FKT: Krista Fasciano - Maricopa Loop (AZ) - 2023-03-03

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4d 13h 47m 8s

Originally planned to run this self supported so prior I cached at4 spots but I decided to change it to supported as day 1 progressed.

I started at Pima Canyon at 6:17 AM following the National Trail for 15 miles in the mist of sunrise number 1. The trail flew by as I’ve been on this section for before and I made sure to take it easy over this rocky trail. After was a string of canal trails where I was hyped to see two burrowing owls. Once I got to Tres Rios Wetlands I decided to address the nagging pain of my feet to realize that I made the wrong shoe choice the top mesh collected endless sand to provide an array of new and unique blisters. I got water .5 off trail at a circle K 27 miles in. I walk through Estrellas Regional Park and was absolutely in awe of the way the poppys turned everything yellow. I followed road for a while where I eventually turned into a Frys to resupply, while I stood blankly in aisles unsure of how to resupply with all these options. I grabbed little calories and decided I’d resupply at a circle k since it would have less options. I grabbed the only hot food option, very bbqed wings and no napkins and hobbling in pain along the dark sidewalk a sloppy mess. It was in that moment I decided to go supported. I called up my boyfriend (Eric) who was more than excited to crew to the best of his ability as he has work during the days. He meets me at mile 50 and then he sees the true hobble I have due to the painful blisters on the balls of my feet and toes. There I wash off as much of the sand that I could, put on my trusty Lone Peaks and eat a couple pancakes. I hike the rest of my night until I stop at 57.5 miles at midnight. 

I fall asleep immediately with several dreams about being woken up to start hiking again until it was reality at 3 am. Feet tapped up I hobble out into the cold night through White Tank, my 24 hour split is 63 miles and I meet Eric who gives me 5 miles of food. I walk painfully as I feel the blisters of each step. I get back to the van where I painfully pop blisters and re wrap my feet now wearing 2 pairs of socks. Eric loads up my vest with 30 miles of food and water, I’ll meet him at mile 100 when he gets out of work. I get some pep back in my step off and on throughout the day following streets and dirt paths. Had a bit of time with feeling overheated and terrible. Had some stomach issues for a few hours. Got to the outskirts of Lake Pleasant and felt pretty good despite the consistent pain from the bottoms of my feet. I hit mile 100 right at sunset and everything felt beautiful. After 105 ever step was the furthest I’ve ran. I was ahead of pace so pushed on an extra 6 miles to meet Eric at a different road where he hiked out to me with wendys 4 for $4. I only had 8 miles left and all felt possible. I took off my double socks and realized that they caused a painful rash all over my swollen feet.  I had a ton of food and drank a lot of water at the van which ended up being a mistake and I vomited in the next section and felt super slow moving. Eric met me 4.5 from the end to walk it in. I went through so many highs and lows during those miles until finally getting to the van at 12:30 AM 114.5 miles in. Slept until 3:30 AM waking up once to pee and several more times in immense hip and feet pain. 

Out a bit before 430 feet tapped and aching with a remarkable limp hobble. 90% sure I saw a smaller mountain lion but stayed calm throughout the experience, but kept turning around to check my 6 until daylight. I made it to 120 miles at the 48 hour mark and I’m super jazzed about it. A little sprinkle for the preview of what this afternoon will look like. I meet Eric (who had no work today) 10 miles into my day at Spur Cross Ranch where he has all my food out on a table. I grab 13 or so miles of food and head into the Tonto for the steepest section of trail. I’m dazed and walking just ready to meet up w/ Eric heading the other way. When he catches up theres still over 4 miles and I’m slogging with a big forward lean on the incline. Just as we hit the high point of the trail it starts to sprinkle when I get to the van it starts to downpour. It’s now a dark 4 pm where I have to make the difficult decision to go out into the downpour for a 12 mile section of trail. I put t-swift in my ears, gallon ziplocks over my gloved hands and get it. The rain intensified as the hours progressed and I kept climbing up hills. Then I hit a downhill and suddenly my legs are moving long strides downhill as daylight leaves. Im shocking myself and thinking about nothing else but moving, no food or water had. As it gets dark my body has the sudden realization that it needs to be going faster to keep my core warm. Rain and sleet and hail and wind come at full force and I walk through several washes now with calf deep streams in them. I’m focusing on forward momentum and not taking a wrong turn repeating to myself I’ll be done at 8 pm and Eric will be there. And he was, just 10 minutes prior as I was an hour+ earlier than expected. There I had eggs and guac in a warm vehicle. I knew I couldn’t go out again until the storm was over, 150+ miles in and my body allowed me to go that pace out of necessity, despite my goal finish time now impossible I didn’t care and attempted a restless 6 hours of sleep until the snow ended at 5 am. 

Out into a 30 degree 3 inches of snow and flurries I’m wearing all of Erics gear as mine is soaked. This includes a size 12 pair of shoes as the only other shoes I have dry are 9s and my feet can’t fit in them. I move fast in the night through the snow staying warm. My 72 hour split is 156.5, my 60 mile per day weakened by the 36.5. I took a wrong turn downhill to add over a mile. Eric met me a few miles from the end in the beautiful snow filled desert. At the van he gets my food and feet prepped for the next 10 hours while he works. I head towards McDowell for the last regional park before I’m city and canal walking my way to Pima Canyon Trailhead. I stay in a positive headspace all day, the pains don’t feel as intense and I feel like I am able to focus on podcasts and the journey to move quickly. As I’m hiking up the last pass someone in a backpack walks by me so I make quick conversation to find out he’s a triple crowner thru hiker on a training hike! We talk for many miles which makes everything go by quickly. I make it to the road and eventually meet Eric in a parking lot and eat more eggs and guac before walking into my 200 mile night on a Scottsdale golf course. My plan was to keep moving through this night since I had more time to sleep yesterday than anticipated due to snow. This ended up being the hardest part for me. I was dazed and slowly moved all night. Got in a few bad headspace’s  and took a 25 min nap that helped nothing. Finally as it was 5 am I started to feel hope for the morning and start to feel like I could take on the rest of this day efficiently. 

I’m about to take a turn and head west for the final time at a place I’m very familiar with since I cached some water and have ran hear before. My heart dropped. At Granite Reef there is Granite Dam, that I hadn’t noticed before, there in the wash that I have crossed before was now a ragging 100 foot across river since they released the dam. This broke me. I tried calling some co workers and they told me that there was no way to pass or other roads/bridges. I walked backwards to the road where Eric dropped me off and would meet me again, I felt demoralized and done, this run was over. Like the good support Eric is he told me I was not quitting, he would drive me the 18 minutes away drive to then walk a mile in from the granite reef trailhead to get to the other side of the water. I try and stay positive now that all I have left is a 50k, I can do that one way or another and time doesn’t matter. I was exhausted on the canal trails and saw Eric around every 4 miles. I was falling asleep while running, a dangerous run with my eyes closed next to water. I didn’t want to eat anything so every road crossing Eric made me something warm; pizza, beans, pasta. At one point I couldn’t take it I was going to fall asleep so I took a 15 minute nap and that made all the difference. I talked to my brother and sister in law on the phone for a while to bring up my mood, I talked to one of my friends for hours. And then grind until I meet Eric 10 miles from the end. My friend Prime Time comes out for the last 10 as well and its a speed walk on canal trails till the end. With less than 2 miles left I start to run and we keep running until the Pima Canyon trailhead. 


What an adventure 8:04:23 PM on a Friday finished with this route and feel lucky I got to move as much as I was able throughout. This is an enjoyable route with enjoying the mountains and liking the mind numbing paved paths to grind. Until next time ✌️