This FKT is broken down into roughly three sections. The first section is approximately 20 miles of road to include four-lane highway and the City of Greenville, NC roads/sidewalks. The second section is approximately 13 miles of “trail” but only the first mile is a crushed stone path type trail. The rest of the trail is really a quasi-utility easement that runs along a named ditch but looks more like a large drainage ditch. Sections of the trail were up to chest high with briar bushes included. I got cut up more then my fair share. I’m sure there maybe times of the year it is all mowed down but this wasn’t one of those times. A thorough route recon beforehand will give you all the intel you need to make a better decision on what to do, wear, etc. then what I did. The third section is approximately 5 miles of road but it is all 2 lane country roads with no shoulders. See pictures in my Strava link for better overall visualization.
I spent the day before route reconning only the first half, so everything to when the trail section starts. I was doing this to get an idea of time to get to the start line which is the Pitt County Sign. Be advised, there are technically two Pitt County Signs. The first one is just the plain sign that says “Pitt County” on it. That is what I used and officially started by touching it. The second sign is about 100 feet past and says “Welcome to Pitt County”. My interpretation of the route was what I did which is the first sign and start my watch while touching the sign. I have a picture of both signs listed on my Strava link so you can view them and make sure you understand which is which.
The other reason I spend the day before driving the route the day before was to try and identify any public water sources per the FKT Unsupported rules. I didn’t locate any. This forced me to do this FKT with a pack that I consider weighed down too much for running. It came it at almost 11 pounds with over 7 pounds being water. I had a total of 104 oz of water and still got dehydrated!
I started the FKT at first light approximately 0545 because the forecast was predicted to get up in the high 90 with extremely high humidity. Unfortunately, the forecast didn’t disappoint. Plus the Tar River crested and flooded about 3 hours before this which made the trail section more interesting. Again, pictures of river flooded out located at the Strava link. I decided to run with trail shoes instead of road shoes for this very reason and glad I did. I ran the first part as fast as I could while conserving as much water as possible. I felt like I was playing a game of chicken with my hydration and I was.
In the end, I drank more water then I planned to and was still dehydrated. I stayed on my nutrition plan as best as I could but really felt drained from dealing with the tall brush and briars in miles 24 – 27 of the trail section.
I finished the FKT by touching the “Craven County” sign in the south and with my Garmin reading 38.74 miles total.
One of the reason for me doing this FKT was it was relatively close by and I wanted to do something special to memorialize and honor fellow Marine Bob “Iceman” Coolidge who had recently past away.
I’m not sure I would attempt this FKT again in the future based upon the trail section which is more of a utility type easement.
I do want to point out just a couple of corrections from the original listing in regards to route directions. It lists that the Paramore Trail is taken immediately past Dunhagen Rd. That is no longer the case. That easement is all grown up with briars and tall grass. You need to turn left on Dunhagen Rd and go approximately a 0.25 miles to a path that leads to the start of Paramore Trail. I took thorough pictures to show all the angels and even how the sidewalk is set up for the pat leading to the trail.
The only other major correction that I had was that after the Paramore Trail crosses Worthington Rd, the next road listed that you will cross is Ayden Golf Club Rd. That is not correct. You will pass across Jack Jones Rd (1715) and then the next road that Paramore Trail crosses is Ayden Golf Club Rd. Not the end of the world but if your phone dies like mine did and you don’t have a GPS, it can make things a little hairy for you if you are just counting how many roads you cross.
Side note – All pictures are located at the Strava Link