FKT: Dan Bates - Nipmuck - Natchaug - Air Line Loop (CT) - 2020-04-19

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
7h 25m 29s
GPS track(s)

I ran this loop counterclockwise from the North Windham Road parking area on 4/19/2020. I ran unsupported, stopping to refill water from streams using iodine tablets. There was a lot of mud but otherwise good conditions.

I added some screenshots of (1) the west end of the Airline Trail, and (2) an easy to miss loop on the Natchaug Trail, just south of Rt 44, that I missed on an earlier scouting run. For the most part, the trails are very well marked.

I had the idea for this loop and with Traprock canceled it seemed like the appropriate weekend for the year's first 'ultra'.

The Airline was a nice warm up and it turned out to be gently uphill. There might be a different 'on-ramp' that could save a couple tenths of a mile but I didn't want to trespass or bushwhack or run on rt 6.

The Natchaug started at 5.73 miles and is pretty runable at first. Things got harder from miles 15-20 as the terrain got harder and muddier and I wasnt as fresh. It eased up a bit after mile 20. I hit the Nipmuck junction at mile 23.02 for an end to end time of 2:46:33.

The Nipmuck gave me flashbacks to the Nipmuck marathon as i arrived at Perry Road around mile 28. Memory is a bit blurry as the Nipmuck alternates between runable and less runable sections, and with plenty of mud obstacles. I was actually looking forward to the big hill up to fifty foot cliff at mile 39 because it would be a break from running. My splits were moving up to the 10 minute range but I tried to keep pushing and got back to my car at 7:25:29. Pretty happy I could keep my average pace below 10 as that was a goal for the day.

I ran unsupported. I started with 2L of water and 1.25L of gatorade and stopped 3 times to fill a 500 mL flask (iodine tablets). I drank everything by the end. I also had a few hummus sandwiches and managed to eat 1.5 of them as well as 6 or 7 granola bars.