My pal Jobie says it's good to do stupid things. I've been an ultra and mountain runner for about 7 years. I like to race, but I like to do made up adventures way more. I have really connected with the ideas shared on your podcast. I wanted to do this route for 2 reasons. One, I wanted to run 100 miles with no crew, no support and no pacers. Things are much easier when you have a support crew and energetic people at aid stations at 2am giving you warm soup and encouragement. Could I do it without those things? And two, I wanted to be the first one to do it.
I attempted it once before and gave up after 5 loops. For the first attempt, I used my truck as an aid station. When the going got tough, it was really easy just to get in my truck and drive home to a warm bed. For my successful attempt, I decided to ride my bike to and from the route. I carried all of my food and gear on me in a UD Fast Pack 15 the whole time with the exception of a Red Bull, a puffy and water that I left on my bike. I got all of my additional water from a spigot close to the trail. There are a set of stairs that lead to the Warner Woods trail that seemed to me to be the most iconic place to begin. I locked my bike to the trail sign and ran 9 consecutive loops turning right on each trail every time to equal just over 100 miles. I used a sharpie to make a mark on my hand at the end of each lap.
I had two splitter days with highs in the 70's. At night the lows were in the upper 30's. My body was depleted so I got mild hypothermia. I was ping ponging on the trail, and I couldn't remember the word for hypothermia. I said to myself, "Let’s be smart about this." I put on all of my layers and stopped in the heated visitor center bathroom to take a 10 minute nap. This warmed me up and I was able to continue. As I was finishing the 9th lap, my watch died. GPS seemed to be screwy all day so that's why the mileage is incorrect. I included a GPX of a single RWB to show the distance. Once my watch died I started the Strava app on my phone. Afterwards, I was able to stitch the two files together so that's what makes the time of 29:59:11 correct. I also texted my wife when I started and when I finished so that can prove my time as well. The elevation seems to be around 16 or 17k for the entire thing.
I did my best to do this route in good style by staying completely unsupported. I want others to try and do it faster and I would really like for it to be a race one day. I know this is not a typical FKT because of the loops, but I chose to submit it because all ultra Runners in Nashville and the surrounding area know it well.
Thanks for reading!