FKT: Jessica Crandall - New England Trail (CT, MA) - 2023-06-03

Route variation
Connecticut Only
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 5h 46m 32s
GPS track(s)

I completed this route as part of the Connecticut Ultra Traverse on June 2-3, 2023. The day started warm and only got hotter. The first 14 or so miles of rolling single track helped roll into a steady pace. Climbs grew as the miles went on, and I carried ice on my body wherever I could. I drank tons of water and skratch all day, along with some gels, pb&j sandwich and fig bars. Brian joined me around mile 30, helping to pass the miles talking about the current run and his experience on it 2 years ago. The humidity slowly started to deep in as the predicted storms seemed far away. We traversed through Rattlesnake Mountain and Crescent Lake, where my family was there to see me briefly and give me a needed morale boost. I changed my soaking shoes & socks, then Tessa joined me through Ragged Mountain - the humidity hung in the air. I was able to get down a ginger ale to settle my stomach & a vegan protein shake. A storm awaited and hit as I reached the radio towers with Brian again and Julia, before Castle Craig. Pouring rain, thunder & lightning joined us on this entire section, making for some interesting descents. The rain came and went over the next few sections, in which my husband joined me & Brian and Julia left.  There was some fog clearing to view an almost full moon over Lamentation. Giuffrida park was slow going down the rocky descents to finally exit the park on the smoother single track. Mount Higby offered some cool breezes once we reached the summit and could look back on the lights of the areas just passed. My husband passed me off to Jay at Guidas, and we trekked through  Powder Ridge & Tri-Mountain - my lowest physical & mental points of this route. Both offered challenging climbs and painful, rocky descents on tired legs and blistered feet. Before Tri, I changed shoes & socks again  Temperatures had cooled over night however, a true blessing for the final 20-ish miles. 
I felt reborn after Marisa hopped in. I was able to drink a cup of coffee on the hike up to Bluff Head and its beautiful trails winding up top. By far my favorite part of the entire traverse. Made it down a fairly steep descent, the a few more climbs before bidding farewell to the Mattabessett and hello to the Menunkatuck- a net downhill journey to the finish. Marisa departed at Timberland preserve & Thom joined for the final 12 miles. My feet seemed to have bounced back. My appetite was gone, I slowly took in pringles, water & Skratch and eventually more coffee. I enjoyed the fewer rocks and more runnable terrain, aside from some bigger boulders in parts to work around. The roads to the finish at LI Sound felt surprisingly good on tired quads. Entering the beach and seeing my family & crew was a glorious site and the water felt great, even in the cooler temps I enjoyed through the morning on Saturday. It was an incredible and unforgettable journey!