I've been eyeing this one up for a while. Such a great route, definitely "technical yet runnable" with a hefty dose of vert. This was the fourth time I've run this route, but my first real attempt at the FKT. Despite my familiarity with the route, I definitely missed a couple of the tighter or less expected turns, but was able to quickly notice my mistake and correct, losing only a few seconds. The conditions were a mixed bag today. Weather was cool and cloudy, with a little bit of mist in places. The flip side is that the trails were wet, with several sections of ankle-deep water on top of Storm King and lots of mud and slick rocks throughout. My feet were wet pretty much the whole time, and I definitely had to hold back on some of the descents because I was unsure of the slippery footing. Also, there were lots of people out on the trails enjoying Memorial Day. This could definitely go faster in better conditions.
Despite not being able to 100% crush the downhills, I had a surprisingly good day. I was able to run most of the uphills and was pretty steadily 6 minutes behind my pre-estimated splits to run my goal time of 2:15. I summited Storm King for the final time at around 2:06 and knew I had to hammer the last downhill but that Ben's time of 2:21 was within reach. I think the phrase "in the bag" was swimming around my head. It turns out I slightly overestimated my abilities on the final downhill and it was more of a nail-biter than I thought. As I was taking my final steps out of the technical single track, with just about 300m on smooth grass to the finish, I rolled my only good ankle on a root (or was it a rock?). My heart sank, because ankle sprains have been the bane of my trail-running existence, but I knew I was close enough to finish this thing. I sprinted to the trailhead, finishing just 30s ahead of Ben's time. Super thrilled to lower (if only by a marginal amount) the FKT set by such a great runner on such a great route. Fingers crossed for my sprained ankle. I don't think it's the worst I've had, but time will tell.