FKT: Bjorn Syse - Lake 2 Ocean Trail (FL) - 2022-01-15

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Total time
10h 43m 19s

My run started off as a recon run for an FKT attempt later this spring when the trail dries out. Up until yesterday, I'd run every inch of the Lake 2 Ocean trail just never all in one shot, so the only goal was to get to the beach. Large sections of the trail are typically under about 6" to 1' of water this time of year so I had no time goal in mind. At the lake, the temperatures hovered in the low 40s, a high was forecasted for 75, with low humidity and zero chance of precipitation I knew the weather was going to be in my favor. at approx. 6:15ish in the dark with a foot in Lake Okeechobee I set off to complete the Lake 2 Ocean Trail with little thought to what a magical day I would have. The first three miles followed dirt roads around farms and a mine. Having an infant at home I've been pretty sleep-deprived the past few weeks so I found myself a little surprised how good and awake I was feeling for those first few miles. After three miles of dirt roads, the trail turns into Dupuis Management area where I was greeted to smooth recently mowed single track as the sun came up. I met up with my crew at mile 15 for a quick 2-minute pit stop then entered JW Corbett Wildlife Management typically the crux of the trail and certainly the wettest section. The first four miles in were on and off ankle-deep water with deeper sections in the Cypress groves. I quickly found myself surprised at how well I was moving and making good time. at mile 22 I met up with my crew again to prepare for what is often the muddiest section of the trail and it certainly lived up to its reputation. approx. 6 of the 9-mile section was shoe-sucking mud. Things were clicking and I was able to crank out some fast miles. While looking at my watch and gauging the time I anticipated to come out the east end of Corbett at mile 31 my mind started to think that the FKT was possible today. I hit the east exit of Corbett on 5 hrs flat. my Mind knew the FKT was mine as long as I kept moving. The next section through Hungryland, approx. 5 miles, was all runnable with easily avoidable water sections. Hungryland is finished with a quarter-mile of dirt road followed by the infamous three-quarters of a mile along Beeline highway. At the end of Beeline Highway, I once again met up with my crew for some solid food to change it from all the Gu and Larabars I'd been eating. The next 7 miles would traverse through Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area which is broken up into a south and north section. The south section as always was relatively dry with patchworks of mud and water towards the back half. The north section notoriously always underwater lived up to its reputation. though only 2 miles in length these proved to be the slowed two miles of the entire day. Calf to knee-deep water greeted me the whole way. The pain was settling in and I took this divided to take it a bit easy in the water section to preserve myself. I focused on my breathing and power walked through this section. Immediately upon exiting the north section of Loxahatchee Slough you come upon a levee that is all runnable. 1.5 miles of the levee leads into Riverbend Park and a beautiful canopied park with smooth wide trails that allowed me to pick the pace up a bit and make up for lost time in the Slough. At about mile 47 I meet up with my crew for the final time at the north end of Riverbend affectionately known as the Zoo. at 8 hours flat, I knew I had 3 hours and 48 minutes to finish the last 15 miles. This was mine to lose. I ran this exact section last week and it was as dry as a bone so I was excited but one last hurdle was through my way as it turned out all the rain we received this past week, end up in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. From the Zoo following through the Cypress Creek Natural Area and under I-95 proved to be smooth going, My main focus of just keeping a good solid pace. Once through Hobe Grove Canal and into Jonathan Dickinson State Park, I was greeted to about 5 miles of on and off again water and mud. One last challenge! With the FKT firmly in grasp, I gave myself a little added motivation/push to beat it by over an hour. Through the smooth buttery single track traversing through natural pine forests and open grasslands, I came upon the Dunes of Heaven, a series of powdery sugar sand dunes that must be navigated before existing Jonathan Dickinson. Unrelenting forward progress got me through this one-mile section and before I knew it I was greeted with cheers from my crew as I enter the final 2.5-mile road section leading to the beach. On the road, I pushed just a bit harder and that one hour time was in sight. Over the intercoastal draw bridge and onto the banyan tree-lined Jupiter Island I sprinted through the parking lot, onto the white sandy beach, and into the Atlantic Ocean!