FKT: Brynn Cunningham - Sugarloaf Trail, uphill then downhill, out and back - 2022-07-24

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2h 13m 0s
GPS track(s)

I set out on a trail run around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 24, with the intention of running 12 miles while clearing trees and limbs that had fallen from two unpredicted thunderstorms that hit Ohiopyle, Pa., over the past two days. I started up Sugarloaf Trail, throwing aside fallen limbs and moving trees out of the trail. Sugarloaf is one of Ohiopyle's main mountain biking trails, and as an avid mountain biker and member of the Ohiopyle Biking Club, I wanted the trails clear for the week. Around mile 2.5, the idea of establishing Sugarloaf Trail as an FKT came into my mind. After all, the elevation gain and distance qualified. I decided to go for the FKT and began to pick up the pace. Luckily, most of the tree removal was in the lower miles, anyway, so I was able to shift focus from trail clean up to running a solid pace. Suddenly, at mile three, the sky went dark, thunder boomed, and a torrential downpour began. The farther I climbed, the more frequent the lightning strikes and heavier the rain, and by the time I got to the wide-open section where Sugarloaf sled hill sits, it was a full-on summertime thunderstorm. At the midway point, I turned around to run back downhill, the trail now muddy with standing water an inch deep, sections of shoe-sucking mud and lots of slick rocks. It was a fun, wet, dirty run back to the start/finish point, where I arrived water logged and stoked! Because running in the rain is THE BEST, especially during the current heat wave. I'm excited to better my time. 

I drank only plain water and drove the 1.5 miles from my house to the start/ finish area by myself. It's a local hometown trail I run and ride frequently, and I would love to assist anyone else seeking to run this FKT.