FKT: David Smith - North Fork Mountain Trail (WV) - 2022-10-15

Route variation
Downhill (S-N)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 7m 36s
GPS track(s)

I got dropped off at the South trailhead by my lovely bride, Krista, shortly after 8am Saturday morning with Caleb Bowen's 2 handhelds (1 with electrolyte and 1 with water), one waffle, energy chews, and a gel. I could have maybe eaten a little more but the peak color fall weather was nice that I didn't sweat too much with the tree cover and wind on the ridge. 

Legs felt a bit heavy with higher than normal mileage starting out as I have been training for the Rim to River 100 in 3 weeks, but I quickly got in the groove of picking out the least rocky path down the trail. As the only time I had been on the trail before was a MTB trip earlier this year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the trail was a lot more runnable than it was bike-able (for me). I enjoyed jumping over knee high logs and larger boulder gardens where I had previously hiked a bike. Even the steeper uphills where I did a little bit of walking was more refreshing without having to push a bike. I only knew Lucas' split was 1:30 through mile 12 where he re-entered the trail after the gravel road downhill. I was 1:34, so I knew I needed to push a bit on the second half. I kept the tempo up and hit the North Fork Trailhead just a few min faster than previous FKT (3:07:36). I ran down to the river and soaked my legs in the cold water while waiting for Krista and some DC friends to get back from the chimney hike.

Other thoughts:

Lucas's 3:10 effort was very impressive and should be considered unsupported as I believe he ran with some others for the first 3/4 mile. 

Sub 3 hrs is very obtainable with the right conditions and fitness and I hope to see others get out there and go for it.

This is a great trail run with a little bit of everything (technical, smooth, climbs, and fast downhills) The only negative about this FKT is that you miss so many good views/overlooks.