IAT FKT Attempt Days 5 & 6

Day 5: Time to Put in Work

Day 5 started with a long road connector before finally hitting the trails. And when I say long, I’m talking all morning long… only to then still put in a trail 50k. I was excited, but slightly nervous for that 50k, as I had been on those trails 2 weeks earlier.

The great news is, Joey was down to run the long road stretch and then Lake Eleven (15.5 miles). It was pretty cool as we got a police escort through the town of Gilman. A nice little town, and friendly people. The other nice surprise was Carrie & Tim from Dream Lens Media showed up. It’s always nice to see smiling faces.

We covered the road section is a nice clip, and second breakfast was waiting for us at the trailhead (ramen noodles, blueberries, avocado, and animal crackers). I swear, long FKT’s are basically running from buffet to buffet. We also met two hikers from Madison that were enjoying the aid station controlled chaos.

Joey and I set out on Lake Eleven, and it was actually really pleasant. Some trees had been cleared, the trail had dried out some, and we got to see some wildlife.

And took over pacing duties at Jerry Lake, but first I want to talk about Abe’s camp cooking ability… the crew asked what I wanted for lunch, and I said pizza rolls… so that’s what was ready! And the crew had BBQ glazed pork chops and chicken thighs. We also enjoyed a lunch beer, and then set out on the final 15.5 mile section of the day.

Jerry Lake is just wet. It’s standing swamp water, mud, and a lot of downed trees. I was still on a good mood, but this section was once again, a “character building” activity. It went slow, but Abe and I got it done. Everyone was waiting for us at the Mondeaux Esker trailhead to cheers with a Tangled Roots beer, and head to the hotel.

The high: Hot, cooked food on the trail. The Low: the final mile of Jerry Lake…SO much mud.

Day 6: Everything is Puffy

Overall my body feels really good. Stomach is good, legs feel strong, mentally fine… but goodness, my knees and feet are puffy. And, I apparently rolled my ankle enough to cause some swelling in it.

The day started out with a trip to Walmart to restock supplies and pick up a few extra things. My ankle continued to stay puffy but not necessarily hurt, so play on.

Mondeaux Esker continued the mud & bushwhacking trend, and made for a slow moving morning. I was also just being careful of the ankle. Abe started pacing a few miles in, and I told him it might be a long day. He was fine with that.

We finished that section and had second breakfast (avocado, SpaghettiO’s w/meatballs, and cookies), and started out on a road connection to the next fun trail section. We figured out trekking poles might be a good idea for the next section. I had never used them before, but was willing to try. Turns out, trekking poles are fun. I can take pressure of my ankle on ups and downs, and can also use them to hop over wet spots. Game changer.

Egor was ready to pace the final 20 miles of the day, and we were clicking off the miles. It went from “Today is just going to be a hike day” to “I think I could run all day.” We finished in the dark, but we got it done.

It has been pointed out that Annie (current overall FKT holder), and I both ended day 6 at the same spot. It was not planned that way, but here we are. The northwest/north has been a challenge, looking forward to finishing this section off, and “making the turn.”

The high: trekking poles. The low: having to hike the early miles.

Here we go, starting day 7. Thanks for reading.

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