top of page

A long, fast Tour

Sam Runyan (right) marks his second Tour de Le Conte with his training partner, Anthony Groft. The Greenbrier trailhead has been closed since July because of flood damages, which has prevented most hikers from attempting the Tour de Le Conte. Then 16-year-old Sam Runyan decided to do it the hard way, and he completed the six trails up Le Conte in one of the fastest times on record. Starting at 5 a.m. on August 15, Sam ascended Alum, descended to Trillium Gap, made a round trip of Brushy Mountain down to the closed Greenbrier trailhead, and then finished Trillium at Cherokee Orchard. Then he went up Rainbow, down Boulevard, caught a shuttle down from Newfound Gap, went up Alum for a second time, and finished down Bullhead. That route covered 52 miles (the conventional Tour is about 46) and included 13,000 feet of vertical gain. He finished in 10:46, the fastest Tour reported since Anthony and Elias Groft set the record of 8:03:38 in 2020. Runyan trains with Anthony Groft, who paced and crewed for him on this tour.


bottom of page