This is the first report for an unsupported FKT at this route, however, I know this is a popular route in Central Texas, so I assume that there are much faster times out there, waiting to be reported. In fact, I'm going to share this route with my running groups to see if they can dig up any faster unsupported times. Additionally, there are a few races run along this route, so the supported FKT is already known.
This run was actually my first time running the whole loop, and it was a training run. I was in the process of training for Spectrum Trail Racing's double marathon (two times around the Goodwater).
I started at Camp Tejas, on the far West side of the lake (along the San Gabriel River), running counter-clockwise. I packed and carried enough food and water for the entire run. The run started great, and continued on until around mile 10 when I started to hit the "cheese grater" rock. It was very difficult to attempt to run on that rock, so I was forced to run from patch to patch, and walk across the rock. I took a short break at Cedar Breaks to eat a bit and sit down for a few minutes.
The cheese grater rock continued for about 5 more miles off and on until I reached the dam near the halfway point. It felt good to be able to run again, especially on some pavement, so I was able to pick up the pace and get back into the woods fairly quickly.
The Northeast side of the loop is very similar to the Southeast side; more pointy rock patches, surrounded by lots of cactus making it impossible to go around. I was running as much as I could, but still walking across the sharp rock. I think it was around this time when my feet really started to hurt. The rock was destroying my feet, making it difficult to even walk.
I took more short breaks to eat and rest my feet at both Jim Hogg and Russell Park. After Russell Park, I knew I only had an easy, flat 5 miles left, but I was struggling with energy, so it turned out to be a slow run/walk finish. I ran out of water with 3 miles to go, zapping even more motivation and energy. I was able to struggle on back to Camp Tejas, where I started 6 and a half hours earlier.
My feet were destroyed, and I had trouble walking for the next couple days. The rock was so bad that I decided I would make sure my next trail shoes had rock plates.