FKT: Laura Bradley - Silver Comet Trail (GA) - 2024-06-22

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
15h 53m 47s
GPS track(s)

On Saturday June 22nd I ubered from my airbnb in Smyrna, GA to .19 from the Alabama/Georgia border (Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet trail on the Alabama side) and walked (also recorded on Strava) to the start. I drove up on Thursday morning around 9am from Tampa Florida to go on a hanggliding trip at Lookout Mountain and was looking for an ultra to do just to prove myself after a few bad years, knowing it wouldn't be pretty or quick. But I very much enjoy doing things completely solo, so when I saw there was no unsupported or self-supported fkt for females yet, I knew I had a shot - just had to get through it. I scouted out the start and the finish (start on Thursday before I got to my glamping spot in GA and the finish on Friday after a short hike at Cloudland Canyon before going to my airbnb near the finish of the trail in Smyrna). I wasn't confident I would be able to get an uber, but wanted to be sure I knew where to have them drop me since the start was pretty remote (also why I wanted to end in Smyrna, as I was concerned I would be stuck at the GA/AL border if I ran the other direction (west). The run itself started just after 5:30am eastern time and ended just shy of 16 hours- a little after 9pm (I finished up in the dark and started in the dark, but mostly ran my last two miles as I didn't want to get my headlamp back out - relied on the light from my phone. The whole experience was hard as I'm very untrained, currently, so I walked the majority and did 30-90 second jog intervals every 5 minutes as much as possible. I started in a long sleeve and took that off (opposite of plan) and managed to lose it somewhere, as well. I carried around 4,500 calories on me and started with 2 liters of water/lmnt and two frozen water bottles in my hands. I also carried a visor, headlamp, 5-6 lmnt packs, 3-4 salt tab salt stick packs, minimal footcare/bandages, sunblock spray, battery pack, watch/phone charger- both I recharged once. Foodwise I ended with about 1,500 calories leftover - there is a pic of my calories, but they consisted mostly of 2 cinnamon raison bagels with peanut butter, pretzel bites, jerky sticks, cheez its, gels, gummies, peanut butter pretzels, protein bars, etc. For water, I had lmnt to mix and was following the trail link information which stated several fountains would be available. This was not accurate and caused me to walk for several hours because I was out of water and afraid to burn out/cramp up. When I finally saw a fountain I walked down to the parking lot and the fountain was completely dried out. This was close to 25 miles in so I couldn't continue to go without water and purchased two 1 liter waters (water only) at the convenience gas station that was across the street from the fountain to fill my bladder. I asked the clerk and she said she has never seen that fountain work and didn't think it ever had (her words). I drank that water pretty quickly and in hindsight wish I had gotten more as I was out again soon and once again unable to find water. I pulled up the trail link map on my phone which stated upcoming water in Dallas. I saw no water fountains - only a spicket at one point that I also tested and it was completely dry - not even sure if the water would have been safe, but I was willing to use it if any came out, but that was not the case. So for the second and only other time, I climbed up off of the trail and went and bought enough water to fill my 2 liter bladder (same as stop 1 of 2) and also additional waters for my bag - 3 smaller bottles. (I did not stop my watch at any point, so anyone can see my 2 necessary to not pass out, detours for water). I didn't trust the map and had been out for quite a while and being 40 miles in with extreme heat warnings and cramping up, I wanted to have enough to get to the finish. The next 20 miles took quite a long time as I was dealing with painful masceration on my left foot and blisters on both feet. I jogged when I could and when it was nearing sunset and I knew I would make it I picked up my intervals and pretty much ran 80% of the last 2 miles. I stopped my watch at 0.0 (in the pitch black at this point). Got a photo and ordered an uber back and uber eats to my airbnb.