Stoked to put up the first thru-hike of the B2B!!! What an experience!
I thought this attempt would take closer to 24 hours because of the heat, but I way overestimated. I feel pretty confident that with the right weather I (or someone else) could complete this FKT in 14-15 hours just by walking and not stopping except for bathroom breaks. If I knew this I would have done it in one attempt -- instead I waited until the sun was heading down on Saturday night at 6pm to get some hiking in not during the peak of the day heat, stopped at home to shower and sleep (I slept 4 hours) from approximately 1130pm-6am, and then grinded from 6am-2pm, only stopping to buy food and go to the bathroom.
It was 88 degrees out at finish on a road with no sun whatsover. Especially interesting hiking the sections of the trail where the trees are cleared, there's (sometimes) a footpath, but they haven't put in a paved path yet. You can see some of the pictures there are wooden stakes with pink ribbons -- these are spots where the trail is marked, they've cleared it of most trees, and will be beginning more construction soon.
Saw lots of nature along the way! Tons of birds, some sandhill cranes, some wild turkeys, deer, turtles, etc.
Kept in a very good spirits and morale the whole time -- lots of water and good, healthy snacks, music, and a good amount of caffeine. Thankfully I've been on a very low caffeine diet this year so a medium iced coffee from Dexter hit the spot. Drank about a liter of water every 2 hours which meant lots of bathroom breaks.
Sam Fanning of Ypsilanti walked with me for the first 10 miles or so from the east side of Ypsilanti to Gallup Park in Ann Arbor (he's in the starting pictures attached).
Stops included: Ypsi food co-op for granola bites, oranges, and a sandwich, my home for water/shower/sleep/ibuprofen/premade brownies, Joe and Rosie Coffee and Tea in Dexter Michigan for Coffee and a muffin, Agricole Farm Stop in Chelsea for a curry chicken wrap. I also picked some wild dandelion leaves on the trail to munch on occasionally.
* Sunset and Sunrise on the Huron River
* Great food at all the stops along the way: Ypsi Food Co-op, Joe and Rosie Coffee, Agricole Farm Stop
* Being smart enough to make homemade brownies ahead of time
* Seeing sections of the trail that aren't yet paved over -- but will be soon
* Beating my trail mile record in one day by around 10 miles - previous record was a 19 mile run.
* Soundtrack by Taylor Swift and J. Cole
* Getting to do the first 10 miles with Sam Fanning
DETAILS FROM GAIA APP
* Average speed 2.2 mph
* Average moving speed 3.3 mph
* Max speed 6.9 mph (I ran the last couple miles off and on)
* 44.01 miles (this includes little detours off trail to use the bathroom, purchase food along the way, and stop at my home to sleep)
* Average pace: 28.08 minute mile
* Avg moving pace: 18.08 minutes/mile
* Moving time 13hrs, 18minutes, 6 seconds
* Stopped time: 6 hours 36 minutes, 12 seconds
* First aid kit, camelbak water container, Patagonia rain coat, pack cover, pack liner, stuff sack, cheeze its with extra salt, granola mix (nuts and berries), energy cubes from Ypsi food coop, GoLite umbrella, Cascadia trekking poles, Osprey Talon 44 backpack, notebook and pen, phone, earpods, bug spray, sunscreen, bandana, hat, sunglasses, COVID mask, compass, bugnet, etc. Once I can walk again I'll weigh everything out and put it on Lighterpack for all us ultralight nerds out there.
PREVIOUS FKT & META CRITIQUE
This is actually my second FKT attempt/completion of the Border to Border Trail -- first time was a section hike and took 36 days. The first submission was deemed too long at 36 days to constitute an FKT -- but the original submission + .KML files are at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kY_jA8idrVaRBym0jYYtWS3Q7dcgpV6m/view?… . This site and online community really needs to define what an FKT is, and I would also argue, provide an award/incentive for first ascents/first completions of routes. It's a bad system that the exact time of what constitutes a FKT is arbitrary, undefined, and up to individually held and unpublished definitions.
Once the administrators of fastestknowntime.com rejected my initial submission, and threw down the gauntlet of challenging me to try to do this faster, I had to take them up on the challenge.
However, this submission should stand as the 2nd ever fastest known time on the trail, unless someone has completed it before me that I don't know about.
To improve this time again I would:
* Not hike when it's > 80 degrees out. I think 55-65 would be the perfect weather for this.
* Do it in one go -- start at 5 or 6 am and go for 14 hours until 8-9pm, only stopping for going to the bathroom
* Refill water in Chelsea -- I ran out of water about a mile outside of Chelsea so for the last 8-9 miles I had no water whatsoever. Thankfully I'd been guzzling water all day so it wasn't an issue, but when it's 85+* out and sunny, this is a potentially dangerous situation that I should have avoided
* Planned more ahead of time to include Sam for the entire trip