FKT: Dean Banko - Charles F Lewis Natural Area (PA) - 2024-02-06

Route variation
CCW loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
53m 58s
GPS track(s)

It was a chilly but I knew the course would be clear of snow and ice. It was in the 30s. Started later then I was hoping to. Would like to have gotten there around 2pm not 3:40ish. That way I had plenty of light to hit the trail and enough if I got lost to figure out where to go.

I didn’t warm up or stretch properly which was felt right away, had intention to stretch right but didn’t. Soon as I started running the cold air hit me and my legs were dying. As the climb started really felt it. Did have to walk some on the first 1.5 miles in those steeper pitched areas. I feel I left 5 minutes or so out there. Never really fully sent it today. I was worried about tripping and getting lost since the trail is notorious for both.

I struggled way more then I should have with the climb up to the powerline. Though the ground was solid all run. Did hit some rocks luckily didn’t trip. Did have to back track 3 times. I went wrong way 3 times for about 20 yards each time and had to backtrack. Even knowing the trail its hard to read and follow which makes it a great fkt. I was going to fast while watching my footing and didn’t take the curves in the trail, it happens a lot on the trail while going fast. The yellow blazes where a lot farther apart then I remember.

I was also breaking in new trail shoes today which may not have been smart. Did feel a lot more confident once I hit the powerline and it leveled off and basically hitting the decent rest of the way. For most part the 1st 1.5 miles is uphill and the rest feel all down even with the couple rolling hills.

Running allowed me to recoop my energy and recover. There was a few trees down, nothing to bad. It was more of the trees who’s branches went over the trail covering up where to go was the problem with how they seemed to lay lengthwise on the trail and not just across. That caused a lot of hesitation. The thorn bushes were still there in the normal spots. Was hoping that they wouldn’t be as tight on the trail but they were, did get some scratches.

Where they logged it out they put up fencing. I did not know that. So you have to go thru gates to run the trail. Which those gates through me off as to where I was. But no big deal. They didn’t add any more blazes to the logged area so you have to try best to follow the trail.

The boulder area went way better then I expected. I guess since I didnt have to worry about snakes I was able to go a lot faster. Even the last decent and ridgeline the last .4ish tenth wasn’t bad today footing was real sturdy so I could go faster.  Creek was high so feet did get wet as I went across, not a big deal since there is a tenth left to go. Came back onto the entrance and touched the rock in parking lot. No wildlife today, thankfully.

Overall wasn’t a bad day I could do better so there is room for people to attempt it and knock the time down some if they practice first knowing the actual course, otherwise it will be hard and that’s part of the point of this fkt is its not easy and gives you a good mix of terrain and conditions are never the same and lastly hard navigate without proper knowledge of the trail.