FKT: Michael Cady, Shanna Rodenbaugh, Frank Sinopoli - Round Hump (AZ) - 2021-05-22

Route variation
Gender category
Mixed-gender team
Start date
Finish date
Total time
8h 53m 7s
GPS track(s)

Frank Sinopoli, Shanna Rodenbaugh, Michael Cady, and dog Bear left the Weatherford trailhead from Schultz tank at 7:48am and completed the fkt Round Hump, 32.5 miles, 5,190 ft of elevation gain in 8:52:59. We ran the entire route as a group and enjoyed great views and about 1,500 ft of elevation gain more than what the gpx file states, which is confirmed by 3 coros apex watches. See more detailed reports on the Strava links. 

This is the first annual Mountain Dog 50k World Championships. I will post a ultrasignup link for next year's race for anyone interested. Train your dogs to become Ultra Dogs!


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Round Hump FKT Report

On my return to civilization, sitting in the Drive-Thru at Mama Burger in Flagstaff, waiting for my double bleu Vader with fries and a chocolate shake, I wonder how three people and a dog embarked on a unsupported adventure 32.5 miles around a mountain just as casual as a caterpillar taking flight as a butterfly. Fishing in the bottom of my shake cup with my straw I finally pierce the chocolatized whip cream covered cherry. A fitting end to the adventuring pursuits of exploring the great outdoors in its infinite spectrum of glory. The cherry on top is the journey through self discovery and evolution of sustainability through unforeseen challenges that will undoubtedly arise. Frank, Shanna, and I come from different running backgrounds in training and experience, but it was quickly apparent that the dog, Bear, was the most prepared for this sport. Bear naturally has 10x the mitochondria as humans, a double layer fur coat, webbed feet, 4 leg drive with traction claws, and an innate sense of group awareness beyond my comprehension. Our 7am start time was delayed, as everyone was holding their empty cups wondering what happened to the 6:35am promised coffee pour overs. We started at 7:48am, after Bear took a few zoomy laps to warm up in the 30 degree alpine air. Cold temps and bone chilling 30mph wind with whipping gusts of 50+ await our eager arrival on route. We've all prepared for the conditions with the correct gear to make this crazy unsupported adventure go smoothly. Bear is just wearing a thong harness and leashed to my pack the entire time, except for photo ops. Winding up water line trail on a constant uphill slope through tunnel rock at just under three miles, and through towering Aspen trees along the inner basin at just under 10 miles, reaching the bear jaw drop at about 12.5 miles accumulating 2,200ft of elevation gain. At this point, we all realized the GPS file, which I recorded with my phone and uploaded to the creation of the FKT, was wrong. The mileage was correct, but elevation gain states 3,750ft and it turned out to be just under 5,200ft for the entire route. Once down Bear Jaw, there is a junction that continues straight onto Abineau loop, but you need to go right to the trailhead. There is no sign saying that the trail goes to the trailhead, but this is the way. One of those unforeseen challenges was one of constant obstacle on the entire route, downed trees. We saw multiple crews of workers clearing the trail, which is awesome to see, but jumping varying heights of trees grew more difficult as the day wore on. We are now on the opposite side of the mountain from where we started, approaching the Arizona Trail. On the FS 418 we have dropped back down to our starting elevation and have great views of the snow capped Humphreys peak. We're all excited to start the second big climb on the AZ trail to snowbowl. The Aspen nature loop breaks left from the AZ trail, then splits again and you need to go left here. The famous white Aspen trees dotted with sparse evergreens makes for a wonderful photo backdrop. The usual packed snow bowl parking lot is desolate, most likely because of the high wind advisory and frigid temps. Our coats have been off and on all day for when we hit areas the wind likes to blow. As for Bear, he tips his head back in pure extacy, as the cold wind whips his fur back and forth. We are now entering the Kachina trail, my favorite part, also the most technical and difficult part of the entire route. It keeps going up somehow, when you think it's done, there's more hills, just when you're the most tired. It really makes you slow down to notice how insulating the mystical dense forest is and the effect it has on your present state of mind. For me, I was thinking about the beer I bought from Grand Canyon Brewing Company, Hop Canyon IPA, and how I couldn't wait to try it. After all, this was mine and Bear's birthday weekend! Bear had solidified his position in his wolf pack, next to Frank, who gave Bear many chips the night before. So Bear knew who had the half full family sized bag of classic lays back at the car, as did we all at this point. Sensing the finish line, but knowing we still had more Kachina trail makes it harder as the leg kicking meter is running low. One of the best views of the day was that sign saying Weatherford Trail. Now we know we have two miles with 900ft of drop to the Finish Line at Schultz tank. My blank workface stare turned into a googly eyed leprechaun with gumdrop fantasies of frolicking through Wonka's candyland. Our pace increased progressively, like a pack of wild toddlers with a free lane to grandma's cookies. We all finished together on a late ultra sprint. A nice mountain biker took our picture at Schultz tank before we descended upon our post race goodys. Bear, on the other hand, was showboating his superior athleticism, demanding we throw a ball into the woods for an hour so he could get in his sprints. Somehow unfazed by the challenging day-long run. Bear is most definitely an ultra dog. We all sat and binged on our food in elation over the beautiful and challenging day, in almost perfect ultra balance. We say our goodbyes and depart the wilderness to make our way back to civilization where this story began. At Mama Burger, to try and fill the infinite void of calories. The nice girl in the window gave Bear a milk bone and she is now his new best friend. Cheers! 

Mikey Cady