Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Unsupported FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail

Hi there! I submitted my FKT today for the 170.8 mile Tahoe Rim Trail. I wanted to share my trip report (brief version) as I submitted the the FKT site. I'll post a longer version soon, but for now here are the basic details. Note: My first attempt on the TRT was in 2012 and supported.  I quit about 110 miles in. I made two other attempts, both unsupported. One one attempt I quit 70 miles in and on the more recent I finished in 72hrs and 21 minutes but due to intense hallucinations just 10 miles from finishing I made a call for help to a friend. This call - even though I went on to finish negated my "unsupported" attempt. I was ok with this because I was convinced I was too slow anyway. Here's my successful unsupported bid:

I started the Tahoe Rim Trail on July 4 at 10:23am from Tahoe City going clockwise with the goal of sub 60 hours, ended up just missing that and finished in 60:47:34. I ran completely unsupported and unaccompanied. I carried all my own gear, food and even returned with all my trash! 

I only refilled water from streams. The longest sections with no water resupply was from Mt Rose to Kingsbury where the trail crosses the river I think about 2.5-3 miles before the turn off to Heavenly Stagecoach lodge area - did that section with just 3L of water because I didn't want to trek down to Spooner lake and add the extra time. It was about 38 miles. Got kinda thirsty. 

I tried to sleep briefly three times but was unable to fall asleep. I propped my legs up and tried to relax knowing that just a bit of time would be helpful in resetting my eyes and body. Ultimately just laid there for 15-30 mins each time and resumed my run actually feeling better and being able to increase my speed each time so I think the laying down was very helpful even without sleep. All in all I slept zero in those 60hr 47min 34sec and it really began affecting my mental state making it more difficult, especially at night, to navigate with all the hallucinations. 

I would constantly question whether I was just running in circles and at Echo Summit almost got really turned around thinking I'd already passed the summit when I still had not arrived. I had to pay very close attention and remind myself that what I was seeing was not real. At night everything became something else and inanimate objects moved and became alive. Having dealt with hallucinations on 200s milers and last time I ran the TRT unsupported (in Nov 2019) I knew to not focus too much on these fantastical, scary and disorienting visions. 

I carried about 11,500 calories and only consumed 7,000. I got blisters from pretty early on that became pretty horrible just 40 miles from the finish. I took off my socks and that helped the pain a bit on the bottoms of my feet but caused more to form around the sides of my feet. I never get blisters and so I did not bring anything to cover them with. Won't make that mistake again! 

I ran the last 16 miles the fastest of the entire route really hoping to get just under 60 hours but even with running almost every step I missed the 60 hours in large part because it got dark and I began having some trouble navigating. All said and done, I moved almost non stop for all those 60:47 hours finishing at 11:10:34 pm in Tahoe City on July 6th to many hallucinations, my car, and went to sleep without any fanfare- typical unsupported run! I tracked on my coros watch, strava and with my spot beacon. 

I shared my SPOT tracking link with my family (kids), a few of my friends: Garrett Froelich ad Mike Tebbutt (locals) who tracked me during those 2.5 days.


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