FKT: Ben Nephew - Blue Hills Skyline Trail (MA) - 2010-03-28

Route variation
out & back
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
2h 37m 36s

Ben Nephew sent the following report:

"When I ran the Skyline out and back last fall, the trail was very wet, which probably slowed me down. I never got back to the trail on a dry day last fall due a busy racing schedule, so I had to wait all winter to give it another shot. I had perfect weather this past weekend, 40’s and dry. I went east to west again for this run, although I was surprised by a small permanent re-routing of the trail due to erosion from the 15 inches of rain we have gotten in March. The short detour is just east of Big Blue on the Skyline South trail, and I don’t think it affects the length of the run. It is a longer detour, but the footing is much better than the original section of trail.

It took me a while to get going, and I had been running for 40 minutes by the time I reached route 28. I felt better over the hills in the middle part of the trail, and reached Big Blue in 1:03. There were a few puddles on the far western section, but most of the route was dry. After hitting the end guard rail at 1:15:31, I returned to the top of Big Blue at 1:29. The next half hour on the Skyline North and back to route 28 was very challenging, but it seemed like I was surviving better than on my attempt last fall. I hit route 28 at right around 2 hours, and figured I’d have to work to beat my time of 2:45. Looking at profile now, this section has a lot of nice downhill running, and ends up with a net loss of 100’. This surely helped me run 37 minutes on the return trip to Shea Rink parking lot, which was a pleasant surprise.

Comparing my time this year to last year’s effort, the biggest difference was in the 2nd half of the run. I ran the first half 2 minutes faster, but picked up 6 minutes in the second half. This is partially due to the dry conditions making the steep climbs and descents more manageable, especially on the Skyline North section. The only thing I carried was a bottle of concentrated Gatorade, which ran dry a bit too early. I was very pleased with my Inov-8 Flyroc 310’s, which provided excellent traction and stability, and kept my feet intact. I managed to avoid falling, which is a very good thing on the Skyline."