FKT: Ann Burchfield - Yonah Mountain (GA) - 2024-03-16

Route variation
laps in 24 hours
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
11h 37m 15s

Close to two years ago, I noticed the blank entry under "most laps in 24 hours" for Mt Yonah. The seed of an idea was planted then, but between adjusting to a big international move (from Australia to Northern Georgia) and a new baby, it was a while before the time was right.

I had tentative plans to try for this FKT sometime this spring, but the choice of day was fairly spontaneous. I asked Laszlo (my husband) when might be a good time in the coming weeks and he said "How about Saturday?". The weather forecast looked favorable and I felt like I was at a good place in my training, so I decided to go for it.

Laszlo and Baby Zenith supported me from the trailhead carpark. We set up a picnic table with my nutrition, hydration, and gear, as well as baby supplies (changing pad, breast pump, bottles, diapers, pack and play) Given the logistics of looking after a not-quite eight-month-old baby and where I was in my training, we decided to keep the run between 9am and 9pm. More laps could be managed another time if I (or someone else) decided to run through the night, but I hoped I could at least manage a respectable number of laps in that time frame.

I started off right at 9:00 and managed the first lap in just under an hour and twenty minutes. This was faster than expected and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was below the existing FKT for a single lap (although Strava segments suggest several women have run it faster). After a very brief stop for a snack and some Gatorade, I turned around and did the next lap in almost exactly the same time.

I had a longer stop between laps two and three because I needed to pump milk for Zenith. After that, I managed a third lap between 1:19 and 1:20. By this point, several people on the mountain started to notice they were seeing me multiple times and asked what I was up to. It was great to see so many people out enjoying one of the first warm weekends of the year and the atmosphere was almost festive. Soon I was getting words of encouragement as I passed others on the mountain.

I did start to slow down in the afternoon heat, but following the familiar route kept me in a good rhythm and my energy and motivation stayed high. It felt good to be out doing a big, slightly crazy run for the first time since before baby Zenith was born. I made longer stops to pump milk every second lap, about once every three hours.

I was surprised how quickly the day flew by; before I knew it, sunset was approaching and I was ready to begin my seventh and final lap. I made a few short stops to enjoy the view and some campers kindly took a few pictures of me at the summit and first overlook. I jogged down in the dark and finished around 8:37pm.

I was pleasantly tired and happy with how smoothly the run had gone. This was such a fun day and has me excited to plan more big runs soon!