FKT: Jacob Brady - Honey Hump - 2023-09-09

Route variation
Hump via Forest City Trail
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 40m 47s
GPS track(s)

I went for the Forest City variation because it makes a better loop (no out-and-back), is longer, and has a more challenging climb. All out effort. Not an optimal day for a fast time being warm, humid, a wet year, and pouring rain last night. It went really well for most of it especially at the start though.

My goal was to push it from the beginning and redline up the the first climb and not walk until I couldn’t run anymore. I ran every step of the first 11 miles (the easy part haha). Pumped with that. Legs held up. Then I got to the real technical climbing up Camel’s Hump. Took out my poles then and really liked them and was efficient but only used them for 1.5 miles before it got steeper/scrambly on the upper part of the climb.

I was moving well until like the last mile of the ascent where my legs felt a bit done for and I almost rested even—slowed a bit or would walk a short flat section. My left quad was sketchily close to cramping which was my weak point in a technical trail marathon two weeks ago. Went for more calories and water and pushed through to the summit. I should have taken out my poles again but didn’t remember how long they’d be useful for before scrambling again and didn’t want to waste time fumbling with them.

Super cool undercast at the summit after being in the clouds and uncomfortably sticky and drenched in sweat for the ascent.

Then things got worse, haha, due to the horrible conditions on the LT north descent (Bamforth Ridge). I hadn’t run this trail before but it’s a north-facing slope and given the conditions was wet as expected. What I didn’t expect was how much of the descent was steep off-camber wet rock with vegetative growth. I was in disbelief. I would make it through a section and think it must start leveling off or be more dirt soon then would have another steep rock descent and that repeated for miles. I was swearing a lot. It might have been fine with the mountain shoes I’m used to (VJ Ultra and MAXx) with incredible wet grip but I used the Hoka Tecton X 2 which was a liability. I had so many foot slips and had to commit to moves and moments of losing control or go unfortunately slow. It wasn’t fun and lost what felt like 20 minutes given the conditions and my shoe choice on this. Also dozens of unavoidable ankle-deep mud puddles, which is classic (not complaining) but added to the vibe.

Finally, it did level off a bit and turned to dirt so I tried to lock and and finish strong. I was truly going 100% effort on the half mile road section to finish, I definitely got what I wanted to out of today for training. One of the hardest efforts I’ve ever done.

780 Kcal, 2 L fluid.