Trail Info

The Mesa Trail is one of the most famous trails in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a 14.1 mile out and back rolling trail with 2,605 ft of climbing. The trail starts at the iconic Chautauqua Park and the turnaround point is at Eldorado Springs Drive. This is the playground of pros and amateurs who live and visit Boulder. 

The combination of fast descents, long gravel climbs, and technical singletrack make it a challenging FKT segment requiring road speed and trail skills. The trail was rerouted in 2020 lengthening the trail by roughly .3 miles each direction. FKT attempts are now split into out & back pre-2020 and out & back post-2020 due to the reroute.  

Meet the Athletes

Andy Wacker

Andy is the founder of the Trail Team and an accomplished pro trail runner. He is a four-time trail national champion. He has represented Team USA 17 times, placing 2nd in 2015 and 3rd in 2014 in the Mountain Running Long Distance World Championships. He is a two-time cross country All-American for the University of Colorado. He also holds numerous FKTs including the pre-2020 solo unsupported Mesa Trail FKT. 

Cade Michael

Cade is a Western Colorado University alum, where he earned NCAA D2 All-American honors in Cross Country. After completing his NCAA career, Cade explored the world of cycling and triathlon. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado where he is earning an Outdoor Industry MBA. Cade is a RMAC Summit Award Winner and UCI Gravel World Champs Qualifier. Cade is racing the Golden Trail World Series and plans to qualify for the UCI Gravel World Champs in 2024.

How it went down

Cade and Andy made a strong team for this specific FKT attempt. Cade is like a diesel engine that can power along while Andy has the ability to crank the pace up and down. Although this seems like it would work against them, it’s an interesting compliment when attempting an FKT like Mesa with the sustained descents, climbs, and singletrack mixed in along the way. 

The goal was originally Andy’s 1:28 time set back in 2016 when he was in peak road shape. That goal became unrealistic given the reroute that happened in 2020 and the additional .6 miles of trail it requires. However, the pair did surpass Andy’s 2016 performance by averaging a faster per mile pace on their way to setting a new post-2020 out and back FKT. As Cade said when they finished, “that hurt.”