Cusco, Peru – Tyler Andrews (HOKA ONE ONE/STRIVE Trips) bested the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the world-famous Salkantay Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on August 2, 2019 in his debut in competitive trail running. Andrews’ time of 6:13:03 lowered the FKT by 2 hours and 6 minutes from the previous best mark of 8:19:40 from 2013 by Luis Cervantes. Andrews ran unsupported, meaning he carried all he needed for the run, with the exception of water.
The Salkantay Inca Trail is the longest and most challenging of the three classic trails to Machu Picchu. Covering approximately 61km from Soraypampa, Peru to Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru, the route features a high pass of 4620m (15,157 ft) and never drops below 1782m (5,846 ft). The significantly net downhill course still features approximately 3100m (10,100 ft.) of elevation gain and poses climatic challenges due to the extreme cold early in the morning and extreme heat by mid day.
Andrews background has primarily been in road racing, where he has excelled at the 50km distance. After making a name for himself as a national-caliber American marathon with a 2:15:52 personal best (Albany, NY, 2016), he burst onto the world stage in the Ultra Running world by finishing 2nd at the 2016 50K World Championships and in 2018 became the 2nd fastest American in history at the distance when he set a World’s Best mark of 2’46’06 for 50km run on a track.
Of his trail debut, Andrews said, “I was excited about this particular route because I’m so familiar with it. I lead summer programs for high school student-athletes with STRIVE and we finish each summer by hiking this trail over 5 days. Trail running has always been alluring to me as I have a deep love for the mountains, especially here in the Andes, but I haven’t had the confidence to take the plunge yet.”
Now, Andrews will turn his attention back to the roads as he prepares for the 2019 50K World Championships on September 1, 2019 and the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on February 29, 2020.
Asked if he would return to the trais, Andrews commented, “We’ll see! For now, I still want to focus on getting faster on the roads, but as John Muir famously said, ‘Going to the mountains is going home.’”
About HOKA ONE ONE® – HOKA ONE ONE® is the fastest growing premium running shoe brand in the world. Two life-long runners launched HOKA in 2009, after years spent handcrafting and shaping lightweight shoes with extra-thick midsoles. Initially embraced by ultrarunners because of enhanced cushioning and inherent stability, HOKA now offers shoes for all types of athletes who enjoy the unique ride the shoes provide. For more information visit www.hokaoneone.com or follow @hokaoneone #hokaoneone.
About STRIVE Trips – STRIVE was founded in 2009 to promote growth, learning, and adventure for active people through travel to Kenya and Peru. With trips for high schoolers, college students, and adults, each program is designed to provide a unique cultural immersion experience, taking participants to remote and inspiring locations where they can enjoy daily athletic training and learn about and contribute to ethical service projects. For more information, visit www.strivetrips.org or follow @strivetrips.