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Monday, November 6, 2023

Paumanok Trail Ultra

This weekend, I set out to run the 125-mile Paumanok Path. The self-supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) was set in 2017 by Tom Dee, which was broken by Justin Kousky’s unsupported attempt. However, Tom Dee’s record is the goal I set for myself. The “Self-supported” style allows you to put supplies along the route, but no one can assist on race day. 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 of (almost) non-stop moving and, of course, I missed the goal by just a bit despite an all-out sprint at the end haha. I say “almost non-stop moving” 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. Having never set foot on the long meandering trail, I’m proud of the effort and - like anything else - life’s about the process not the end.

This trail is one of the most incredible trail systems I’ve encountered. It showcases the diverse ecology and beauty of Long Island. It passes through several towns and seamlessly stitches together dozens of state parks, preserves and tribal lands. It passes by my office, the farm I live on, and the land I protect. It’s a wonder why Paumanok Trail isn’t better known. 

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

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