FKT: Hannah Ritch - Cumberland Valley on the AT (PA) - 2022-03-04

Route variation
out & back (rim-to-rim-to-rim)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
8h 5m 59s
GPS track(s)

Run Report 3/4/22 Cumberland Valley Rim to Rim to Rim


It was 17 degrees at the parking lot this morning, colder than expected. Needed to wear a thin jacket over my other layers because of the lower temperature. I also put a pair of hot hands in my mittens. I took my watch picture at 7:37 AM by the picnic table in the parking lot, then started south up to Center Point Knob. Got there at 8:14 and took a picture of the plaque marking the spot, then turned back and went north. At mile 9.6, just north of Trindle Rd, I was finally too warm for my jacket so I took it off and stuffed it in my vest. The hot hands went in the vest also. Last weekend when I was on the section between Bernheisel Bridge Rd and Rt 944 it was complete mud. In the morning today it was still cold enough that all that mud was frozen so it made for easier running. I started with 2 L  of water/tailwind in my vest bladder but by the time I hit Sherwood Rd I was craving plain water. There is a spring between Rt 944 and Darlington Shelter so I paused there and filled my soft flask with a built in filter. Drank a bunch of it and then topped it off again. Kept going north up the climb to Darlington shelter. I was hoping to get there between 11:40-12:00, figuring if I could get there by then I had a decent chance of beating the record. I got there at 11:40 am and took another picture. I then moved my food trash to the back of my vest and put fresh food stuff in the front to make it more accessible. I also ate a gel. This is the first time ever that I have actually been able to swallow a gel. Apparently the lemon flavor is more agreeable to me. Heading south now, it was far muddier than it had been in the morning because temperatures had warmed up above freezing. This made for some slicker running. I started feeling tired around mile 30. Did a lot more alternating between walking and running. When I went back through the Boiling Springs parking lot I glanced at my watch again, it was 2:33. I estimated I had about an hour and twenty minutes if I wanted to beat the record but was not certain I would be able to because my legs were very tired by that point and I had the final climb back up Center Point Knob to go. Finally at the top I took another picture of the plaque, it was 3:16. I now estimated I had about 40 minutes left. Fortunately, half of what was left was downhill. The last mile or more is flat farmer field. I kept checking the time and trying to push myself to run as much as I could, knowing it could come down to mere minutes either way. I didn’t want to miss the record by just minutes and wish I had pushed more. Finally I got back to the parking lot and took another picture by the picnic table. Finished at 3:45 pm. My legs are tired!

No one else went with me or met me anywhere along the way. I turned my phone on airplane mode so no one could contact me. I carried all my own food the entire distance, no resupply at all. I carried all my own fluids as well, with the only exception being the use of the spring once. I was worried my bladder hose would freeze in the morning but fortunately it didn't. Overall it went great and I had fun! It was a fun mental challenge to see if I could do it completely unsupported.