I made the 2.5hr drive down the beautiful park and was welcomed by warm sunshine (which would come later as a hot sun) and beautiful fall colours. The day was almost perfect. The trail was mostly dry and only had moderate leaf coverage (which would lead to a few stubbed toes and eventually 5 black toe nails). I loaded up my pack with enough food for 5hrs and enough water to get me to the half way point where I would purify two bottles with aqua tabs for the 2nd half of the run. I went out at a good pace and in a counterclockwise direction. I did the first 11km in just under a hour, knowing that the next 10km we're going to be slightly more difficult technically. The open sections of the trail along the south and east were apparently only 25 degrees Celsius but the lack of cloud cover made the day feel like a hot July afternoon. I was felling great and having a blast. Again the fall colours made the scenery most pleasing on the eyes. I passed the odd hiker and always tried my best not to startle them as I approached. I made it to the approximate half way point, where I will fill my bottles with very questionable drinking water. I popped one aqua tab in each 700ml bottle and with a quick shoe lace tighten and check of the map, I was running again only being stopped for exactly 3 mins. Now I have had trouble in the past dealing with aqua tabs and there effect on my stomach. The directions state that one Aqua tab is to be used in 1.5-2L of water. I had no option but to use one tab in each 700ml bottle making the water very potent. I still had one more bottle to get me to hour three and only needed the two purified ones for the last 15km. Like I said before, it was hot out and I was drinking allot of fluid. After waiting 45 min for the bottles to purify and once my third bottle was empty, I had no option to start drinking the water that I knew was going to make my tummy grumble.
I was aiming for a time in or around the 4hr 30min mark. I needed to average 10km/hr for that. Coming into the last 15 km I knew that a time very to close to my goal was indeed going to be attainable. In a fight with my stomach I pressed on keeping the pace as high as I could. "Light fast feet" I would tell myself over and over again. "Light fast feet", only 10km to go! I was starting to really feel the side affects of the sun and luckily the last stretch was fairly shaded. I kept running literally and crunching the numbers in my head. "Come on Eric, almost there. Keep the feet light and steps quick". I knew that every step I made was one closer to the trailhead and my car which was the gateway to the chip truck parked in the town Syndeham.
I had run the trail in the spring of last year and was still familiar with many of the sections I was passing. I knew I was getting close an upped the pace hoping to get in under the 4.5hr time... I hit the final one km and let it all out. 3min km's to finish a splendid day on the trails. I passed the trailhead with a time of 4hr 31min and 20sec. I was close enough to make a smile and with nobody around I could finally let the pee out that I had been holding for the last few hours... :)
Frontenac is truly a beautiful park and if you have not visited it, you very much need to make the short trip to spend some time there!