Note that this thread is specifically about the GAP and the C&O together (which has mainly been done by cyclists). A thread for the GAP (Pittsburgh to Cumberland) only is here: http://fkt.websubstrate.com/route/great-allegheny-passage-gap-mdpa
And a thread for the C&O Canal Towpath is here: http://fkt.websubstrate.com/route/co-canal-towpath-md-dc
The Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (or the GAP and C&O as they are affectionately referred to) form an approximately 335 mile continuous trail from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. The GAP is mainly well groomed crushed limestone that rides fast, and the C&O is mainly dirt road double-track that turns to cement-like mud with huge potholes, puddles and downed trees after rainstorms.
As far as I have been able to find on the internet the sub 24 hour time has yet to happen, but it is entirely possible that someone (or maybe even several people) has already done it and just didn't brag about it. Here is the closest account of a 24 hour ride I can find. This couple [Seth and Rebecca. You can read about it here: bicycletimesmag.com/335-miles/] rode the entire trail Pgh to DC [Sept 2013] on a tandem bike in 24 hours 19 minutes. It appears that they had a support crew that met up with them routinely for water, supplies etc... That is the fastest time I have seen mentioned anywhere for the entire 335 mile trail.
According to the bike washington website (http://bikewashington.org/canal/plan-days.php) "Paul Gruenberger also claims the unsupported record time of 12 hours and 36 minutes set in September 1991 for the entire C&O. The Supported record is 11 hours 41 minutes." This info has not been updated in some time, but I can find no references of anyone doing it faster. It only refers to the C&O portion of the trail from Cumberland to DC.
A solo rider, "GranvilleGravel", has reported riding the GAP/C&O in 24h37m, self-supported. He posted as follows:
"I tried this same trip on July 25, 2015 - GAP/C&O in 24 hours. I fell just short in 24 hours 37 minutes. I was self supported which ended up making a big difference. I hadn't been on the trail before and see now that it takes time to get off trail for supplies. I was expecting more access to quick food. I made some other mistakes too that cost time. Fun trip though!"
Cyclists keep doing this. Chris Shue completed it self-supported in 23h43m10s on 9/26-27/2019: https://chrisshue.com/2020/01/21/pittsburgh-express/ & https://www.strava.com/activities/2743790843/overview
We are not aware of anyone running this entire route as of yet.
Hi! I am considering an attempt at the GAP + C&O from Pittsburgh to DC. Is anyone aware of a either a supported or unsupported FKT for this route in either direction?
Dan: I am considering an attempt as well ... on foot. (It's still a ways off and a lot has to be worked out first.) I don't know of any FKTs. We could be the first!