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UPMC Cole

Friday, September 11, 2020

Koloman "Kol" Erway, age 30, established a record on the STS this weekend, completing the circuit on foot in 27 hours, 22 minutes.

Completing the 84 mile STS in one non-stop hike is like doing 3 back-to-back marathons, with an extra quarter marathon thrown in for a bonus.

 The toughest section was the hike through the Hammersley. Every part of Kol's body ached, and he was bone-weary and foot-sore, but he was also determined, and he pushed on, completing all of the western half of the trail (Cross Fork to Denton) by headlamp. He was accompanied in dark hours by various friends or family members, including his dad, Steve Erway, who walked the last 13 miles from East Fork Rd. ("the Williams place") to Patterson State Park with Kol.

Kol's record will be posted on the FKT website - FastestKnownTimes.com -- which records official Fastest Known Times for completing many major footpaths, internationally. This will be the first time the STS will be reported, so Kol's record will call more attention to our trail, and others undoubtedly will try to break the record with their own endurance runs in the future.

Many endurance events were canceled this year, but FKTs can be done individually by athletes at their own socially-distanced convenience, so these trail events have a growing special appeal for "iron men" type athletes. Don't think Kol missed the whole point of a hiking trail by doing as much jogging as much as possible. This trail run was not his first time around the STS, since he first had to familiarize himself with the whole trail. He admired a great deal of the beauty of our trail. A highlight on this time around was seeing a great bull elk on the gas pipeline section, around mile 42, on Sunday afternoon.

More about Kol's epic achievement will be coming in a future newsletter and perhaps at our picnic-meeting this Saturday, Sept. 12, from noon-2, at Lyman Run State Park pavilion.

Many of our maintainers absolutely knocked themselves out to put their trail sections in the most beautiful shape possible for Kol's run. Did you know that there are 20 places that the STS intersects a road? Bill Boyd, Curt Weinhold, Tom-Jayne-and-Cassius Fitzgerald, and I were at various of these intersections, meeting Kol at 17 out of 20 of them. I was deeply impressed by the work maintainers did to mow grasses, ferns, and weeds at road crossings. A number of maintainers (Buzz Russell, Doug Wetherbee, Tod Twichell, Bill Boyd, Joe Allis, Chad Rugh, Jack Buckwalter, John Zimmer, Mark Kelly, Mark Clark, Dave Tosten, Larry Holtzapple, and Chris and Karen Bell) carried chain saws or brushcutters for miles and miles to put the trail in optimal condition for this weekend. We deeply appreciate everyone's hard work, which has made the trail better not only for Kol but for all of our hikers and backpackers this summer and fall. At least 3 thru-hike backpackers were spotted on the trail this weekend, and they've really loved everyone's work.

Congratulations to Kol, and many thanks to all who supported this incredible effort. Hope to see many of you at the club picnic on Saturday!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's quite an achievement. Hammersley area is awesome. Lots of history through there. Kudos to the trail workers. Makes me want to get back out there. It's been some time.
Doing this at night must have been interesting.

Anonymous said...

I read this article and only have 3 questions: what is STS? Obviously a trail, but what does STS mean and where is it, both end points?

Anonymous said...

WOW!IVE DONE IT IN UNDER 72HRS BUT THIS IS AMAZING. IF LOCAL LEADERS WERE SMART THEY TURNED THE STS INTO AN ULTRA TRAIL RACING DESTINATION. ITS CHALLENGING AND BEAUTIFUL AND ANOTHER WAY TO PUT POTTER COUNTY ON THE MAP. GREATB JOB, MAN!