FKT: Eli Burakian - North South Trail (RI) - 2023-05-02

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
18h 55m 50s
GPS track(s)

I had been wanting to do this for years, but all previously scheduled attempts had been cancelled for one reason or another. Finally I had a few days and although life was a bit crazy and I had some training setbacks, decided to give it a go. 

My brother in law took me to the trail around 11pm, then I walked about 2.5 miles to the start and started just before midnight. Goal was to minimize night walking by trying to finish right at sunset the next day. 

Trail was really wet after huge rains the day before, and before I hit 10 miles I had already lost over 20 minutes and hiked an extra mile with some bushwhacking. It was early, yet I thought my chances for an FKT were now out of reach. Nonetheless, I just kept on alternating slow running and fast hiking, only stopping to fill up with water. (All my BeFrees have now popped holes in the bottles!) I listened to the entire Kara Goucher memoir.

It started to rain on and off, but it was 50 degrees and I was fine as long as I kept moving quickly enough. I had sprained my ankle less than two weeks earlier but had no problems with it.

Lots of peanut m&m's, sour gummies, bars and gels, along with some tailwind. Beautiful forests, meandering streams, lakes and ponds, stone walls covered in moss, owls hooting and coyotes making crazy sounds, deer jumping through the woods and frog eyes beaming back at me from ephemeral ponds. Small villages, a few highways, mud, dirt, fields, gravel, pavement and a beautiful beach to end it on. I saw less than 20 people on the whole route, almost all in the last few hours.

A very enjoyable experience crossing my wife's home state. There is still some fairly wild land in Rhode Island.

Thanks to Art, Aubri and Claire for your inspiration and beta, to my wife's brother and parents for transportation on both ends, and my family for giving me the time to get this done.