NKR-Sponsored Team of Kidney Donors to Attempt Speed Record for 50 U.S. State Summits

The National Kidney Registry is excited to announce its latest sponsored event: an attempt by a team of living kidney donors to set a new world record and shatter the misperception that kidney donation imposes physical limits on donors.

In May 2023, three mountaineers assisted by two support crew members (Team NKR) will attempt to break the current Guinness World Record by reaching the top of every U.S. state’s highest point in less than 43 days, 3 hours and 51 minutes.

In addition, Team NKR plans to set a new Guinness World Record for summiting the highest mountain peaks/highest points in the contiguous or “lower” 48 U.S. states. There is no current Guinness World Record for the contiguous 48 U.S. state summits, but the fastest unofficial record according to FastestKnownTime.com is just over 19 days and 7 hours.

“Some people believe that becoming a living kidney donor must result in some kind of athletic impairment,” said Team Captain Dave Ashley. “The goal of Team NKR is to demonstrate the truth: Living kidney donors can do any athletic activity we enjoyed before donating, including ultra-endurance adventures like climbing Mount Everest and summiting all 50 U.S. state summits.” 

Team NKR Climbers:

  • Team Captain Dave Ashley is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel from Arlington, Virginia. He has climbed Mount Everest as well as the Seven Summits, and is a 2019 Master’s US National Championship Adventure Racer.
  • Jodi Harskamp is an Alaska Airlines Captain based in Anchorage, Alaska, who has climbed Denali and Aconcagua and successfully completed multiple Ironman and ultramarathon races.
  • Jay Irwin is a retired software executive and an Ironman and ultramarathon competitor from Frisco, Colorado. He recently completed climbing all 58 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.

Team NKR Drivers/Support Crew:

  • Emily Polet-Monterosso is a librarian from Shelby Township, Michigan. She has recently caught the climbing bug following high-altitude experience on Mount Kilimanjaro and at Mount Everest Base Camp.
  • Dr. Matthew Harmody is a retired ER physician from Southern Pines, North Carolina. He has enjoyed a lifelong dedication to endurance training and competitions, which have included triathlons, marathons, ultramarathon trail races, and adventure races.

Team NKR has enlisted the help of a handful of additional individuals ready to assist with various tasks on the ground, including driving smaller vehicles to more challenging trailheads, coordinating supporters, and bringing supplies to the team when needed. In addition, Team NKR will be joined by videographer and accomplished adventure racer Hunter Leininger, who will document the journey and manage the team’s social media presence in real time. 

The hashtag #5K50SS is being used to track social media posts, and real-time updates will be shared on social media as well. Links to Team NKR’s accounts and additional info can be found at https://www.livingdonorgames.org/50-us-state-summits-speed-record/

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Founding Sponsors

  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Kidney Registry
  • National Kidney Donation Organization