I ran the Ghost Town Trail as a out and back to set the standard. Being local to the trail I was made aware no one ever completed a out and back of the whole trail in its entirety on foot. So that was my mission. I started in Vintondale which is roughly mile 18.5. parking at vontondale allowed me to pass my car so I could change or whatever i need later on. So as far as any records show im the first one to finish the out and back of all 32 miles out and back. Most people only do the 50k which isnt the actual whole trail. It goes on to roughly 32.2 miles.
Ghost Town trail out and back FKT.
So I made it, I ended up with 64.75 miles. Did it in 11:53:44, which put me at a 11:01 per mile pace. I slowed way down half way thru. I started in vitondale running towards saylor park since it was longest stretch 19ish miles. Then at mile zero turned around. Then once I hit vitondale I ran up towards ebensburg the whole way past mile marker 32 where the gate that says trail ends. That way there was no question I did whole trail.
I had my dad crew me all day, I refuled at mile 0, then dilltown, vintondale, nanty glo, ebenensburg, nanty glo.
It started out cold in the morning it was about 45 ° when I started. Luckily I took gloves and a sleeves and a gaiter. They were for sun protection, but provided useful for the cold.
It was a unconventional way to do a out and back, it was only way to do it realistically though. I actually stopped more then I planned. Nanty glo and dilltown were extras.
Maybe .3 into the run there was a tree down. It came down overnight. There was also a tree that came down in dilltown by dillweed no more the a half hour before I got to it on way back. It wasn't there on way down. Guess you always gotta pay attention when running.
Saw a good bit of wildlife. There was a beaver in the creek, some turtles in multiple little pond things along the trail, squirrels, about 20 deer no bucks though, and one bear. The bear was maybe a tenth up from the Wehrum pull off heading towards vintondale. It was maybe 75 yards at most from me. It looked at me and then crossed it was maybe 100lbs at most. Doesnt mean it was the only one, just the only one I saw. I waited for some bikers to come by so I didnt cross alone where it went in just in case. Never know if it was a mother and cubs. I think one baby copperhead about 6 inches dead as well.
I was fine for the first say 25-30 miles then I really started to feel it. My legs were hurting. I think it was the consistency of the trail. The flat non charging terrain and lack of hills. So it worked the same muscles over and over again. Body is not used to that. Also think by running on right hand side whole time had me compensating some on my one leg causing the other to hurt. I did notice the bottoms of my feet hurting so I changed shoes when i got back to vitondale the first time. I wore my speed race day shoes in hopes I'd run faster but it proved to be a mistake. Wore sleeves and a gaiter around my neck most of the day. Seemed to keep arms fresher, sun burn at bay, along with the sweat.
Hydration wasn't a issue neither was food. I at less then i should have but made up for it by being hydrated. I peed all day and had two poo stops so everything was working properly.
I changed shirts in vintondale as well. So that was refreshing.
I did need something I didnt pack and that was fruit. A trail runner will tell you how much fresh fruit helps during a race more then other things. Had my dad stop at sheetz and get me some. When I got to ebensburg it was so refreshing.
The last 14ish miles I ran, i had to institute a run walk method. Which was everytime I hit a mile marker I'd walk .1 then run .4 and repeat. Each mile then would have two tenths of walking and eight tenths of running. It was the only way to not die and rejuice my legs just a little bit. It made the last 14miles rough and causing me to take longer then need be normally. Just didnt have anything left in legs.
When I woke up I almost cancelled the attempt. Wasn't feeling it. So took me 19 miles and the sun coming out to get right mentally. Which is a shame. If I had any legs left I'd went for all 92. Since i didnt it was just the main 64. Would I attempt it again, heck no. It really took its toll on me today. My knee is killing me now and I'm having a hard time getting it the straighen out. I can run trails races that are longer that use a variety of muscles but to run using same muscles all day isn't what I train for. There is a huge difference. Same reason why people who only run on flat or road have hard time running trails and hills they don't build the right muscles to handle it.
Not much happened to speak of since it was not a race so it was just me vs me all day. I saw maybe 200 bikes maybe 5 or 6 walkers and 2 runners on the trail. A lot of people didnt wave as I waved to them passing by.
If I was 100% all day I definitly could have shaved 3-4 hours off. So my time may look decent it's very beatable. I took a lot of time when refueling unessasarily. As you can see from splits how may day went. I was on track before continuity slipping my pace lower and lower.
Weather was perfect once 7am hit. Couldn't ask for more perfect tempurates. It was little breezy as well so wasn't getting overheated. Only dip my hat in water twice to wash off and cook down. The stretch from nanty glo to ebensburg still took a god bit out of me. That stretch does always seem hotter then rest.