FKT: Chase Smith, Nick McDonald - Burr Oak + Wildcat Hollow Trails (OH) - 2021-02-06

Route variation
double loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
9h 5m 51s

Nick McDonald and I originally planned to run this route self-supported, however we decided to attempt it unsupported to save time dropping food and water. We both had run the Bobcat Trail marathon once, but neither of us had ran Wildcat Hollow. Temperatures ranged from mid 20s to mid 30s with snow covering 95% of the trail with the other 5% mostly mud. 

We made good time to Sunday Creek where we stopped to filter water. We started the Wildcat Hollow portion and made a navigational error that cost us ~5-10 minutes. The snow cover and less defined trails in Wildcat Hollow made navigation slow at times. We didn’t make any other major navigational errors but spent a lot of time stopping to scan the forest to pick up the trails again, particularly after tree falls. After finishing Wildcat Hollow we filtered water once again at Sunday Creek. 

The smaller climbs between Sunday Creek and the lodge area felt a lot bigger than they were. We underestimated how much the snow would wear on us. We only fell once between us and most parts weren’t incredibly slippery, but hours running in the snow definitely added a level of difficulty. 

Once we passed the lodge area we were excited for some flatter, less technical miles to finish the run. However, the frequently used trails around the lodge area turned much of the trail into ice. This was discouraging as these trails were some of the most runnable of the course. The further we got from the lodge conditions improved again and we eventually finished ~5 minutes off the supported FKT. 

We really enjoyed the route and would like to try it again in more ideal conditions. The snow and unfamiliarity with Wildcat Hollow made the route much tougher than it looked on paper. Also, while reading more about Wildcat Hollow in the write up I’ve seen some people recommending not to filter water in the Wildcat Hollow area due to the old mining activities in the area. Not sure if this applies to Sunday Creek or not but it may be something to consider.