With countless trail and ultra wins to his name, friend of Topas Simon Grimstrup can now add World Record Holder to his resume having completed the fastest ever Everesting. Here we talk to him about how he prepared, the attempt itself, his motivations and more.
Congratulations again on your new Everesting World Record! Please can you explain to our readers who may not know, what is an Everesting?
Everesting on foot means doing hill repeats on the same hill until you hit 8848 meters of elevation gain. You can do it ‘shuttled’, where you don’t run down,but get into a vehicle or take a chairlift; or you can do it ‘non-shuttled’, as I did, where I ran the whole thing – up and down! And hey, it has to be done on the same hill – repeating the same section up and down – no loops!
What made you decide to go for the record?
I heard about it and thought it was impossible, but on a six hour training run in the area where I did make the record, I found out that I was on record-pace without putting too much effort into it, so I decided to give it a try.
Simon smashed the World Record for Everesting
How did you select the hill?
I spent a lot of time analyzing different hills – looking at maps to find the correct elevation, and then deciding which hill suited me best.
The hill I chose was perhaps a little too steep, but hey, that makes it tough!
I did not want a hill that was too long, but perhaps mine was too short, meaning I lost time every time I made a turn. But on the other hand it didn’t wear my legs out because I switched all the time from downhill running to uphill running.
On the day you said you didn’t plan to go all the way, but just do half. What changed your mind?
My friends made me change my mind…. it was muddy so conditions were not ideal…. I owe the record to the help of good friends!
His friends came to support
After you finished your Garmin read about 800m short of the 8848. Can you explain how you knew you had done 8848?
Yes. I counted all the laps with my watch and before I had spent a lot of time studying exact maps, down to 25 cm precision.
I had a former orienteering coach out on the hill before my attempt and he also looked very carefully at the terrain and the contours on the map to make sure the hill had 44 meters of elevation.
To be 110 percent sure, we added some extra distance to each climb, thus adding a bit more gain than we needed, so there would be no doubt that I had done more than the 8848 meters of elevation gain.
Simon finished his Everesting in 10h 45min
What was the process to get it ratified by Everesting.cc? We know it took over a week.
I sent in my gpx-file and maps and explained how we had measured the hill correctly using these maps.
How did you feel when the challenge was finally ratified? And what was it like waiting?
It was a nice relief, but the biggest happiness was on the day, when I knew I had done a world record! It was hard to wait, but I really appreciate the amount of accurate work the Everesting team put into this, so I will not complain! It is free and it is great work that the team behind everesting put into it.
I just think it is a fantastic idea to have an international challenge you can do all over the world and you can compete. However, I must say, just to finish an Everesting on foot is a great achievement and you will go into the hall of fame! 🙂
He wrote his name in the hall of fame!
What do you think is the biggest factor which helped you to complete the challenge?
- My friends that showed up on the day! They crewed me even though I had planned to do it myself. That took of a lot of time so that it went smooth and I had a small snack or something to drink on almost every turn . I did not have to stop to get it. That was cool 🙂 And they cheered and helped me through the many crises I had!
- I was collecting money for Doctors without Borders and people donated money continuously all day. I was told how the “pot” just grew bigger and bigger 🙂
- I am pretty tired of Danish politicians saying that you need to eat meat to be strong. I live plant based. It makes me stronger and is better for the climate, so it was my way of telling them that it is not a problem to go green 🙂
You described your Everesting as crazy. But you have also finished many other ‘crazy’ races. Of all races, what has been your ‘craziest’ one?
This was the most crazy thing! Doing 202 repeats of the same loop is for me… hmm – I just don’t like repeats… But I learned to dig deep on this one!
Not only racing the VMM, you also came on the third ever trail inspections with our team and it was there that you called them the ‘Wonder Trails’ – a name we still use today. What do you think about the VJM Trails and why do you call them the ‘Wonder Trails”?
It has a perfect flow!!!! And the views are amazing 🙂
Simon on the VJM route inspection with Topas team
This year at Vietnam Mountain Marathon we will have the first 100 mile race in the nation. This means most runners will be doing this distance for the first time. Do you have any tips for people on preparing for the potential lack of sleep and multi day race they will face?
You must stay hydrated and bring enough energy! It is also important that you are really motivated! Motivated from the inside to do something that will put a big stress on your body. And most importantly, remember to recover enough! It takes time to get the body going well again after so many hours on foot!
He won VMM 70km in 2014
Lastly, what’s your next dream race?
Hmm …. I don’t know. There are so many nice trails out there – but… hmm goals sometimes just pop-up – like the everest-thing…. Maybe it will be an FKT-attempt somewhere…. but hey, I am still recovering from my everesting 🙂