FKT: Jay Cougnet - Johnny's Route to Heaven (MD) - 2023-11-22

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
13h 46m 17s
GPS track(s)

I ran the route solo and unsupported carrying all my nutrition and water with me.  I refilled my filter flasks in the reservoir and refilled my water bladder with a small MSR pump.  I packed over 4,500 calories in my Salomon 12L pack.  Overall, with water my pack weighed 12.3 pounds to start.  I started the route at 6 AM EST on 11/22/2023 with my father witnesses the start.  We planted a memorial cross at the start and finish of the route to mark it for others.  

We had significant rain the day/evening before the attempt which caused problems early on by washing out an ATV bridge across a creek.  Fortunately, a fallen tree and 2x6 were nearby floating in the knee-deep water so I could build a bridge across the creek so I didn't need to wade across in waist deep water.  The first two segments were solid and on pace, however the third segment ended up requiring a fair amount of walking due to overgrowth and deadfall on the trail.  The fourth segment required a stop to refill my water bladder in a creek which took much longer than anticipated due to how slow my MSR pump took to refill a liter and half.  However, the break was good for me to rejuvenate.  Segment 5 was dark for me and took a lot out of me to climb from the lowest elevation of the course back up past the dam of the reservoir and a lot more walking was needed.  Segment 6 was flat and I was one pace for most of it until the last two miles which were very slow going on a rocky shoreline past the fishing center and then to some bushwacking around a peninsula that the trail had become very overgrown.  At this point it was starting to get dark and Segment 7 required a lot of climbing with my legs feeling really rough on the downhills.  This segment also ended with some terribly overgrown trails with tons of fallen trees that made walking super slow.  Segment 8 was all about walking as best I could.  I managed through adrenaline to finish strong the last mile or so and running to the finish line to my family awaiting!  They had been there since 5:15 PM tailgating in the trail parking lot.  I didn't finish until 7:50 PM or so!!  Real troopers!