FKT: Shelby Britt - Richard Martin Trail (AL) - 2023-05-07

Route variation
one way
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1h 37m 47s
GPS track(s)

I attempted an unsupported northbound route by parking at the trailhead in Athens at approximately 7:10am. I started my watch just south of the 0.0 marker. I carried a backpack with bladder and 3 Honey Stingers. I did take pictures at most of the mile markers for the first 4 miles but as I picked up my pace, I found that harder to do. I also picked up 2 discarded water bottles somewhere in the 2 mile area and threw them in a garbage can I found at one of the crossroads. 

This is a pretty straightforward, short route and mostly covered by trees. I did not need any additional water or nutrition due to the distance. There are both wooden and metal mile markers along the route and there is a significant discrepancy on the distance over the last 3-4 miles (this can be seen most notably at the end point). I stopped my watch after touching these signs. Because it was a one-way attempt, my husband picked me up at the end by parking in the parking lot to return me to my car. He did not provide any assistance or encouragement before the attempt was completed.

From research on Strava, it appears as though the fastest known time is Laura Horn, who ran northbound one-way on 2/20/22, with an elapsed time of 1:53:58 (moving time 1:43:32). If people are being neurotic, she stopped her watch about 10 yards before the end of the GPS route on the northern end (ending on the south end of the parking lot instead of across the state line into Tennessee; thus it doesn't show up on the Richard Martin Full Northbound Strava segment). The second fastest time for a woman is 2:03:27 set by Linda Scavarda on 10/14/18 as part of a solo 50K run.

There are quite a few very fast runs that take place on parts of the Richard Martin Trail, notably as out-and-backs between Elkmont and Athens, and as part of the Hound Dog Half Marathon, a loop course of which approximately 3 miles is on the trail. However I am unable to find any faster female performances on Strava that encompass the entire route. I do think this FKT attempt will quickly be crushed by others and am happy to provide a benchmark to be beat.