To the best of my knowledge, I am the first person to have completed this route in a single continuous effort. I know of at least 4 others who have made this attempt, and was on hand for 3 of them. In planning and prepping for this, I have been on every mile of the AT at least twice before on multiple training runs and it was so amazing to put it all together. This was a fully supported effort with a car crew meeting me every 5-8 miles, and I only spent about 14 miles alone. It was truly an amazing show of community who came together to see me through, and they made the experience so absolutely incredible.
It was a hot humid day for October with temperatures reaching 88 mid-day, and stayed until the 60’s overnight, with the added challenge of fresh leaf coverage deep enough to hide rocks and make navigation tricky at times. I started at 9:45am at the NY/NJ border and accessed it via a 1.3 mile trail from Cascade Lake. West of the Hudson is a relentlessly challenging and beautiful section of technical trail. The major climbs are through the Harriman section including Black, West & Bear, but the entire route is non-stop up and down. I saw a beautiful sunset on West. Night miles were East of the Hudson which is my home turf. The elevation changes are constant but not as steep with some really fun sections, and there was definitely a rejuvenation with being on familiar faster turf and slightly cooler evening temps. The northern most 15 miles are by far the most runnable and gentlest grade of the route. At this point, The miles were really starting to get to me and my running pace was on par with my hiking pace. I was able to continue to move steadily but there is a lot of time lost here.
Overall, I feel like my logistical decisions (head north, AM start) were absolutely the right choice for me. I set an A goal pace of 23 hours and a drop if it seemed like it would go over 30h. This was my longest run to date, both in distance and time. I have only been running for 3 years, run a handful of 50ks and 1 50 miler. I am beyond ecstatic with my effort and am excited to see this go faster!