Yayy Phearsome Phour FKT!! This looked like a really fun route and I had been eyeing it since moving back to the Flagstaff area this summer. I actually attempted it a couple weeks ago but it was 75-80 degrees out, the trails were way more crowded than today, I wasn't quite back to feeling like myself running after having COVID two weeks before the attempt, and I went out too hard so I listened to my body and stopped after Camelback and Piestewa. So this day I went back feeling like there was some unfinished business with this route!
I went out way more controlled on Camelback and Piestewa. I knew the route up to then so it was nice not having to check the map the first half. After that I got off course a couple times and had to re route around construction once which added an extra 2.4 miles in all. I was a little frustrated but I wasn't going to let this route defeat me again so I pressed on! I was checking the map a ton after that to make sure I didn't get off course again. Running up North Mountain and Shaw Butte went smoothly except for my legs feeling superrrr tired. I carried all my water and it was cool enough out I never needed to fill up. Took some Huma Gels and chews with me too!
For anyone attempting this, Camelback is steep and technical and has a TON of people on it so the earlier you get there the better! Piestewa gets rocky at the top and there are a lot of staristeps- there are a good amount of people on this one too. North Mountain and Shaw Butte aren't technical at all on the way up and they're not quite as long or steep as the other climbs so I definitely think they're the best to do at the end. Make sure you know the route or have a good map between Piestewa and North Mt/Shaw, it could be easy to make a wrong turn. I used a route on Strava and it worked well for me!
I'm submitting my total elapsed time from my Garmin. Sometimes my Garmin glitches and won't upload my run if there's not a strong GPS signal so I recorded on Strava and used my watch to make sure I got it. Strava said one of my miles was 46 minutes, it cut off about 2 miles of my full run, and I stopped it about 30 seconds after I finished the run so that's why I'm submitting Garmin.
Anyway, super fun route, beautiful desert views, and if anyone wants to do it and has questions about it you can reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on instagram (@rachrunsworld) and I'm happy to help!