There hasn't been too much talk about record runs around anymore. Not many of us wierdos that do it either. I made an attempt at the TRT Unsupported Record in 2009. An Unsupported Attempt had not yet been established on the trail, but I went for an all or nothing approach. I was trying to maintain a 3 mph pace or 56 hours and fell apart the first day with the heat. It ended up being the hottest day of the year at 92 degrees and millions of mosquitoes. Dicks Pass was not fun either with plenty of snow on the pass. Since I went against the traffic flow going counter clockwise, I had to kick footholds getting up to the pass for over a ½ mile. My inner thighs were destroyed after that and was unable to run anymore. I also spent 2 extra hours meandering around that night looking for the trail through all the snow mounds and watery mess going from Echo to Big Meadow. I still managed a reasonable 63 miles the first day. This was starting from Tahoe City at 6am and getting to Echo Lake by 9pm.
Here is the link from my 2009 attempt:
Two years later and the record has been established and broken. My best friend Michael Popov has it right now, however the original person who broke it is trying to say that he didn’t go unsupported due to the fact that his sister showed up at one of the intersections and took a picture of him, (yet he broke the record by 11 ½ hours).
The record is 77 hours and 13 mins. Michael is going to try to lower this record before I head out for my attempt. He is doing a Triple, running the TRT, biking to road then kayaking the lake. His main focus however will be to get the unsupported record down. It’s still a far cry from the sub 60 hour time. He just hiked to trial to get the record and was in no hurry. The original record was a sad 85 hours. Michael is also running Hardrock this year as well as going for the John Muir Trail Supported Record.
So here I am 2 ½ months until the attempt. I am only starting this post so early because I am board out of my mind right now. I am in the Coast Guard and our ship is on a southern patrol for 2 months. I am also in need of some good old fashion backpacking conversation as I still believe this record needs to get down below 56 hours for a 3 mph pace.
There are plenty things I am changing to help with this. This year I will start at Big Meadow and go clockwise. This will get me over the hill to Echo in the day light. At night that part of the course is the most difficult to navigate. This will also get me through the wilderness and the rockiest section of the trail the first day. During most of the supported attempts they have saved the rocks for the end and end up 3 hours off the time going through the wilderness. More reasons for starting at Big Meadow and going c/c are that the start of day 2 you are going uphill toward Roes all day. At night, going up is a slow. Night 2 will be the start of the no water for 20 miles section. Since I will be going at a slower pace at night anyway, having more water during this section at night makes sense. You also don’t need to drink as much at night so I’ll be able to carry less water to get me through this section. There is also more descent going c/c throught this section.
So this is the plan. I am trying for a 56 to 60 hour time with the sub 56 hours as the carrot.
Gear will be very minimal. I have a 7.6 ounce homemade jacket and a 2.2 ounce h/m wind jacket. I also made a sleeping bag out of Through Hikers M50 with 12 ounces of 900 down. The bag weighs 18 ounces. I did not take a bag last time and the two 20 min naps I got were lousy. I will need a 1 ½ to 2 hours of sleep the second night. I think the extra weight is worth getting some good sleep. Other than change of sock, some gloves and lite baklava, the only other items will be the most basic, deet, maps, water purification tabs, a ground cloth and 5 lbs of food consisting of 3 lbs of mostly Gue and Jel and 2 pounds Hammer Perpetuim/ Heed mix.
I will bring a GPS and a Spot. I do not plan on looking at my watch at all until I set an alarm at night before taking a nap. Falling behind and trying to speed up or being ahead and mentally slowing down takes a tool on you and I would rather just wing it. Besides, you spend so much time planning things out that you pretty much just know what your pace is going to be. It’s hard to push beyond what you are doing the entire time out there and pacing after a set time has never worked for me. I’ll just hit the Spot button a bunch of time a day and at all the intersections to be able to have the splits when I’m done
So I am open for discussion and would like to know what you think. I would like to hear more about what strategy I should use to try to save enough time to get this record under the 56 hours that it should be.