Carissa and I left the Speck parking area kiosk at 8:05am. Temps were 30 degrees and a breeze kept it chilly from the start. It has not rained with any significance in a few weeks so the trail was very dry. (Almost a problem for finding water along the the trail but I was able to fill out of a tiny pool and again at Dream lake. We carried all our own supplies and received no aid. We saw many thru hikers today, very busy, and a few others out for Traverses.
We made it to Old Speck tower in 1:09 and kept rolling from there. I don't know as I checked my watch for other time landmarks all day. We held what we felt was a sustainable but quick pace working our strengths in the group. Racing in team format is a cool category as there are so many more variables than racing alone. Both partners need to have a great day, have similar strengths or at least not be overwhelmed by the others strengths, and energy supply has to be the same or time suffers fast.
We worked well together all day, following the FKT route, and hitting all the summits along the way. We both started to bonk a bit around mile 20 but managed to really push thru. Carissa is awesome, she had no down hill left in her but she had really wanted to beat 10 hrs and so with only a few miles left I set our pace as close to 10 hrs as possible and really held her to it and she delivered. We crossed the finish on the bridge at 9:59:38!
I love this route. SO wild and beautiful. The notch is a special playground and in many ways its a shame to rush this trip. I do wonder however why this FKT course ends on the bridge and not just a the road where the trail officially ends. Instead there are several miles of 4 wheeler Right of way roads to cover and ATVs just rained down dust all over us as we tried to hustle out. Anyway, wonderful day an as always cheers to the next team to hold the crown .