Friday, July 10, 2009

Horton is off the trail at end of Day 6 – CT speed attempt is over

I just got off the phone with David and JB. I haven’t talked to either in almost 2 days because cell coverage for them was nonexistent.

David decided to stop his CT speed attempt after completing Day 6 and 330miles of the Colorado Trail. David reported that for the last four days he has been urinated blood. Severe sores on his tongue was preventing him from eating much food and, in particular, swelling that had been increasing each day, escalated yesterday. David told me that his face, hands and arms were swollen to the point that he almost couldn’t even keep a watch on his wrist. On day 6 (47.9 miles with 5320ft gain) it took David over 17 hrs to finish and through the final 13.7 miles David said he feared for his life – again – too reminiscent of his experience last year on the CDT.

Although David extended his limits as much as he could, he felt continuing into Day 7, a 60.5mile day with 12,700ft gain and only one road crossing, was just too dangerous for himself and his crew to risk.

As you can hear in his voice, David feels he has, once again, let people down. We all know this is not true but please leave David a positive comment and let him know he made the right decision!

Thanks for following another great adventure. I will post some more pictures as I receive them from different sources.


jennifer Nichols said...

you did the right thing!! Live to run another day my friend!! You didn't disappoint anyone! I was just so happy to be following you along your adventure! I love colorado so much!! I think your past performances on speed records of the AT and PCT speaks for themselves. This isn't your first rodeo and you have experience and wisdom on your side!! Please take care and know I am praying for you a speedy recovery! rest and relax!! and enjoy the scenery. :o)

jenny nichols:o)

Anonymous said...

Live again to run another day. Wise decission to drop out. The trail will still be there when you get healthy. You are an insperation, not only for doing amazing things, but for using wisdom as well. Eat, sleep and heal.
Happy running.

Rajeev said...


I am so proud of you for having fought so hard for so long. You are an amazing, amazing human being. Please do not be so hard on yourself. You have failed no one, least of all us. We would be proud to even do a day of what you did for 6 days in succession.

In the words of Neal Donald Walsch "the voice of caution knows nothing of real joy. What joy is there in doing what there was no doubt you could do? Try something you could fail at..,, that just could be living".

Rest up and recover well.

Celebrate yourself for an amazing achievement.


Deborah Sexton said...

Do nothing fatal. Single most important ultra rule. Live to try again another day rather than die trying on this one.

You are a hero to all of us no matter what.


Mike said...

You are truly an inspiration to us all. Thanks for letting me follow your attempt. Hold your head high.

Anonymous said...

Regards from Belize. Glad to be able to follow via CZealand's twitter and blog.
Bold and brave attempt, you did the right thing. Will pray for your speedy recovery. I could barely get through a marathon, much less what you have accomplished.
Jose G. Encalada

Kyle B. Stone said...

"Dream big and Dare to Fail" (Norman Vaughan)...excellent job are an inspiration to everyone and I know you'll be dreaming about another great adventure soon. 330 miles in 6 days is something to be very proud of. Keep on Keepin' on.

Kyle & Lori Stone

Spurgeon Hendrick said...

Dr. Horton,
Truly the Lord answers our prayers. We have been praying for your safety and the Good Lord gave you the wisdom to do the smart thing and stop when you did. Rest up. Get well. And then plan the next great adventure! You sir, are a great inspiration to us all.

Anonymous said...


Part of being a great man is knowing when to quit.
If success were guaranteed, there would be no adventure. Rest, heal, analyze, regroup, re-plan and you can always try again. You da man!

Gerry Roach

Anonymous said...


Good job and one heck of an effort. Don't forget that these adventures are supposed to be "fun." We are always proud of you.

Nancy and Rick

Unknown said...

You've accomplished much more than I could ever dream of doing on the trails. I think the attempts themselves speak for the type of man you are; inspirational to say the least. Here's to a speedy recovery.


Amy Albu said...

I am thankful that you are wise enough to make decisions like that! The standards you have set in ultra running are laudable to say the least. However, as a friend of your daughter's, I know your family fears for you at times. I am glad you had the discernment that you did and I hope you are proud of the accomplishments you've made over the years. No one comes close to what you've done. Please just get healthy!


Anonymous said...

we love you and are proud of you for making the smart decision. we'll talk to you soon.
brew and jen

Anonymous said...


I've been following your adventures from afar, and even though I'm so sad for you not to be able to see this one through to the finish line, it's clear you made the right decision. Just knowing that you are out there attempting your wonderful adventures inspires me and many others. Please keep yourself safe, rest up, do what is needed for your body, and I know we will see you back out there again for the next adventure.

My best thoughts are with you, your crew, and your family, that you heal safely and quickly.


Leah Fein said...

David - I was getting so excited about you finishing in Durango. I was figuring out the timing to run up and meet you. When the body says no, you have no choice but to obey. I am so proud and amazed at your feat (and your feet!). I was such an honor to meet you and JB at San Juan Solstice. If you're ever passing through Durango I'm at 970-903-5638
Leah Fein

Paul Mags said...

Sorry to hear that your CT journey was cut short. You made the right decision for sure! There will be other trails in the future.

J. Raney said...

David, You still amaze me with what you do for fun. I could not wait to see Clark's posting each day to how you were doing. But, listening to the body is the wisest thing of all in a case like this. I wish you a speedy recovery from this run and you are in my prayers.
Semper Fi,
John Raney

Blake said...

Dr. Horton,

Awesome job! Covering 330 miles in 6 days is reason for celebration especially in that terrain. It is more than running Mountain Masochist 6 times in consecutive days and even harder terrain! You are truly an inspiration to all runners! Take it easy and let your body recover. I'll be praying for you.


Anonymous said...

Go git the hitch in yur giddyap fixed.

Can't have a hitched giddyap.

Best from Maine.

wfvickery said...

Awesome job!!! Don't forget to bring your kidneys home with you..

"I will lie down and sleep in peace,for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:8

Bill Nurseman

Unknown said...

David, you always leave everything on the trail. I'm glad that so far you have always returned with your life. There are still too many future runners that need the benefit your tremendous faith and personality! Not to mention all of us who look up to you.

Mike Day

annette bednosky said...

Please remember that the definition of adventure is "that which has an unknown outcome". To embark on said adventure is to risk success and failure. I applaud your courage and spirit. Keep on thriving and surviving. You are a great ultrarunner and even better person. Thank you for including me in your life!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

David- Wise, wise decision! No shame in it at all so get that out of your mind!

Look on the bright are getting wiser with old age!

Love you!

OldHo aka MamaCat

Rebekah Trittipoe said...


No shame in stopping so get it out of your head!

Besides, look at the bright are getting smarter and wiser with age!!!

OldHo aka MamaCat

Pete Ireland said...


I know it was disappointing, but you clearly made the wise and correct decision. Better to walk away than have to be carried. No shame in that. I wish you a full and speedy recovery. Be careful.

Pete Ireland
Benton, AR

Jerry Letendre (Portland) said...

What were you thinking? You should have stopped a few days ago!

Your run was quite impressive but we prefer you stay alive to continue inspiring others.

xclimber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xclimber said...

I absolutely concur with the others here: you have let no one down. If you killed yourself doing this THEN we'd be disappointed. You did the right thing. My wife is an R.N., and she tells me that the symptoms you are describing (blood in your urine) can result in someone suffering kidney failure, and possibly leading to needing dialysis and even a kidney transplant... get yourself checked out amigo.
Jerry Cagle (in torrid Tucson, AZ)

John Vonhof said...

You have tried what many of us would not even have started. I commend you for all your accomplishments on and off the trail. The Lord was watching over you. The choice you made was hard but wise. Better to live to run another day. PTL.

James Varner said...

you big wimp! just kidding of course! 330 miles in 6 days at that alititude is no joke!! i'm proud of you for doing so well and coming so close and most of all for throwing in the towel before you got yourself hurt.

now come on out here and i promise to take it easy on ya-- atleast for a the first couple miles!

RunSophia said...

We are both heartbroken for you and full of admiration for your effort, your strength and your frailty.

These words by Theodore Roosevelt better express what I'd like to say:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

~Sophia & Brian

Anonymous said...

I am always so amazed at what you are able to accomplish and how far you are willing to push yourself. 330 miles in 6 days is no easy feat. We are all proud of you, no matter the outcome. I am just glad that you made the wise decision to stop. I hope you are recovering well. Come back to VA and we can go for a run together!

Phat Girl

Will Thomas said...


You are a real talent and you inspire all of us! Thanks for giving the rest of us something to dream of.

run4daysbill said...


You remain one of my ultra heroes. Even if you are STILL an old weenie.


Rick Gray said...

David, Adventures are never lost unless we never begin. You began and continued on when you probably should have stopped sooner. We are proud to say we are friends of David Horton. I look up to you as your faith and inspiration enrich our lives. We thank you for allowing us to enter this adventure of yours. My prayers will continue for you as you work through your frustrations. You let no one down, so try to keep your spirts up. See you soon, Rick

Casseday said...

I'm glad to hear that you're still in one piece and not too much worse for the wear. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of! You are a mentor and an inspiration. Rest up a few weeks and then come run my race at the end of August.

Unknown said...

Your life and attempts at these incredible feats of endurance are wrought with nothing but inspiration. Rest in the assurance that there are bigger things being accomplished than finishing. You change lives, Horty, just by getting out of bed in the morning. Rest well, recover and continue the ministry of inspiration that you live!
:) tko

Anonymous said...

If what you did is supposed to have let us down, if it some how makes you feel weak, or inferior... well where then does that place the rest of us shmoes who don't have the courage to even try?

Awesome attempt. Awesome effort. You have inspired more in this attempt than most do in anything they ever accomplish. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It was my pleasure to meet you on the course of the San Juan 50 a few weeks ago. You inspired me to keep on trudging through that snowstorm. You are an inspiration and I look forward to following your future adventures. Get yourself better so you can get back to doing what you love. The trails will wait for you.

Tatiana said...

just ask yourself would you advice quitting for your student in the same condition and if yes, would you insist if he argues?

But if you did otherwise yourself it would cause anyone else feel guilty in the same conditions and(!) would not have been smart/right thing anyway.

Congratulations on a job well done and wise decision (which was difficult to take).
Recover soon and best wishes!

Anonymous said...

David: I concur with everyone else...not much I can add to that. You are still my personal hero. Look foward to seeing you on the trails.


jersey joe said...

Awesome Job!
It was a lot of fun following your progress on this record attempt...

Christian Griffith, said...

...still my hero.

Good show David Horton, I hope to follow in your footsteps.

sensdelune said...

Dr. Horton you will always be my hero! I have many great memories of the adventures in my early 20s because of your mentorship.

God speed in healing and much love!

In Him,

"Goose in retirement"

JJ Jessee said...

Somedays we get the carrot and somedays we get the stick, but everyday we can be on the trail is worth the struggle and the beauty.
Speedy recovery, to you.

Stan Z. said...

Dear David,

I admire your courage and have been inspired by your example as a true "apostle of ultrarunning". I know you must be disappointed, but to this brother you are a true champion.

In Christ,

Stan Zygmunt

Anonymous said...

I'm proud of you & what you've accomplished so far in this life.
Can't wait to see you back in Lynchburg!! You've been sorely missed. Remember.....IT'S ALL GOOD!!
D :-)

Lawton said...

David, I've been following your CT speed record attempt since you started. What a truly amazing effort. The CT definitely is not an easy trail and averaging 54 mpd is almost unfathomable. At the 1st sign of blood in my urine I would have hit the eject button but that's just me! Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for you. Take care, Disco

John Price said...

Congrats David on a GREAT effort. As they say it's not the finishing it's having the courage to start. What we all know is you do not pick easy goals and hence there is always the chance of "failure", I do not consider what you did as failure. Your representation of ultrarunning is what makes this sport and makes people want to go out and exceed their norms. I know you've been my greatest influence in ultrarunning and I will always charish the times and runs.
Thank You David for being You!