While visiting family in the Raleigh/Durham area, I thought it a good opportunity to attempt an FKT of the American Tobacco Trail that stretches from Durham, NC proper to the southern trailhead near the city of Apex. (Note: If visiting Apex, be sure to visit Apex Wings Restaurant & Pub for the BEST wings in the country.)
On this Saturday, there were enough walkers, runners, and cyclists to make this girl feel safe. Specifically, the Tobacco Trail starts in Durham as pavement and crosses many roads for the first ten miles, then changes to compacted gravel as it cuts through the countryside. Additionally, the route provides plenty of tree shade.
The weather was perfect, with temperatures in the upper 50's for a 6:40a start, warming to the lower 70's at the finish. For the run I wore my Hoka Cliftons and Ultimate Direction vest. I consumed seven GU and refilled water via public fountains at Solite Park (4 miles), and again at Pittard Sears Road Entrance (13 miles).
And, in spite of a reoccurring piriformis and sciatica issue that plagued me from mile 2.5 onward, the run was most enjoyable.