FKT: Jack Kuenzle - Presidential Traverse (NH) - 2021-07-20

Route variation
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
3h 38m 44s

One of the hardest efforts I’ve ever done. Crawford Path was a mud fest but I just had invested too much time waiting for the weather to clear to not get this. Presi FKT. Nearly 3 inches of rain over the last 48 hours. I had initially planned on Sunday, then the weather turned and I switched to Monday, then the weather turned and I switched to Tuesday. All the while I’m just sitting in my camper slowly descending (further) into insanity. The wind had mostly dried rocks off over 5000 ft, below that everything was soaked. Super super dense fog. I did this effort eight times in nine days three weeks ago and the fog was so bad today I still managed to get significantly off multiple times. Also, literally every time I ran the route for practice it was raining. I guess that worked out. Today it was drizzling on and off. This July has been the wettest in New England as long as they have kept rainfall records. I wouldn’t recommend trying to plan an effort 14 hours away from your place of residence on a mountain ridge with the “worst weather in the world” during a prolonged, extremely rainy cycle.

Looking at many segments Jordan and I almost ran the exact same splits, with two exceptions. Typically he was slightly (a second or two at times) on the up, I was slightly faster on the down. He was faster Washington to Pierce by 7 seconds. I think we were neck and neck going up Adams but he missed the turn and gave me a 2:00-2:30 lead at the summit (I had a lead initially past Madison but blew it filling at the spigot). I basically just held that, and gave a little ground, until Pierce, when I was able to do the final downhill two minutes faster. The whole time I assumed the opposite, I thought I was sending the uphills and pounding and slipping slowly on the downhills. Kinda funny how that shook out.

Oh and ahem ahem I don’t think it’s appropriate to run this in the snow and claim the FKT. I think it’s totally valid and cool, but this effort is run in snow free conditions. It’s not fair to the runners that have raced this demented and horribly techy route to run it with a highway snowpack, in my opinion. I’ve taken some epic falls on this route training and was legit frightened going into this effort with the slippery conditions. I think it’s a mandatory part of the experience. Do what you want but I don’t think it’s right.

Started my watch a the little iron gate thing at the edge of the parking lot at Appalchia, next to the sign. Stopped my watch at the road at Crawford Notch. On Strava there are some screenshots of the MWOB conditions during the run and a screenshot of the webcam that morning.