Trail Running Challenge Blog (Ethan Banks)

Hey, there! I'm Ethan Banks, that guy from the Packet Pushers podcast network. When I'm not on the mic talking about networking or cloud, there's a good chance I'm training in the woods of New Hampshire for my next trail running challenge.

Ethan Banks Headshot

Current Challenges

Kilkenny Ridge Race. I love the Kilkenny. I've hiked every trail in that area. I am registered for the 50 mile event in September 2023. My goal for this year is to finish. Beat the cutoff. This is the challenge I am actively training for.

White Mountain Hut To Hut Traverse. In less than 24 hours, complete the route connecting the 8 high mountain huts maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The route is roughly 45 miles with 14K' vert.

GRID. Summit all 48 NH 4,000+ foot peaks in all months of the year--48x12. Can be completed over several years. I have been working on the grid passively since 2010. At the time, I didn't really know I was working on a grid. If you ask me today, I'll tell you I'm still not working on one. I mean, who would do that? (Okay, I am.)

Future Challenges

PRKR24. Run the trails of PrkrMtn in Littleton for 24 hours straight. Must complete every trail in the park at least once. Must complete at least 10,000 feet of elevation.

PrkrMtn is a convenient place to train, so I'm there often. This challenge is my own invention. I've never attempted it before. The point is to be on my feet for 24 hours straight to learn how my body & mind react to that kind of stress.

Cats/Carters/Moriah Traverse. This is a big day in the Whites, as the route is rougher than average. I've never tried it, but I'd like to get it done in 2023. ~16.5 miles + 6,600' vert.

Franconia-Kinsman Double Traverse. I imagine folks have done this, but it's not something I've heard talked about much. But the route in my mind runs between Lincoln Woods & Beaver Brook parking lots, while traversing Franconia Ridge, dropping into Franconia Notch, then traversing the entirety of Kinsman Ridge. (Or maybe I'd do it the other way. Haven't decided yet.) This one fascinates me because the route is close to me, as well as being an area I'm super familiar with. ~29 miles + 11K' vert.

Jigger Johnson 100 Miler. The Jigger Johnson race is actually multiple races. Choose your own White Mountains endurance adventure among 50M, 100K, and 100M distances. I would like, someday, to complete the 100M race and earn the belt buckle. That's one of the ultimate White Mountains achievements.

Completed Challenges

Pemi Loop. In less than 24 hours, complete the route circumnavigating the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The route is roughly 32 miles with 10K feet of elevation. Challenge completed October 5, 2022 at a hiking pace--just over 18 hours. This challenge was the tipping point for my interest in endurance trail running.

Various White Mountain Traverses. Over the years, I've completed the Zealand-Bonds, Twins-Bonds, Franconia Ridge, Kinsman Ridge, and Presidential Range traverses.