FKT: William Wells - Foothills Trail (NC, SC) - 2018-11-19
I left Oconee State Park at 7:56 am on Sunday 18th 2018.
Mile 6- 1 hour and 7 min. I tried to start off at a slow pace knowing this was going to be a long day. The first few miles were very rolling so was able to job most of these miles. It was sunny and in the high 30's when I started. Perfect running weather. The ground was still wet from a heavy rain the past few days. This trail was way more beautiful than I thought it would be. Fall colors and clean river to run along made for a great morning.
Mile 20.3- 4 hours and 18 mins. My A goal was to be around 19 hrs. By mile 20.3 I was an hour ahead of pace. Picture for time stamp
Mile 23.6- 5 hrs 8 min. Still an hour above pace. Feeling great and was able to take down some fuel every hour without problem. Picture for time stamp
Mile 30- 6 hrs 48 min. Crossed over steel bridge over Whitewater River. Picture for time stamp.
Mile 33.6 - 7 hrs 50 min. I ran across my cousin Andrew and friend Julie hiking the other direction. They were hiking from Table Rock to Oconee with my spare key and I was running with theirs so we could take each others cars home. I stopped and talked for about 10 mins then kept on moving. Picture for time stamp.
Mile 34.4- 8ish hrs. Crossed bridge over Thompson River. I was excited to get here because on the Anti-gravity maps there is a dinosaur symbol. But no Dinos in sight
Mile 40.2- 9 hrs 42 mins. Starting to get dark. Still feeling pretty good but started having trouble getting fuel down at this point. Just crossed over bridge and about to start the climb up some steep wet stairs. Picture for time stamp.
Mile 42.4- 10 hrs 47 mins. Pace was starting to slow down. Just crossed over 50' Suspension Bridge over river. soon after this is where the steep climbs started. Straight up and straight down slick stairs. I lost count how many times I fell on these wet stairs.
Through the next 20 miles I just turned on a podcast and tried to stay on trail with all the different turns on and off fire roads through Gorges State Park. Things seemed to be going okay other than I was having trouble getting fuel down.
Mile 62.4- No picture for time stamp but I showed up about an hour behind my 19 hrs pace. At this point I was super dehydrated and hadn't been able to get any fuel down since mile 55ish. And I was about to start the climb up Sassafras Mtn. Next time I run this trail I will definitely go the other direction to get all the climbs out early not within the last 10ish miles. On the climb up I was dry heaving and stumbling around low on fuel. I decided to sit down for a bit and immediately starting puking for about 10 mins. Losing what little fuel I had left in me. After that stopped I decided I need a little recovery to be able to finish this. I was behind my schedule but still ahead of the Unsupported record schedule. So I set my alarm for 10 min and took a quick nap. After the nap I was able to power hike up Sassafras Mtn. The rest of the was consisted of Hiking the ups and flats while jogging the downs.
The last climb up Pinnacle Mtn was a lot steeper and longer than I expected. But once I got to the top, with 4 miles left. I realized I was going to have a chance to set the new unsupported record by an hour if I could just make it down the mtn.
Mile 76.2- 21 hrs and 39 mins. At 5:35 am on Monday morning I reached Table Rock State Park. Picture for time stamp. I found Andrew's car and tried to leave the park but the gate was locked for the night. So I sat in the car for about 20 mins until the ranger came to unlock the gate for the day. I tried to drive home but started to fall asleep at the wheel. So I pulled off the road to a gas station and took a 30 min nap. By now the sun was up and I was able to drive back home without falling asleep.