I began the Nantahala Adventure Run at 5:44 AM on 5/18/21. I started at the Duke Power Put-In and ran the loop in the clockwise direction. My husband Mark crewed me the whole way meeting me at NOC, Tellico Gap, Wayah Bald, Sawmill Gap, Nantahala Lake, Nantahala Dam, Apple Tree Group Campground, and then obviously back at the Duke Power Put-In. My folks surprised me by arriving at NOC soon after I arrived. Mark did surprise me by running in a few times and running back to the truck with me. That was fun!
Even though I didn't feel like I was in the shape I'd like to be in, I felt strong throughout the run. The overcast skies and cool temps were perfect. The most difficult section was between NOC and Tellico Gap as I had already had a big climb up Cheoah.
There were quite a few backpackers along the stretch of the AT, but I didn't see a single person on the Bartram Trail. I'm pretty sure I startled a couple of bears about a mile before hitting Piercy Creek (about 6.5 miles from the end). I didn't see them, but I could hear them grunting as they scampered up the hill to my left. That got the adrenaline flowing!
At twilight, I missed the place where the Bartram Trail popped out onto a dirt road and then re-entered on the other side. I thought the trail went down the road. When I realized I hadn't seen a blaze in a while and began seeing private driveways, I turned around and went back to where I had popped out on the road. I saw where the trail re-entered the woods and was back on track. The trail did the same thing a short distance down trail but this time I was much more vigilant about watching for blazes. You can see this wrong turn around the Nantahala Lake area.
My realistic goal for the run was a sub-24 hr, but my lofty goal was a sub-20 hr. I'm very pleased with this run.