This was a lovely sufferfest. I underestimated how much water I would need and overestimated the amount of tree cover on the ridge, and forgot my water filter (there are 2 spots - 1 passed twice - where you can reliably filter from a small stream on this course). It hit the mid-80s in the sun and I melted as I pushed myself to climb faster. I'm only 3 weeks out from a 100-miler, so my legs didn't have as much pep as usual and I bonked hard on the second half from dehydration. The second half/return is easier than the first half, with less climbing on the way back so save some gas in the tank for the return. I can't wait to see other local folks get out on this route and push the time back!
Be sure to keep sharp eyes to follow the M-M white blazes along the ridge - there are sections where the smoother main trail stays in the trees but the actual white blazed trail follows directly along the cliffside.