The duathlon variation of the Wapack Trail route is a fantastic test of endurance. I love combining trail running and cycling. I did this self-supported, which is my preferred style for multisport routes.
I have experience running the Wapack Trail as I've done sections of it as part of the 2009 Wapack Trail Race and I did the entire trail out AND back during the 2014 Wapack and Back Trail Race. I returned in 2016 to support my spouse Debbie, when she ran Wapack and Back for a second time.
The rugged 21.5 mile trail goes from Ashburnham, MA to Greenfield, NH and has about 5,000 feet of elevation gain. Check out the Friends of the Wapack site for great background on the trail.
The one way version of the Wapack and Back Trail Race goes north to south. Runners are bussed to the start. The 43 version goes south to north and then back. The 50 mile version includes and additional 3.5 mile out and back. In 2014, Debbie and I did the full 50 and it was agony.
Wapack and Back hasn't been held since 2019, so unless it comes back, you are on your own if chasing an FKT. Assuming the course records are the FKT's (supported), they are very fast.
For the duathlon, I drove to the northern terminus trailhead in Greenfield. I locked my bike and a backpack (with my cycling shoes and helmet) to a tree. Then I drove to the southern terminus in Ashburnham. I parked at the trailhead. Shortly after 9:00 A.M. I started my run. It was extremely hot and my time was slower than anticipated. I carried everything I needed, including a few liters of water in my UltrAspire pack. I could have used more hydration.
It was a lovely day in the woods and I saw a lot of cool wildlife including deer, a turtle, and a beautiful owl.
I finished the run in 5h 42m 10s. After a short transition, I switched to my bike and rode back. I took a direct but scenic route that included a few miles of fun gravel. My style on duathlon routes is to carry everything I ran with (including my running shoes, pack, etc.) I don't ditch gear or leave it behind for future pick up. I like to be truly self-supported.
On the ride back, you can take whatever roads you like. I finished the ride in 1h 22m 59s.
This is a great way to experience the Wapack Trail and surrounding area. Enjoy!