News: 165-mi Ozark Highlands Trail Unsupported FKT Attempt

On Wed, Feb 1, 2017, I will make an unsupported fastest known time (FKT) attempt of the 165-mile Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) in northwest Arkansas. The plan is to start at the Lake Fort Smith State Park (West end) and to finish at the Woolum campground (East end). The tentative start time is 7pm CT.

I figured this would be a decent long run to prepare me for the next few races. Yet, malicious tongues say that it’s more likely going to end my season prematurely.

Unsupported means I will have no external support of any kind. Thus, I will be carrying all my gear and food (except water) from the beginning to the end. Also, I will be doing this solo.

Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) main route (165-mi). West end: Lake Ford Smith State Park. East end: Woolum.


Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT) elevation profile.

According to the FKT Board, the current records are as following:

Name Category Style Time Date
Jenny Foster Women Supported 2d 14h 25m Jan 2009
Steve Kirk & Greg Eason Men Supported 2d 16h 34m Mar 2004
Trey and Dylan1 Men Unsupported 4d 13h 53m Aug 2016

1Note that technically, Trey and Dylan’s record does not count as unsupported because they were a team of two. Unsupported means solo.


You can track my progress at the following address:

What could possibly go wrong?

  • Covered in ticks → Lyme disease → Facial palsy → Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord → Death
  • Navigation errors → Getting lost → Starvation → Death
  • Overgrown trails → Getting lost → Starvation → Death
  • Lack of surface water → Dehydration → Disorientation → Death
  • Rain → Wet  → Cold  → Hypothermia → Death
  • Freezing temperatures at night → Cold  → Hypothermia → Death
  • Ice storm → Hit by branch → Death
  • Running out of food → Starvation → Death
  • Running out of batteries → Getting lost → Starvation → Death


I will carry about 200 calories of fuel per hour. My main source will be Trailbutter because it has an outstanding energy-to-weight ratio. And I hope the “Ozark Original” flavor will bring me luck!

Traibutter’s “Ozark Original” will keep me going. And no, I won’t carry the guidebook and the maps. #BeTrailReady #FueledByTrailButter

Other resources: