Route: Taconic Crest Trail (NY)
Dan Rosenthal reported:
Every year the Taconic Crest Trail Hiking Club hosts an end to end challenge from Berry Pond to NY route 346. It is an enjoyable event complete with a hot breakfast and send off with bagpipe music. Many participants camp at Berry Pond the night before. While it is technically not a complete end to end as the trail starts over 7 miles to the south on route 20 there is significance to this starting point as it was the original start to the trail. On Saturday May 14, 2016 I participated in the event with my dad. This was their 30th anniversary of the event. The start is 5:30 AM every year and I checked my watch and it was 5:33 when we began. I walked the first mile or so with my dad and then began running as I am training for my first 100 mile ultra. After we departed I never saw another participant but I met volunteers at all the aid stations. I finished the challenge at 11:39 AM, 6hrs and 6 minutes after I began. The fastest time prior to this that they had on record was 8 hours. I think it is a soft fkt and it can be broken when someone faster attempts this segment. In fact, I probably could have been under 6hrs because I walked the first mile and I stopped for about 7 minutes at the aid station in Petersburg pass to rehydrate, talk to TCT club members and my mom (I didn't want to be rude), and apply sunscreen. Aside from this stop I didn't stop at all other than to relieve myself. I gained time by refilling my handheld at aid stations so I never had to filter water. After I finished I ate great food and talked for a couple hours and then I hiked back up to meet my dad a short distance and jogged to the finish with him. He did a great job finishing in about 8hrs and 45 minutes - not too shabby for 73.
I forgot to mention the trail runs along the Taconic ridge near Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA, Petersburg Pass, NY, and Pownal, VT. The trail is approximately 29.45 miles long with an ascent of over 7800ft and descent of over 9000ft. Much of the trail is runnable but can be wet with occasional mud holes from ATV traffic.