Brief Story. I just found out about how FKT's are expanding and not just reserved for things such as the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, or the entire Ice Age Trail. Finding out that the requirements can apply to your favorite trail in town depending on the circumstances made me want to get at least one while visiting my family in Wisconsin. I grew up around Lapham Peak and it's so pretty there.
My 1st full day in town, I set my sights on it. It was a beautiful day on April 1st after driving through overnight snow. The 12-hour drive the day before wasn't going to stop me. I took a short intro video (screenshot of it attached) and prepared my small pack mainly for hydration. The main thing to plan for is the climb up to the observation tower. There's a steep climb on both sides that will test the strongest of runners.
I start the trek by running along the Glacial Drumlin trail just over 2 miles and keep a solid and steady pace. I cross over the highway carefully and begin into the grass and dirt section. The trail is in good shape, there is some mud but for the most part the ground is firm. I am carefully navigating the single track and some of the steep slopes. As I officially enter Lapham Peak State Park, I cross a couple of patrons who are walking on this nice afternoon. They allow me to continue and I feel pretty good until I reach the stairs. The steep ascent just before this climb pushed me a bit. The stairs are filled with snow and are slick so I navigate them quickly and safely. As I began descending down next to the tower, I begin to slide in the snow and fall on my butt. I quickly recover and continue downhill through the park. The switchback and the narrow single track made this one of my favorite areas to run. A little snow sitting on top of the hardpack dirt creates such a beautiful image.
I remain in the zone just enjoying the moment and embracing being back in Wisconsin. I quickly across the access road and begin my track out on the western portion of the trail. This area is a little wet, sloppy, snowy, and muddy. I love getting to enjoy this. I don't get to enjoy this weather since moving to Chattanooga a little over a year ago. I work through the rolling hills crossing other runners and sharing a wave. I reach the western terminus at Cushing park road in a time of 1:06. I feel strong and know that I can do the return trip faster.
I begin to push the pace on the western side. My body feels strong, but as I cross the road and begin the ascent towards the observation tower again, I know this is going to be the toughest part left. I continue pushing at a steady pace as I shuffle my feet up the switchbacks on the single trail. I am short on the breath but make it to the top feeling pretty good. I regain my breath by going down the stairs behind the observation tower and begin my exit out of the State Park. I push this mostly downhill section and cross the highway again.
I now have 2.25 miles to go and realize I'm on track to having a negative split in. I look at my watch and know that sub 2:10 is possible if I push the pace. So I am running as hard as I can in my trail and my pack on while wearing my Hoka Speedgoat 4's, which is a tough thing to do! I run the flat section at a sub-7 pace to finish just under 2:10 at a time of 2:09:52 and with the perfect timing of a port-a-potty just being placed at the endpoint of my trail for a race that is going to be run the next day!
Editor's note: Kyle's run is a bit longer than the FKT segment, which starts and ends about 0.3 miles beyond Kyle's start point, where the Ice Age Trail joins the Glacial Drumlin State Trail.