FKT: Gabriel Fuhrman - North Franklin Mountain Loop - 2024-04-16

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4h 35m 55s
GPS track(s)

Attempt two of this FKT after trying a few weeks ago with too few carbs and mLs on board.

Prep: I had the .gpx from the route page on my watch which proved to be handy. There are a few sections where it is easy to grab the wrong path. I started at 6:15 AM, and carried 2.5 l of water, 12 gels (9 SIS, 3 Maurten 100 CAF), 4 packs of gummies, and a little baggie of Tajine and salt that I used as my "electrolytes". I consumed all the water and 11 of the gels. I bought the park pass the night prior, printed two copies, left one in my dash, and carried the other. Sometimes a ranger will stop runners/cyclists as they pass the ranger station and I wanted to be prepared. 

Course Overview: I started and stopped my watch while touching the gate by the parking lot. 

This run feels like it can be segmented into 3 distinct sections, each beginning okay and runnable and ending with a crux. Part 1, the west side of the range, is really fun, flowy, and mostly fast, and ends with a 600 ft climb from miles 10 to 11. If you start early, you will be in shadows for this portion.

Part 2, the north side/canyons, is slightly less runnable but very scenic and feels remote--it terminates with a climb that goes from miles 15-15.5 followed by a long 400 ft decent.

Part 3 seems to never end. At this point the east side of the range is receiving direct sun, and it is almost always uphill from mile 17 to 23. It ends with the torturous Mundy's Switchbacks section which brings you up 1000 ft in 2 miles. 

Summary: I am a notably bad climber, and I know this route can go sub 4 with the right day and aerobic engine. This is my fifth FKT attempt in El Paso, so it was fun to finally bag one before someone who's an actually good runner attempts it. I do really enjoy this tour-de-franklin and anyone who has a few hours should consider spending it in painful meditation around our beautiful peaks.