Found a relatively weekend day in June, so I went for it.
By the time I started, a little after 7am it was still raining, but not too bad. By the time I finished it was sunny and warm, but not too hot.
I decided to just do our original route with the NW section following the NET rather than following Route 202, adding back 2.2 miles, but also more trail running fun. Starting at Gate 27 in New Salem.
Because of the rain I started on the Puma Voyage Nitro (trail shoe) for the technical trail sections.
I had dropped tailwind bottles and SIS gels at miles 7 (Town Farm Rd) and 11.5 (Gate 11) on our drive to the start.
Linda met me at mile 18.5 (Gate 6), where I changed into dry clothes and put on the Puma Deviate Elite Nitro (road racer).
New drinks and gels at mile 23 (Windsor Dam). After visiting the tower at Quabbin hill, on my way down I was planning to take Dan's short cut, like last year, but found out it is closed for restoration. I think running around added ~0.25 miles.
New drinks and gels at mile 28 (Goodnough Dike), followed by a nice fast section allong the water (East St). Wanted to walk up the hill to save energy but wasted that energy trying to fight off mosquitos...
Met Monty just before mile 37 (Gate 43), who would join me for the next 2 sections. The section to Dana Center was hard as side stitches forced me to run slow and walk several times...
After a longer break at mile 42 (Dana Center), I felt better. The downhill miles beyond Whitney Hill came at the right time. We met Dan around mile 48, who joined me until the finish. Final stop was at mile 50 (Blackinton Rd beach), where I noticed that 7:30hrs was still possible.
This is a beautiful loop: great views, very runable for the most part, not too much pavement, multiple port-a-potties on south, east and north sides. If only the trail from Wendel Rd to Blue Meadow Rd and Blue Meadow Rd itself would not be restricted access, one could cut the 2 miles along Rt 9 in the south and this would be really just be all on trails and back roads...
See strava write-up for more details.