Source Runner's World. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Glucosamine Supplements May Help You Live Longer, Sara Hall: Second-Fastest American of All Time, This Nutrient May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease, How to Run Safely Amid Coronavirus Concerns, Jenna Hutchins Breaks Katelyn Tuohy’s 5K Record, This Hot Cocoa Bomb Has a Baby Yoda Marshmallow, Why the Middle of a Run Always Feels the Toughest, Daily Exercise Is the Antidote for Sitting Disease. My watch alarm is set to 4:10AM. His feet slid around in his Columbia Trans Alps F.K.T. I have to stick it out. Congratulations on reading my Long Trail FKT recap. Halfway up, I decide I’m terribly sleep deprived. Lightbulb! Along the way, he had to contend with mud and rough, rooty, and rocky terrain. The place that allows me to ignore the extreme discomfort and fatigue. His knees are puffy, swollen masses, walking is “a chore” and his appetite is unrelenting. Here we go again. “If it didn’t have at least 110 calories per ounce, it wasn’t worth taking,” McConaughy said. My feet now have two large blisters on each arch, my throat hurts more and my shoulders and back are sore from the pack. If you’re suffering from the side-effect that is cabin fever, trail inspiration can help. Horrid. Joe ‘Stringbean’ McConaughy is an ultramarathon runner for Columbia and a fastpacking/running coach. I realize I’m going to have to camp right at this spot. Additionally, my body is starting to fail me. Meet our stellar instructor team, who guide students through our online backpacking course and pre-guided trip curriculum. Gloves are off. If I do anything to elevate my heart rate, the energy gets zapped out of me. When McConaughy set out on June 10 on an attempt to break the self-supported speed record for Vermont’s Long Trail, he carried eight stones in his pack, each inscribed with the name of a Black victim of violence—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery among them. I enter the alpine zone and am blasted by winds. With all these thoughts on my mind, what can I do for myself, but also what can I do to make our outdoor spaces accessible for all? BUt I’ve only covered 6 miles. A few hours into the day, I get a thought. Should I try to push on through the night? FINISH. The Long Trail is 273 miles long, with 65,000 feet of elevation gain. On 6/10, Joe McConaughy will attempt to break the Long Trail FKT in Vermont. When the light comes, I need to be ready to go. There has to be a conscious effort to eat. I’m going to squeeze every last drop of energy out of this thing. The battery must have gone from low power to no power since I last used it, because it won’t turn on. It’s pitch dark. I hit it hard. With only 41 miles to go, I’d covered the last 27 miles in 8.5 hours. See links below. I am beyond words. 273 miles and 65,000ft of elevation gain in less than 6 days. 57 miles (46 miles + 11 miles), ~Mt. I had to overcome constant self-doubt, a slowed pace, and a dead headlamp and phone, but the burn to finish in under 5 days was relentless. My iPhone shuts off a second time. However, I hadn’t tried using anything that the trail could provide. Bits and pieces of my memory from my 2015 attempt come back to me. Minimize camp set up and take down. He holds the … I try drinking, and aside from a small weird minty flavor from the leaf, the filter works just fine. But Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy had a good reason. I had tried using my gear to create a makeshift O-ring that would create suction in my bottle. My feet are wet. The trail transforms into its only rocky, technical self, the one I cursed for 170 miles. That’s an average of about 48 miles per day on the rugged AT, people! Finally, I can run without foot pain. In 2015, I camped on top of Whiteface, but had a mildly traumatic experience going up the steep climb to the peak. I was out of water again. That is the real FKT! Despite not being by my side, she is with me. The thought seems tragic. As I climb White Rocks, the decision is made for me. Culture Watch: STRINGBEAN – Joe McConaughy’s Appalachian Trail FKT Documentary Watch Joe McConaughy's recently released 14-minute documentary depicting the challenge and beauty of his self-supported FKT record on the Appalachian Trail in 2017. I go through my options to finish. The water situation isn’t helping either. In 2014, after setting out on the Pacific Crest Trail for the first time, he broke the supported speed record. On Tuesday, August 25 th at approximately 3 A.M., Joe “String Bean” McConaughy” will attempt to break Travis Wildeboar’s unsupported fastest known time (FKT) of six days, seventeen hours and twenty-five minutes and set a new Long Trail … Since leaving the northern section, the trail feels like buffed out West Coast Trail. Congratulations Joe! I wanted this one. Particularly for my wife Katie. The trail continues to climb, and I eagerly pursue it. The increased air pressure forces the unfiltered water through the 0.1 micron filter and out the other side, allowing you to drink clean water by simply squeezing the water bottle. It just must be closer to 1/3 than 2/3. I stop looking at my phone and focus on running what I have left. But is the 3rd highest peak in Vermont at night a good idea? The trail is an FKT (Fastest Known Time) classic, boasting five new records since 2018. I remember laughing at all the challenges that this day has presented. Summiting Stratton Mountain doesn’t do anything to cheer me up. The trail is fairly runnable, and nothing is going to stop me from missing the 5 day cut off. When I did the Appalachian Trail in 2017, it took me a few days to really have any fun. The hiking community is overwhelming white. Three days later, Katie and I started our cross country drive/move to Seattle. I remember I had accidentally gone up the ski slope in 2015 and made sure to follow the wooded trail. I’m currently a quarter way through the biggest single climb of the Long Trail, Camel’s Hump. FKTs and the outdoor community at large are often regarded as disproportionally white. That’s odd. I get short of breath. Despite being self-reliant on trail, (well, almost), I still needed Katie’s loving help and support to get to the start line. Plus, the pitter patter of rain starts to fall as I wolf down my last few bites of food and close my eyes. Worth. At around 3AM, I shut my eyes with uncertainties swirling around my head. He also consumed a DiGiorno pizza the day after while he stayed off his feet that kept swelling up like elephants. As I trudge up Stratton Mountain, my heart rate still spikes and my legs are weak. I am dehydrated, sleep deprived and a little bit desperate, so it is no surprise that I accept their kind gesture. But, running on road accentuates just how heavy my pack is. Wife Katie and Hunter Hall were also on-hand to add color and field questions from the 300-person live audience. I begin with a 2 mile, 1,000ft climb up Mt. The trail is humbling, inspiring, and grueling. The battery drops to 15%. I quickly turn it off. I retreat into the pain cave of my mind. First, my throat starts hurting. To make them go down easier, I pour some filtered water into the bag. If I can get through today, I am golden (or less screwed) . Taking water from a fellow hiker is against the rules and demotes my record attempt to a self-supported FKT. I see about 6-7 thru hikers on day 1, the majority of which have been on trail in a similar time frame. All they have to do is last one more day…. Immediately upon putting on my shoe, I realize I am mistaken. To make this happen, I’m going to need all the energy I can get. How many people have experienced Camel’s Hump in such conditions without another soul for miles? The light is coming from my headlamp. Finish or die. New Long Trail Men’s FKT on the 273 mile Vermont Long Trail - 4 days, 23 hours and 54 minutes ⛰⚡️. His goal: 43 days. I channel my inner Forest Gump. She has been pulling 20 mile days herself and is over halfway done with her northbound hike. With the protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black victims of police brutality, McConaughy wanted to raise funds for a cause. A runner just set a new record on Vermont’s Long Trail. Even though I’m in the more technical section, the terrain seems noticeably friendlier than the prior two days. Its endless rocks, roots, exposed peaks and steep climbs make it unlike anything I’ve ever run/power hiked/frolicked thru. The Best Affordable GPS Watches for Runners, He Overcame Addiction and Ran Off 216 Pounds, Here’s Why You Should Fit in More Morning Workouts, Running Backpacks For Hauling All Your Stuff, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Terrible call. My nickname came during my speed record attempt on the Pactific Crest Trail in 2014. If I don’t go sub-5, put my name up there with the likes of Romeo and Gatsby. He insists that I take his number in case I need a resupply (I didn’t tell him I was attempting an FKT), and I carry on. As a running coach, I always encourage my athletes to have A, B, and C goals. I’m carrying 26 pounds, 18 pounds of food (40,000 calories) and 8 pounds of gear. Sep 6, 2017 When ultrarunner and speed hiker Joe McConaughy, trail name Stringbean, set out on the 2,186-mile Appalachian Trail in mid-July, his goal was to break the trail… Watch now. Most thru-hikers who complete the whole trail do so in about a half year. Actually, I realize only one of my blisters hurts. Drew covers a variety of subjects for Runner’s World and Bicycling, and he specializes in writing and editing human interest pieces while also covering health, wellness, gear, and fitness for the brand. I breeze through the first 9 miles in at Jay Peak. I summit Laraway Mountain and witness a BEAUTIFUL sunset. “If I had a full headlamp charge and power hiked the second half of the day, I would’ve probably finished sleep deprived and a wreck around 3:30 or 4 in the morning,” he said. I feel so lucky, so blessed, so privileged. Horrid to White Rocks to ~Baker Peak. Back on trail, the food doesn’t sit well at first. The terrain is so much nicer. He’s wearing pajama pants and seems to be thoroughly enjoying his thru hike. I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey. Every time I take a bad step, I feel the fluid shooting into the outside edges of the blister. The next thing I hear is Katie’s voice to wake me up. All I have left is 34% iPhone battery. Yet, it was the Long Trail, a 273-mile trek, that has escaped him since an unsuccessful FKT attempt five years ago. Person-Person On June 15 Joe "Stringbean" McConnaughy took an entire DAY off the previous best Unsupported time on the oldest long trail in the US, Vermont's 273 mile Long Trail. No goal is more important than the other. I don’t hear any response. I’m on familiar territory. He figured this would be an appropriate site for a farewell to the East Coast after living in Massachusetts for a decade. Ugh. I know I’m going to hit Camel’s Hump at night. I find out what happens when the O-ring is gone: the only way to get your filter to work is by strongly sucking on the filter. Could I possibly finish before nightfall tomorrow? Looking at my phone again, it still have 1% remaining. Exhaustion and cold feed my weariness. Dawn is at 4:30AM, leaving me with 2 hours of sunlight before the 6:29AM five day cutoff. I’d be two hours behind Basham’s record, but I’d be done and proud. I wake up ready to ROCK. On August 10, 2014, 23-year-old Joe "String Bean" McConaughy—a recent college grad who grew up in Seattle—took his last steps on the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail, crossing into Canada’s Manning Park exactly 53 days, 6 hours, and 37 minutes after setting off from the Mexican border. My water bottle + filter + leaf system is somewhat successful. It never really comes. But Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy had a good reason. Am I really going to finish in over 5 days? Sleep 4 hours from 11-3. I put my phone away and focus back on the trail in front of me. How Joe McConaughy Crushed the Long Trail FKT By Nearly 24 Hours. The trail is 273 miles long with 65,000ft of elevation gain and is the most challenging terrain I’ve ever encountered over a prolonged distance, and I’ve run both the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail. I look at my battery, somehow the went from two of three bars to one flashing bar in two hours. Sixty eight miles to go, leave it all out there. His knees are puffy, swollen masses, walking is “a chore” and his appetite is unrelenting. I start running any uphill section that I can handle. As I look under the quilt, a bright light shines back at me. McConaughy’s pack weighed 27 pounds when he started at 6:30 a.m on June 10. In the moment, not much. I have two different options: Heather Anderson, a legend in the FKT community, had been texting me for the few days before the trip. I examine the filter and notice a small plastic O-ring is suspiciously missing. The trail isn’t technical, but it is more challenging than any climb so far. I’m so tired of jumping from rock to rock on technical downhill sections. I hope that our fundraiser for Outdoor Afro is going well and by using my voice and social media, at least a few individuals will look at this topic differently, become an ally or take action. My real issue is nutrition. I don’t want to eat anything even though I know it will help. I was planning on doing the Long Trail, then all the happenings with COVID…” Many sections of now feature mud. Nevertheless, after about 3 miles of painful running, the pain subsides. The first day went off smoothly. I also indulge in some power chia balls purchased from the Food Co-op. Here we go. My iPhone flashlight shuts off. 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