FKT: Dean Banko - Lower to Upper Baughman Trail, uphill then downhill, out and back (PA) - 2024-02-12

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
53m 41s
GPS track(s)

Ran this FKT on February 12, 2024 at 3:36pm so only had roughly 2 hours of daylight left. Was not going to take that long but I never was on this trail before so if i got lost i didnt have much time to find my way. Thankfully the FKT attempt was completed with no problems. Navigation was actually pretty easy. Between the gpx file and the trail itself it was very easy to stay on the correct route. There was some red blotches on trees to make the way but that were not good trail markers to follow. The red was hard to see on the trees since they seemed a bit worn plus they were not that abundant. Though the trail itself was actually decently worn down even with the leave cover so you could tell where to go.

The trail itself is very runnable. I started by touching the sign as the fkt states to do. Was not sure how far down the trail the turn from the rail trail to the actual trail was. But my watch alerted me to where to turn. Its not that far down the trail. Id say less then a tenth of a mile. You do have to pay attention because it does make a quick left and I do mean quick left once you step off the rail trail. If you do not take the left you end up on the wrong trail.

I immediately knew I did not warm up enough. The first part of the climb killed me and shot my heart rate up super quick along with burning my legs and lungs right away. Thought i was going to be in trouble how i felt right away. However it not as steep as the gpx files indicated and does level off some in a few spots. I made it to one of those levelish spots where I quickly recovered. From there I was ready to go. Body started to wake up and have fun. That first 1.9 miles does not really have anything special to see. Which is fine. its a nice 800-900 of climbing in that 1.9 miles. Did walk 2 or 3 times for maybe 5-10 seconds each time to stop legs from reaching the burning point. It worked. I never fully burn them up on the climb. The hill is runnable the whole time. If I knew the trial could have ran little harder in spots.

Once it levels off my body completely took over. I started to get a runners high. From then on I rode the high. I was locked in running at a high speed without effort. But was not redlining or overdoing it. For being out of shape my pace was awesome also how i felt was amazing. A few times id look at my watch and see I was in the 7's and at times even into the 6's for pace. Did not know how that was possible with shape im in. passed the overlook on way out then i hit some fun stuff. There it becomes little more rocky. Also you run besides some big boulders as well which was fun. There was two small declines maybe 50-70 feet each, once i passed the overlook. Was a good mix up this point in the FKT. Also there was 2 small wooden bridges about 8 feet across before hitting the road. maybe .3 and .1 to the road which is the turn around point. I reached the road put both feet on it and took some pics and clips before heading back. Watch said something like 28:30 range. As I headed back. This ment I was ahead of current FKT time by about 3 minutes 30 seconds.That only got me more excited. I knew on the way back it be easier, well id assumed it would be since it be running downhill and not uphill on not technical trails. If this was a technical trail id be worried but its runnable so I was not.

On way back I was flying got more energy and was having way more fun with each step as i got excited for the possibility of getting the FKT. The two small climbs were nothing. I used my momentum to carry me up them without missing a beat. I reached the overlook went out touched the fencing took pics and a clip to show i was actually there. It said to to touch the fencing to that's what i did in the one picture. So there is evidence of it.

Cant recall how exactly how much time I had left after leaving the overlook. Though 27minutes seems to ring a bell. Hard to remember exact times while running because im thinking about to much data as I run and try to finish it. Knew that roughly 27 minutes was enough time to finish the last 2ish miles unless i did something stupid like trip or go wrong way. Was confident I would not get lost but the tripping was possibility going down hill or stepping in a pocket covered by leaved or catching a root. Managed to stay afoot the whole time.

Now my watch was steadily in the 7's rest of the way. Again i was just flying with that runners high. Kept looking at my watch to see how far I ran and how much time i had left. Each step I was more confident. With my watch hitting 5 miles I knew the record was mine. So I did not take any risks on the downhill, I played it safer by making sure I didn't run over the wet spots of try to jump on the bigger rocks.

I ended up with 6.46 miles total and 1,172 feet of gain. The turn was 3.18 miles according to my watch and 984 feet up with 186 down. I read the stats off in a clip. So that's what I had. Guess that seem right with the overlook addition being less then a tenth diversion on way back.

When planning this I was thinking of 6.2 miles since they said it could be 6.1-6.5 depending on speed. So in my mind i had to maintain a 10:30-1040 pace to break the 1 hour 4 min mark. Realistically should have planned for the 6.5 instead which would have had me at a 9:40ish pace instead to be more accurate. That's my fault during planning. luckily it didnt come back to bite me in the butt since I was way below the pace. Only real true measurement was the road turn around knowing I was below the time, that was really only true judge during activity.

My goal going in was a hour. Figure id shoot for that so id have a 4 minute buffer if i slowed or what not id still get the fkt. Plus not knowing the hill didnt know how slow the hill would make me heading out. Somehow with the runners high I was able to smash my goal by over 6 minutes. Very pleased with my performance today, how I felt overall, and the excitement I had through the whole attempt. I did leave 3-5 minutes out there. Not knowing the trail left me blind on how to attack it plus taking clips and pics slowed me.

Id say the trail is very nice to run on. Id go back to run it again. Good training trail. Plus you can connect to other trails and extend the mileage and explore more of the area without hitting any of the same trail. Plus Ohiopyle is a fun state park in general to visit no matter what activity your doing.