I did change the logistics and order as I felt this would be easier for my crew and made more logistical sense. This route, like the original, contains two car rides. I did the following: Alphabet Nasty to (~ 15 min drive) Flaming Nasty to (~5 min drive) South Nasty to North Nasty and finished with Skyline Nasty.
Tour de Nasty
Alphabet Nasty > Flaming Nasty > South Nasty > North Nasty > Skyline Nasty.
Mileage: ~67 miles
Total Time: 15 hrs 53 min
The story changed, I was suppose to be running my 3rd 100 mile race at the Zion 100 for my 37th birthday. Well, we all know what has happened. “Make lemonade out of lemons,” I thought, so went for the Tour de Nasty FKT (had been on my bucket list for the last year).
The day started off great, early morning alarm at 4a followed by coffee and waking my supportive and best crew chief I could ask for (Ash - my wife). I started at the lower Macleay trail head. I felt that moving from South to North across Forest Park made more sense for the FKT, plus easier on my crew. The air was crisp and other than a fella with a vacuum and other various miscellaneous items in a shopping cart, it was me and the park. I had never done Alphabet Nasty before and was excited to see this beast up close and personal, as I had been studying the route for the past few weeks. Everything went well on this loop and legs felt up to the task. Finished in 2:34:19.
Next up is Flaming Nasty, the burliest of them all. I started at the top of Firelane 5/Saultzman (off Skyline), again seemed to be better logistics than the prior FKT. The drive over was quick given our new COVID reality. No major issues during this loop, finishing this loop now seemed remotely possible. Finished in 2:57:44.
Finally, made it to the Leif Erikson/Germantown trailhead that will be basecamp for the last three loops. I had never done South Nasty and decided to do this loop next. I knew that the route finding was going to be more difficult (I have run North and Skyline Nasty a ton). South Nasty proved to be my least favorite part of the day. The temp increased (mid-70s! in Portland!) and route finding on the unnamed trail right off Germantown was a bushwhack, thank goodness for Caltopo to find the trail. The grind up Springville seemed to never end and the thought of going back to Bridge Ave to climb Firelane 7A was demoralizing. Nevertheless, I got it done (was amazing to see Firelane 7A below Leif Erikson as I had never been on this trail). The legs were feeling the milage and I was able to navigate the spaghetti bowl of trails that is the Firelane 7 hill. The trek back to basecamp on Leif Erickson went by quickly. Finished in 2:55:15.
Okay, now for the last two loops. Both of which include BPA road and I was close to tears just thinking of getting up that hill (twice). Took a longer break before heading out (~20 min) and my lovely wife brought soup and a sandwich, which really hit the spot. Changed shirt, socks and now picked up hiking poles for the rest of the journey. North Nasty lived up to the hype, just brutal. The heat, the climbs and tried legs really started to get to me. I felt so close to finishing the Tour but seemed so far away knowing I’d have to repeat BPA. I limped back to basecamp and felt a renewed sense of hope, knowing how much time I had left to get the FKT and that I had made it this far. Finished in 2:53:31.
The start of Skyline Nasty went well, got down Firelane 9 no issues, beat my prior time up Linnton/Firelane 10 and felt okay. Made it down Newton road and to the bottom of BPA in about the same time as the last loop (North Nasty and Skyline Nasty share this route) and knew the grind up BPA was the queen stage of the whole journey. It was slow, god it was slow, but made it to the top of BPA. Now on to Wildwood for 3 miles to get to the final mini climb up the Waterline gate. I had pictured myself up here all day and it was such a relief to finally make it. I essentially limped downhill back to basecamp and done! Finished 2:52:15.
It was no 100 mile race but felt similar and I was able to test my body during this crazy time and get a sense of accomplishment from all the training I had done prior to this COVID situation. I was thankful that these Nasty routes are minimally traveled trails and I was able to maintain adequate social distancing. I really could not have finished this with out the encouragement of my best friend and best damn crew member out there, my lovely wife.
This is an excellent little jaunt in Forest Park and nice to have in my backyard, how did I get so lucky.