Official time = 4:34:53
These competitive FKTs are coming down to trail conditions, temperature, dew point, humidity, etc. So I tried my best to pick a realistic day to run fast unlike last year’s effort.
I went out on pace to the summit of Indian Head feeling relatively good and knowing today it was possible to run under Josh’s previous unsupported time. I moved over Twin and Sugarloaf in total flow state and fueling well. The ascents hurt like they’re supposed to and the downhill’s felt like I wasn’t even in my own body. 1/3 a way up Plateaus climb I spend about 90 seconds drinking, refilling and dumping water on my head from the pipe coming out of the mountain. Plateaus ascent has to be one of the worst never ending climbs but it’s early enough in route where it shouldn’t break you. The top of Plateau you can actually open up and get some real turn over for the first time after climbing 4200 ft. that is. Just as I dropped off the rock to start the descent I saw some trail workers, yelled “coming through” and received a proper rad acknowledgement “yerpppp!” Then proceeded to sling rocks all over the place descending. I hit Devils Tombstone in exactly 2:20, which was the split I had in mind.
Descend 1600ft in 1.1 miles then right into the Hunter climb, so grueling. The climb up Hunter didn’t feel great but I was able to run sections I didn’t last year probably due to better weather. Then back into some higher cadence running for 2, 3 miles or so until you bomb down the riverbed like trail to Diamond notch falls. I passed a big group of Asian hikers who ooooed, ahhhed and applauded as I booked it pass them. Over the bridge and down to the river for more water, a head dunk and up the West kill climb. The temps were now in the 70’s and it was feeling a bit hot, not gross but not cool. I could tell the wheels were coming off and my climbing was suffering. I needed to make it to Buck point, just below West kill summit around 3:40-3:50. After an eternity of false summits I finally hit West kill in 3:52. In my head I was literally a minute or 2 ahead of Josh’s Mario cart ghost. In addition I picked up a dog from the hiker I had passed a few minutes back. At 1st I worried it was going to bite me but he/she just wanted to run so off we went. I tried a few times to yell for the dog to go back to his owner but it wasn’t my problem or on my mind to return him/her. After about 3 miles running with the dog and being clipped in the ankles by its big head the dog finally turned or maybe I dropped him. On the technical sections, he lost ground then when it was runnable again bam there he was. It was kind of annoying but also entertaining. The running joke is the dogs name is Pacer (Ross Kirschenheiter). FKT might think it’s now supported, but lets hope not.. With about .5 of a mile to go I fell, started cramping in both my calves and yelling in pain. I lost about 30 seconds prying myself off the ground trying not to seize anymore. I was pissed and not going to miss the effort by seconds, I fucking ran the last stupid hill absolutely disheveled. Once I hit the smooth piney 400-500 meters to the finish I was dropping sub 6 min pace while letting out a battle cry. I finished the panting and seeing the time just under 4:35. I knew I had it, that fucking hurt so bad! It was a battle the whole way and not a single second to let off the gas.