Having grown up in Danbury running in all area around this lake, this FKT was especially special for me. This was my first ultra marathon, and longest run in time by almost two hours from what I've done before. Weather could not have been more perfect. 40 degree temps at the start, creeping into the 50's by the end. A little bit of wind heading north through New Fairfield, but fairly calm the rest of the way.
Although I carried all my water (1 Liter) and all my nutrition (4 Gels total), This attempt was considered supported because I ran with, "Pacers", one of my good friends, and my brother for portions of the route. Additionally, my folks followed along rooting for me on the section of the run through Brookfield along the lake.
Started feeling pretty great for the first 9 miles as I ran with my buddy Steve. We were keeping pace around 7:15 - 7:30. My brother joined me around the Sherman line and we ran up the steeper climbs together, still holding 7:30ish pace. Aerobically I felt perfect, but as we dropped down into New Milford, my quads began to feel incredible aching soreness. We hit 16 miles at the intersection of Boardman Road and Route 7 where my brother hopped into the car and I continued through the next section on my own. At the the Boradman road intersection is a parking lot that my old high school used to meet up at for long runs. This is the place where I found my love for smashing the end of long runs. These "Long runs", were never more than 10-12 miles. It was somewhat emotional / odd to be passing this spot 16 miles into my run....with 18 to go.
I climbed up Candlewood Lake North road at mile 18 keeping my effort on tap. At this point any downhill was painful for my quads, the rest of my body held together just fine. I was actually looking forward to each uphill, and dreading the downs. I was still clicking along at 7:45 - 8 pace through 23 miles, where I made my first stop to stretch, hoping to ease the pain in my quads. I had not trained much on hills in prep for this, and that was 100% contributing to this pain. Going forward I would take 2 minute rests every 2-3 miles (4 total quick stops). Steve joined me around 25 miles in. I continued to feel totally aerobically fine as we hit 28 miles.
The last few miles I kind of entered a chill zone. My heart rate actually dropped and I was able to hold faster than 8 minute pace whenever ground was flat. I finished without any stomach issues, chafing issues, hydration issues (1 Liter was Perfect!), or general tiredness issues. Had it not been for my quads, I think this could have been doable at 7:30 pace or faster. Total running time pace average was 7:52, 8:08 including my small breaks. This route was fun, challenging yet not overly difficult, and scenic. I would totally recommend any Ultra runners in the area to go after this, as I'm sure it can be done way faster with someone that has legs that aren't as new to these distances as I am.