FKT: Jason Hardrath - Sterling Mine Ditch Trail (OR) - 2021-02-07

Route variation
one way
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 16m 52s

Thanks to Kyle Carson for picking out a good trail that seems to capture this area for submission as an FKT. You always wonder a bit about FKTs that are in your back yard with the question, "Should this really be an FKT? or just a STRAVA segment?" As Peter and Buzz discuss in various articles you can find, not every trail should be an FKT.  Some are best left as local training runs, Strava Segments, or sometimes just secrets. But this one really does seem to take you out on a tour of the Applegate area, showcasing its beauty.  Well done, Kyle

The trail was muddy as I ran, and periodic trees broke rhythm, but none-the-less I chased along at pretty close to my perceived current marathon effort (even if not reaching the pace) for 16 of the 23 miles as a long run workout.  Right as I reached, where I would let up pace the muddiness increased over a few of the greater gains and losses of the run. This definitely did not “feel” ideal, since sliding on the surface mud and picking footing to avoid any deeper mud so as to not damage the trail made these miles that were supposed to be cruiser, not feel cruiser.  Spirits unbroken, I found the views and weather to be quite enjoyable and this trail would be a great tempo run in dry conditions for anyone! 

- Special Thanks to Ashly Winchester who kinda forced me to get out after a bit of a mental health spiral due to things going sideways at work and frantically adjusting to accommodate frustrations/disappointments. This was exactly what I needed. Definitely took out some of the more angry feelings in the early miles and worked through reflections/room for personal improvement during the middle miles so that all there was left to do was suffer through those final muddy miles.  Open up to your friends when you are struggling mentally/emotionally, don't pin it inside. 

As far as we know, 3:16:52 is now the time to beat for this endeavor that seems to be closer to 23.4 miles (rather than the listed 22.74 miles) Not adjusting for the mud or down trees, I would say anyone with fitness for a 3:20 road marathon (even 3:25-3:30 fitness would suffice if it is a dry, cool day) would have a strong chance of obliterating this time. I ran in the Dynafit Ultra 100 which handled the mud pretty well, though there were moments I wished I had a slightly larger lug pattern.

I have been doing a completely alcohol free February as I train towards my huge 100th FKT and completion of the Journey to 100 FKTs project. Athletic Brewing has been such a huge part of enjoying “taco tuesday” at the Gaucho Collective with my friends while still sticking to this goal.  It is low calorie, tastes great, and Athletic is one hell of an altruistic company supporting the best of what is our outdoor, FKT, and running community. So whether you want a month off alcohol to break the habit or are trimming some calories to get down to your “fighting/racing weight” make your first order 20% off, on me with code: JASONH20

I have to admit that the drama of those British boys, David Bone and Mark Kerry, rattlin’ off 15+ FKTs in a month to start 2021 on the flat, fast paths of the UK is motivating. Definitely, have put in too much time and effort in these PNW mountains, Utah Canyons, and California/Nevada Rock to give up being the first to 100 or my lead in FKTs without a fight.

Website: Jason Hardrath (or follow more of my story on STRAVA, IG or FB)

I am stoked to be partnering with the following brands as I finish the Journey to 100FKTs and on throughout the amazing adventures of 2021:

Athletic Brewing Company: Great Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer, Supportive of initiatives to get BIPOC and Women outdoors, Two For the Trails Program. I cannot gush over this product or the heart of this company enough!!! I am going the month of February (and through Lent?!?) without alcohol go to and use code: JASONH20 for 20% off your first order to join me! 

Dynafit NA - Awesome to be a part of bringing this brightly colored European brand into North America. A great team of athletes (and quality humans) to be associated with like Ilana Jesse, Grant Barnette, and Joey Campanelli 

Coros Global -  I am excited to be partnered with the GPS "wearable" brand that disrupted the market not long ago with their insane battery. I am about to upgrade to their Vertix model for the multi-day FKTs I have coming up where 60hrs of battery life in full gps mode will be invaluable.
I am excited to offer you a code: COROS-Hardrath  
The code is good for a free accessory of your choice with any COROS watch purchase. You can view accessory options here.  ...just be sure you add both the watch and accessory of your choice to the shopping cart, before applying the code. 

Kogalla Lighting Systems - Going to a dual lighting system with this amazing waist light system has been a game changer for my efforts that push through darkness. The flood style lighting coming from the waist height gives more depth to the shadows around obstacles on the trail, or in my case often off-trail.  And for me the extra lumens and wide field of light seems to stave off drowsiness for longer (kinda like how watching TV too late makes it hard to get sleepy).  I am stoked to offer you a discount code of jasonhardrath to get 10% off.

Leki USA trekking poles - Seriously, check out the "Trigger Shark" system for locking your hands into these ultra-lightweight poles HERE! will never go back to regular poles.

Tailwind Nutrition - It’s designed to overcome the nutrition problems faced by endurance athletes in events like 50's, 100's, 24-hour, and multi-day epics. Tailwind combines complete fuel, hydration, and electrolytes in a tasty drink that won’t turn your stomach into a brick.

Sawyer Filtration - Excited to be partnered with a brand that I biked across the USA in 2011 with to provide filtration devices to family's with no access to clean water. Sawyer is a company with heart.

NW Alpine Gear - NW Alpine was founded in 2010 in response to the demand for high quality alpine climbing apparel made in the U.S. Since then, they have remained dedicated to the alpine climbing community and our special needs.

Ask me anything about any one of these products and why/how I use them in my adventures!!!