I started my unsupported FKT attempt for the National Trail in the South Mountains on November, 22 at 9.50am, from Pima canyon trail (east to west). I had my camelback full of water + 2 small water pouches at the front, and a banana (that I didn't end up eating during the run). I didn't have to resupply as I took enough water. I ran alone the entire distance.
One week before, I had tried it but from west to east (for logistical reasons), to check the terrain and everything. I finished it in 02:50, but it was definitely easier that way I think, I didn't have the feeling I was going uphill as much. But I wanted to attempt the FKT the same way the other athletes did.
I didn't feel that great at the beginning of my attempt, and the fact that it was going uphill for a while didn't help, but I kept pushing as much as I could, running all the way. Every flat and downhill literally felt like a blessing, as I was able to catch my breath a little bit.
At some point, the clouds settled in for a bit, and there was a nice breeze.
As I was running west, there were less and less people, except around some of the road crossings. It felt great to be alone in nature, and from time to time I could see some ground squirrels and birds. I stumbled on rocks and almost fell several times while trying to take pictures. There was a biker way ahead of me riding the national trail as well, but I could see where he was going and I felt a little discouraged when I saw him going uphill.
When I was down in the valley towards the end, after the last road crossing, it was good to be in the flat for a bit.
I had a little doubt at San Juan trailhead/parking, where there was a sign "trail end", so I stopped for a minute and looked at the map, as I figured the end should be on Estrella drive. I took the wrong turn and as soon as I realized it, went back to where I came from and then headed towards the finish line. I felt the adrenaline and tried to pick up the pace a bit. I wish my partner was there to see me finish so I could share this with him, but unfortunately he had to work.
Over all, it was a great experience even if I didn't have much energy that day. The trail was well maintained and well marked, the scenery was incredible. I ran it in 02:51:25, finishing at 12.42pm.