overwhelming grief of losing her mother. At its heart, this story is about one woman’s path to rediscovering how to live a beautiful life after a devastating loss.

This episode is big, it’s emotional, it’s intense, and it is joyful and triumphant.

Keep Up with Emily Halnon

Instagram: @emilysweats


Emily Halnon’s book, To the Gorge:

Music Credits

Cormac O’Regan, of Playtoh

Music by Grand_Project from Pixabay

Lidérc Bell, via Pixabay

Rockot, via Pixabay

penguinmusic, via Pixabay

SergePavkinMusic, via Pixabay

Coma-Media, via Pixabay

RoyaltyFreeMusic, via Pixabay

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