FKT: Sam Atherton - Warner Parks Red, White & Blue (TN) - 2024-07-06

Route variation
9 repeats (100 miles)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 2h 7m 45s
GPS track(s)

Started at 12:38 AM on Friday, July 5. Starting and finishing the effort on the Cane Connector about a half mile from the Red Trail near road access. 

Weather - Muggy, humid.

Loop 1: It was weird being out in the park in the darkness. Didn’t feel like I woke up. Finished in about 03:20 with the gear drop. Counterclockwise on all. 
Loop 2: The heat was starting to get to me. Trying to get the loop done in the darkness. Finished in about 02:35. Still counterclockwise. 
Loop 3: The sun was coming up when I hit the white I think. Early morning hours were bringing some pretty heavy, humid air. Heart rate was way higher than I wanted. 150s – 160s. I think I was done in 02:40.
Loop 4: Heating up majorly. I found a spot in the creek to lay down and splash cool water on my face. I was wearing a black sleeveless that I needed to switch out for a long sleeve sun hoodie, which felt nice and cool when wet. Started storming towards the end of this loop. Went counterclockwise on all three again. 2:30
Loop 5: rained for most of this loop and I felt my body cool off some. 02:30. Started consistently laying in the creek every time I passed it on the Cane Connector. Seemed like the only way to cool off was to be completely wet. Started finding the graying-out was happening at the top of climbs. 
Loop 6: darkest loop by far, for my brain. I was feeling really lonely. Even seeing people that I knew, didn’t help a ton because I knew there was never a point where I was guaranteed to see someone, or run with anyone. Uncrewed and unpaced is no joke. Played some mind games with myself to get back into a good rhythm. 02:45. Took a bigger break here. 
Loop 7: Started counting down at that point. Knowing I only had to touch every point twice more seem to give me somewhat of a boost. Went left on the blue trail, clockwise, and it felt like a huge huge mistake. The pounding descent in the back and gradual gravel word climb back to the Cane Connector, really bummed me out. Only two to go. I think this was 03:10 moving time. 
Loop 8: Was really getting sleepy at this point. Took no breaks and pushed through. Felt sleepy enough to doze off while I was laying in the creek. 11.2 to go, so close, yet it felt like an eternity away. 3 to 4 hours. 
Loop 9: Did blue first this loop And texted Allie(gf) My expected finish time before heading clockwise on red. The running motion was lulling me to sleep. Six minute nap on a bench on the ridge, and five minutes on the white trail connector.  Gathered up the gear drop and dropped trash in a receptacle. Picked up the gear drop before doing white and going left. Started really running well here and the excitement of finishing brought something back to my legs. Went fast through the red trail and finished back at the start with 100.7 miles at a little after 2:45 AM. Allie met me at the finish for video and took me home. 

A really tough experience and one of the most mentally challenging 26 hours I’ve ever experienced. Having no one out there is terrible. Doing it in the summertime was an additional test of my training and hydration and nutrition. I’m glad to do it once.