FKT: Matt Pruitt - Eagle Rock Loop (AR) - 2023-02-23

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4h 32m 56s
GPS track(s)

Eagle Rock Loop

My first attempt was in 2020 when the OT50 got covid-cancelled.  I was in better shape then but had a bad day and failed to get close to Brad Taylor’s FKT. Today I finally got back there. Plan was just to go out and get the miles in and go for it if I felt good. I started at the Albert Pile Recreational area and went clockwise. This way, you finish with a downhill, runable 10 miles. All the major hill work is right in the middle. 

It was in the 60’s and sunny to overcast.  Water level on the Little Missouri was 4.1 ft per the Caddowomble Ranger Station this morning. (Call before going 870-867-2101.) Ton of creek crossings but barely got my shorts wet. I saw no one on the trail with the exception of 3 work crews doing trail maintenance that looked like they were from the Forest Service on the Athens-Bigfork, I believe. 


Started out feeling good. Just watching the GPS to stay on course. It was farther than I remembered to the bottom of the first of the 6 hills on the Athens-Bigfork section. I did more hiking than I’d like but I wanted to have gas in the tank for the last section to pick up time. The hills are steep and some of the downhills are just brutal. You don’t really get much time back from them. After the hills, I was doing ok. Picked it up a bit. Over the last 5 miles I wasn’t able to pick up the pace like I wanted. Kind of slow considering the gentle downhill and mostly runnable trail.  There was a section there too that had recently had a controlled burn. The smell was not pleasant at the end of a run. I forgot to get gels so I had Zbars and a granola bar which worked just fine. Carried 2 bottles with water. Got it done in time. No resupply or any support.