FKT: Keith Laverty, Max King - Olympic National Park Grand Loop (WA) - 2020-09-02

Route variation
standard loop
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
10h 40m 49s

Max and I set out to run the Unsupported FKT together and on a mostly clear, sunny day and great conditions overall. Far from the prettiest FKT but a new FKT nonetheless by the slimmest of margins, which was the primary goal and grateful to still snag it. Didn’t leave much wiggle room and I don't see this new FKT lasting for very long!

I believe I made a critical mistake of not bringing/consuming enough electrolyte and realized consequences of those mistakes as early as around Mile 18 with cramps in my lower right quad, as well as the back of my left leg. It was a very delicate line of managing the cramps, my effort and rationing the rest of my electrolytes (via Tailwind and Bolt energy chews) for the rest of the loop. I had enough calories and filtered water but didn’t plan for enough electrolyte mix or sodium capsules that may have turned the day around. 

Seemed to had built up a large buffer by Cameron Pass but then the margin slowly dwindled away all the way until the finish. Moved fairly well from Gray Wolf Pass down to bottom of Three Forks. Got a good bee sting during this section. Then I hiked very gingerly with a few stops on the final brutal climb back to Deer Park. Glad to have powered through the major lows and finish it up. One of the challenges of a team effort is that you can only run as fast as the slowest person and I helped contribute to that :) 

Certainly a memorable adventure in the beautiful Olympic mountains. Shout-outs to Isaiah Hemmen for getting this route posted (along with a few others in the Olympics), Tim Bedford's FKT run from last year, everyone who has attempted this challenging loop, and to my partner, Elisa, who set out the day after us to run the 3rd fastest overall time in 11:15.