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Thursday, June 27, 2024

Moats with Summer & Bluey

Took a trip up to my beloved White Mountains to catch up with two of my favorite hiking companions, Summer and Bluey. Summer just finished her PhD from Harvard University (So Exciting!), so her and Bluey were quite ready to stretch their legs and continue their quest to complete the 52 with a view. We chose to hike South, Middle and North Moat mountains totaling 10 miles and 4,000 feet elevation gain. This route took us through northern hardwoods, spruce-fir and pockets of exposed sub-alpine tundra on granite bedrock. We heard northern parula down below, black-throated green warblers on our way up, and Bicknells thrush above. Billberries, mountain holly, crowberry, pincushion plant and three-leaved cinquefoil kept our curiosity high. A nice day in the highlands with such great company.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Minnewaska Grand Tour

A May day is as good as any day for a mountain marathon on the Minnewaska Grand Tour route in the Shawngunk Mountains (Gunks) just west of New Paltz, NY. What a gem! Minnewaska means “good water” in Algonquin, and Shawngunk means “smoky air.” The sweltering heat sure gave meaning to both today - it was quite hazy, and I had to use natural springs to rehydrate.

The Shawangunk Ridge geology is what remains of 450 million year old outwash from the Appalachian mountains to the east, and overtops an ancient ocean. 

I came across groves of old growth hemlock and spruce in gorges - a relict from the past. Blueberries, billberries, laurels and azalea were all in bloom. I even found populations of Carolina pincushion plant - a rarity in NY. Not to mention the scores of warblers I heard. 

A nice way to start a mini vacation before the busy season starts. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Catawba Triple Crown

I took a quick adventure to Roanoke Virginia to find dry trail. I ran the Catawba Triple Crown along one of the most iconic sections of the Appalachian Trail, which traverses Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, & Tinkers Cliffs and circumvents the town of Catawba. The route is 35 miles with over 7,000ft in elevation gain. 

I love the geology here; 300 million year old orthoquartzite sandstone of the Tuscarora formation that makes up the “ridge & valley” province shaped by a mountain building event some 100 million years ago. I ran by Virginia pines, table mountain pines, southern red oak and chinquapin oak. Lots of wildlife, too. A good way see spring early.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Pemigewasset Loop FKT

Right before Christmas, I set out to attempt my first full winter Pemigewasset Loop (Pemi) and left with the unsupported @fastestknowntime, shaving off over 5 hours from the record!

I’ve long had a tremendous amount of respect & appreciation for the danger, spirit and beauty of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Being a 36-year old relatively new runner, I’m excited to sneak onto the board for a premier trail I care so much about during a time when records are getting thinner by the day in the White Mountains. I approached this effort at a moderate and safe pace with the intent to push myself, stay healthy, take the record and leave the door open for others.

I hope my effort inspires someone to break my record ASAP and to have a similar experience. A big shoutout to all the folks who sent me supportive messages over the course of the day. You kept me going!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Paumanok Trail Ultra

This weekend, I set out to run the 125-mile Paumanok Path site unseen. The day before the race, I dropped 12 bags of nutrition. I had a friend follow me 1.5 hours to Montauk to park my van, and bring me to the beginning. Once I set out that morning, I would be completely on my own.

The effort was a little over 35 hours. I missed my time goal by just a bit despite an all-out sprint at the end because around mile 28 I was forced to take an emergency 2-hour break as animals had eaten the food in my first drop bag 20 miles back, causing me to bonk. Fortunately, my body recovered with rest and I was able to continue and finish strong.

Another memorable weekend adventure in the books. I feel as though I’ve gotten to know my new home a lil better.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Ghost Train Ultra Trail Race (1st Place)

A great time at the Ghost Train Trail Race with good people pushing our limits & supporting each other. Dane earned his first 100-mile belt buckle; Kayla ran 45 miles - 14 more than her PR; Summer battled injury to complete her first trail race - 15 miles! Dane put together an amazing crew that helped take care of me, and a visit from my uncle Paul & cousin Max lifted my spirits. Was great to see us all train so hard for our goals this year and stick to it. 

I ran 115 miles in preparation for the Cocodona 250 miler in Arizona on my birthday (May). The race director told me that only 5 people had ever run 115 miles on the 30-hour course, which is pretty cool. As a result, I was surprised to find out the next morning that I had earned first place by way of endurance out of 374 runners. A cool bonus to a great weekend, but those are just meaningless numbers. I always enjoy the opportunity to go inward & hangout deep in the well, and to share such memorable experiences with my people. #staytrue 


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Ultra Training in the White Mountains

Mountains and body; two temples where less is more. The first couple days always hurt. Lactic acid builds and I wake up sore. By day three, the stress and cravings begin to melt off. I sweat out the toxins and forget about work. My skin rejoices and my cardio vascular system begins to work better. My breaths get deeper. My muscles strengthen & posture straightens; dopamine releases, and my metabolism kicks into a higher gear. I forget about junk food; rather, I crave only what is good for my body - smaller portions of simple, healthy foods and more water. By the end of the week, my whole system feels balanced and efficient. Brain fog turns into clarity and I’m full of energy. Companies are so good at selling us things in excess that don’t work as well. Gym memberships, meditation apps, supplements, new diets, medicine and self-help books. The mountains are free, and our bodies provide everything we need. 

Last week, I took a nice trip up to the white mountains to car camp and train after a busy year. Alpine wildflowers were ablaze amongst a chorus of migrating bird songs including Bicknell’s and Grey-cheeked Thrushes, several vireos and a host of warblers. The rivers provided the perfect natural cold plunges for recovery. And I feel 5-years younger. You should try a dose sometime - I highly recommend!