FKT: Breanna Kay Cornell - Flagstaff Loop Trail (AZ) - 2016-11-05

Route variation
Standard loop
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
11h 33m 4s

Sophie [dog] and I ran the Flagstaff Loop Trail today (11/05/2016) in 11:33:04 (includes the mile running up from my house to the Pipeline trail and the mile back down). My GPS said that our run was 49.11 miles total, and that the loop itself was 47? A bit more than the advertised 42 miles. I have been unable to find a female completion time. I wrote a detailed report with pictures, here:




Here's Breanna's report:

The "42-mile" Flagstaff Loop Trail, an adventure that Sophie and I undertook today. It ended up being 49.11 miles (from my front door, that adds 2 miles to the entire route, so I was expecting to finish in 44 miles).

It was an awesome day for the trail! Jonathan met me and Sophie at my house and we left around 6:30 AM this morning, running up to the pipeline trail from Sunnyside and starting the loop clockwise. The mountains were shrouded in clouds and the sunrise hidden by the clouds on the horizon. It was the perfect weather for Sophie, a cool 40 degrees with lots of puddles and water from rain the previous night. Jon was awesome company all the way around to Lake Mary Road. The sun came out later in the afternoon. I rolled my ankle just over halfway into the run and it was fine for a while but started hurting later in the run and slowed us down a lot. It's a little swollen, but it'll be fine. Also, because I was expecting a 44-mile run instead of a 49 miler, I ate my last bit of food around mile 35, but could've definitely used it later after slowing down and taking longer. Overall, though, felt pretty good :)

Sophie and I then headed up onto the trails by the airport, where I got a little turned around. There were really only a couple of sections that were not well marked or difficult to align with the map; just before crossing I-40 heading towards Campbell Mesa, it was unclear which way we should turn down a dirt, then paved, road (the sign was literally pointing the wrong direction, but we had a map and reconfirmed our directions after heading the wrong way for a quarter mile or so). Around the airport, after coming out onto Lake Mary Road, is not marked at all (I'm not sure if I took the right route through the woods there, but I guess if you make it over to Tuthill it's OK?). After leaving Fort Tuthill, the route is not marked but the map is good enough to get you through that section. It was a little confusing finding the "right" tunnel under the rail road behind Railroad Springs, but figured it out. The observatory Mesa trails were marked beautifully and I hardly had to look at the map at all until coming out across from Shutlz. From there, I am very familiar with the Rocky Ridge route to Easy Oldham and back onto Pipeline to bring me home to Sunnyside.

This was Sophie's longest run to date (her previous was a 50k). I felt very safe bringing her on this distance as she has demonstrated in the past her ability and want to go, as well as the fact that the trail loops town, so you're never far from a main road and cell service if you need to stop for any reason. I knew that if she struggled, we would be able to stop, but we didn't need to. In fact, she was doing better at then end still than I! I packed her a couple of hot dogs and she was very happy with those.

I was unable to find any pervious times for the entire Flagstaff Loop Route, other than Sean Meissner's 2014 run in 7:11. So, I guess by default of being the first, Sophie and I will snag the canine and female FKT times (not hard to beat, I promise! I'd love to run it again for time, though; Soph might stay home for that). I don't know why there isn't a race on this route? It'd be a fun, fast course for sure.

Overall: Beautiful trail, fantastic day, awesome company, tired legs and hungry stomach, now sleep :)