The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, which requires participants to complete four of the country’s oldest 100-mile races in one summer, was founded in 1986. Given the growth of ultrarunning since then, it only seems fitting that the Triple Crown of 200s was created a few years ago.
The Triple Crown of 200s is directed by Candice Burt, one of our rabbitELITEtrail team members. The latest summer-long racing binge requires runners to complete three races of 200 miles or more in just three months: the Bigfoot 200 Endurance Run in August, the Tahoe 200 Endurance Run in September, and the Moab 240 Endurance Run in October.
In 2017, rabbitELITEtrail team member, Michael McKnight, took on the intrepid challenge of completing three 200-plus mile races in one summer. He did more than just finish. McKnight won the Triple Crown that year in the fastest combined time ever, completing the roughly 650 miles of racing in 205 hours, 4 minutes, and 18 seconds. That’s more than 8 days of racing.
But McKnight hasn’t rested on those accolades. When the 2019 Triple Crown got underway this past weekend at the Bigfoot 200, McKnight was on the start line to again complete the trio of races. Except this time he intended to go faster.
McKnight did just that by winning the 206.5-mile race in a new course-record time of 51 hours, 33 minutes, and 45 seconds--a dramatic improvement on his 7th-place, 69-hour finish from 2017. Already 18 hours ahead of his record-setting Triple Crown time from 2017 after just one race, McKnight seems poised to significantly better his combined three-race time.
“This is exactly what I needed. My goal going into [Bigfoot] was to go under 60 hours and set myself up to have a shot at beating my current Triple Crown of 200s record. I know a lot can happen at the remaining two races, but I’m feeling very confident right now,” McKnight said.
Will McKnight continue to better his Triple Crown times this year? Find out next month as he competes in the Tahoe 200 from September 13th to 15th in California. McKnight will then complete this year’s Triple Crown of 200s at the Moab 240 from October 11th to 15th.