Started at the 504/Tram Rd parking and went clockwise. I'd scouted out the first and last ten miles and figured I didn't want to end coming up the rocks so clockwise seemed like the best choice. I'd never been on the middle twentyish miles so that was all new to me.
After the first couple technical miles it was pretty smooth sailing up through mile 24. I got off track a couple times, but probably only ended up adding about a mile total. A black bear ran across the trail about 30 feet in front of me at mile 8.5, but other than that nothing too noteworthy.
My pace definitely slowed a bit after mile 24, and miles 31-34 were the low point. I just couldn't get into a rhythm and had no energy. My emergency Skittles helped pull me out of that. Still didn't finish too strong but kept the pace just low enough to come in under the current FKT.
Weather was great, it was cool and overcast for the start at 6:45 AM and ended up getting a bit warm towards the end, but stayed in the mid 70s. Rain over the last couple days led to some slippery rocks and muddy patches but no real issues there. Brought about 75oz of water and didn't go through it all, but that probably wouldn't have cut it on a warmer day or a later start. Fueled with some fruit snacks, Clif bars and half a turkey sandwich.
There's room for someone to take a lot of time off this course. Keys seem to be getting good weather and getting familiar with the route. Looks like I'm not the only one who's had navigation issues.