FKT: Sam Price - "Legendary" Smarts - Cube Traverse (NH) - 2022-08-20

Route variation
out & back
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
5h 47m 26s

What a great section of trail. This run did not go as planned but I'm happy with the effort and the result. Got to the trailhead about 5:00 and loaded up my bottles and pockets, laced up, and ran a few strides with my headlamp as the woods brightened. At 5:30 I could make out the terrain without a light and started up. Nice sunrise colors from the ledges on Lambert Ridge to the top of Smarts Mtn. Pacing strategy was based on Ben Nephew's September 2019 FKT run, when he took both the single- and double traverse FKTs. The plan was to eke out a few minutes of time here and there against my model of Ben's average pace. Despite the intent to be disciplined, the air was cool and the legs were working well so I ended up running several minutes faster than target to the top of Smarts. Refilled with water before the Mt. Cube climb. Managed to hold the lead to the turnaround at 25A, only to lose it and fall behind on the way back up Cube. Two refills each way on the north side of Cube. I was just even with target time at Quinttown Road, three quarters of the way through the run. Knew I was still in the race but it was getting close to 90 degrees and I couldn't choke down any more calories. Mostly ground out the climb up the north side of Smarts, then caught a small second wind near the top in the cooler air. Once over the summit the heat and fatigue caught up with me. In my addled state I didn't know for sure I had the FKT until there was less than a mile to go to the finish. What an adventure! Lots of nice folks out on the course. Special thanks to the Dartmouth Outing Club trail crew for all the excellent new stonework and bridges on this section.