FKT: Ryan Donofrio-Ralls - Wachusett Mtn (MA) - 2022-05-05

Route variation
Infinity loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 18m 18s
GPS track(s)

I definitely picked some low-hanging fruit here. I walked/hiked the route and then ran the final descent (at a very comfortable pace). I felt relatively fresh at the end. Under 2 hours is definitely achievable if the route is ran the whole way. I'm surprised none of the local trail runners/FKTers have had a whack at this one. Wachusett is a favorite training mountain of mine and this route has a nice mix of classic East Coast rocky descents/ascents which offers more technical running and some very nice flat sections. Would be nice to come back and actually run the route. 

A note on the bushwack: I am not sure why the previous group decided to include this. The bushwack seems pretty arbitraury and out of place on a mountain with so many established trails. The bushwack is hard to follow and will leave a lot of ambigulity if this route becomes more competitive. It also essentially parralells "Balance Rock Road" which the route travels on. There are no discernable features on "Balance Road Road" to identify a precise exact/entry point into the woods. The strava map shows an old trail through the bushwack section named "Bolton-Balance Road". I was able to follow the remnents this trail for the majority of the bushwack but lost it and had the gpx tracks open on my phone the last section. This trail is on none of the current trail maps and has not been maintained for many years. Completely overgrown and a keen eye is needed to spot subtle features of an old trail. My guess is the previous fkt holders thought this was an established trail and did not want to backtrack. I'd push for the route bypass the bushwack and connect at the Balance Rock Road/Bolton pond trail intersection. I have not measured, but this is essentially the same distance/elevation. Bushwacking has it's time and place, but on such a high traffic mountain, the LNT ethos would be to stick to established/maintained trails. The bushwack section seems very out of place and does not fit the character of the rest of the route. 

This was a solo outing. I carried all my calories and water. There are many streams throughout the route, but I did not need to fill up.