FKT: Tara Dower - Benton MacKaye Trail (GA, TN, NC) - 2022-06-12

Route variation
Full BMT
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4d 21h 25m 0s

First off, big shout out to my mom, Flipper, Liz, Pete, Hunter, and Chris who crewed and paced me. I’m thankful for supportive friends and family. I could of not done this without y’all.

I began my supported attempt of the Benton MacKaye Trail overall FKT on June 7th at 3:01am. 4 days, 21 hours and 25 minutes later I had made it to the southern terminus on top of Springer Mountain. Ending June 12TH at 12:26am. 

The first “day” was a big push through the entire Smokies section to Fontana Dam Visitor Center. During this day I saw a big black bear, was caught in some very cold rainy weather for hours, and smacked my head on a tree nearly concussing myself.

Day two I would be attempting to make it the Pheasant Fields but after getting caught in a HUGE thunder and lightening storm atop a mountain for 10 miles I made it back to the van 2.5 hours later than expected at Unicoi Crest Overlook to call it a night.

Day three is what I like to call my “push day” where I made up some big miles to Lost Creek Campground. A crew members car nearly fell of a mountain and he had to go into town to get it repaired.

Day four was the first day I had some serious pains all day in my feet from untreated blisters. This day I made it to Bushy Head rd.

Day five was my favorite day on trail. Friends and pacers came out to cheer me on as I finished up some big miles to Springer Mountain.

I attempted an overall BMT record October of 2021 but only made it 2 days due to injury and other circumstances. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to run this trail again.