Some races the challenge is finding the courage to toe up to the line, others is finding the internal fortitude to endure, and yet others is the discovery of self and our place in the world around us. It is rare to wrap these unique experiences into one event. The CFITT managed to package such an adventure. This 250 mile, self-supported race presented the best of Florida for me over 4 days and 16 hours where I carried a heavy pack (i.e., 25 pounds) and some memorable sufferings, but now that I ate and slept my life away, I only carry a heavy heart that the event is over.
What is CFITT?
The Cross Florida Individual Time Trial is one of the longest self-supported running race in the US, a 250 mile bike packing route across Florida that mostly takes place on dirt roads, paved bike paths, and trails. The race requires that you be fully self-supported. There are no aid stations, crews, or supply caches allowed on the route. Everything you need must be carried with you or commercially available along the route. Using a GPS tracking device, your progression is recorded and seen by anyone who follows you. You must follow the track and hit checkpoints by taking a “selfie” at specific places, including your start with one foot in the Atlantic ocean and your finish with the other foot in the Gulf of Mexico. A group start is made in early December from the East coast, but you can do your CFITT at anytime and start from either the East or West. The “Yo-Yo” option is also available in which you can do a back-and-forth. This race was created by Karlos Bernart, an enthusiastic adventure cyclist with limitless projects involving bike packing and the outdoors. The CFITT is one of many events proposed by SingleTrack Samurai Productions.
In 2015, Karlos decided to also invite ultra runners, if any would be crazy enough to do it. Some registered, but only 3 found the courage to toe up to the start line: Paul Austin, a