FKT: Emily Keddie - Rae Lakes Loop (CA) - 2020-08-04

Route variation
from Roads End
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
10h 32m 32s
GPS track(s)

I drove down from Bend, OR with one rest day before the attempt. The last time I had been near Rae Lakes was on my PCT thru in 2016, when everything was completely snow-covered. My goal was sub-10 hours, with anything close to 9 ideal. Unfortunately, I did not get that. A combination of sleep deprivation, first-time-ever back pain from last weeks Ptarmigan Traverse, and intense heat yesterday made this route much more difficult than anticipated. I was able to get some Motrin from a JMTer, and my saving graces were all of the people on trail who cheered me on- it was incredible how supportive all of these strangers were. It wasn’t the longest run, but it is very difficult. I was not expecting zero snow, anywhere, and such a lack of green. Even where there were trees, things were turning brown from the heat and dryness. I had some weird elevation issue above 11,000’- almost nauseous but not quite, a little disoriented. For once I hydrated so much that I was in fear of over-hydrating- I must have had at least 8L, which is very, very high for me. Most of my food was not appetizing due to the heat. But my legs were toasted after the pass with 23 miles still to go. The downhill from here is very technical; there are so few spots where you aren’t completely focused on where your feet are landing for the rest of the route. I wasted a half hour at mile 29ish decided to call the FKT attempt and hike it out, justified my decision, and started hiking after eating and drinking and crying. Then at mile 33ish, I did more math and decided to go for it anyway, since I had come so far and put so much more into it than I had expected it to take. So I ran it in as much as possible, knowing I could still get the FKT if I kept moving. It was a hard earned one, and I know I could have gotten that sub-9, but not today. 
I was surprised there was not already a female FKT. It appears I am in second on strava, to the female who recently set the mixed gender FKT. I’m excited to see who sets the next female time. Hopefully soon!