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Old 06-22-2005, 01:40 PM   #1
Tim Seaver
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Northville Placid Trail Run 2005

I plan on attempting the NPT as a trail run sometime next month, and was wondering if anyone knows of previous running attempts ( other than the 40 hour "hike" in 1973 mentioned in the NPT guide.) I am hoping to do it in roughly 28-32 hours. Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 06-22-2005, 03:11 PM   #2
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yowsers!

if you're lookin for a partner mtngoat might be interested. can't say for certain, i don't know him well but he's the only guy i've ever met that might be up for something like this.
wouldn't surprise me if he's even looked into it himself.
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Old 06-23-2005, 12:32 PM   #3
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That sounds like fun but I'm going to be running in the Wakely Dam Ultra on July 23rd and I'm still nursing an injury (thankfully fixed by a visit to the chiropractor). I was thinking of doing the whole trail in September when the bugs have died down in 3-4 days but don't think I'm (or I should say my body) is prepared for 133mi of running/hiking in one bout. If you do end up doing it you should start looking at some of the 100mi ultras that are run all over the US. They're in the same league and are organized races. Good luck!
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Old 06-23-2005, 01:55 PM   #4
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Wakely Dam Ultra

Have fun at the Wakely Dam Ultra , mtn goat - it's a great race run by a very dedicated crew, in a beautiful setting. (Running in the Wakely event last year was actually what inspired me to attempt the entire NPT as a solo venture.)
I don't know if I will be recovered in time to run the Wakely this year, but am keeping my fingers crossed. Happy Trails!
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Old 06-24-2005, 09:48 AM   #5
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I'd be interested in doing a portion of it. I can also spot water, honey, peanuts or whatever for you if you want.
I recently ran Greylock in Western MA!!
http://www.runwmac.com/gt2005/greylock-trail2005.html
I belong to a club with a lot of hardcore trail runners in the Albany area, called the
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http://www.albanyrunningexchange.org
A number of them are training for Indian Ladder and Escarpment.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:21 PM   #6
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I was just at Geylock in the fall, did you run up the road or trail. Either way, that's a tough run.
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Old 06-29-2005, 05:53 PM   #7
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Good luck!

I've eyed that trail up over the past couple of years for a run, but am just not at that level, yet. The 40 hour mark mentioned in the guide book has always stuck in my head as the time to beat. Set a record on a new trail and Cave Dog might make it back this way.........

Best of luck. If you need any support along the way, prior to July 18th, let me know. There are certainly some good road crossings there for access.
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Old 06-29-2005, 08:17 PM   #8
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I had plans to do it in 2 or 3 days in September, but have put that plan off until 2006 because of your son who will be 1 year old next month. I've did a large amount of training in the Benson/mud lake area last fall and if the rest of the trail is in that kind of shape a 28-32 hour trip will be very hard. From silver lake to mud lake there is a large amount of blow downs. I've gone from Benson to mud lake and back out in 7+ hours. I think the distance was just about 27miles. I've done 30 miles on the trails in rockwood in 3:30 hours so that shows what the trail is like between Benson and Mud lake.


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Old 06-29-2005, 10:17 PM   #9
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mrbubbles and uberturtle, thanks for the support offers - as things come together I may PM you !

Thanks for your input RC - The more of the trail I scout, the more I realize that my 28-32 hr. mark is going to be very tough to achieve, although I have found most of the trail to be pretty sweet running. If my feet hold together, I am pretty sure I can best the 40 hour mark, but maybe not by such a margin - so many things can go wrong with support and transitions, not to mention fatigue, night travel, water crossings, etc. I am aiming for a 3.8-4.8 mph overall average - the trick for me is going to be taking it easy for the first 60 miles or so and keeping my feet happy. A low humidity day with temps below 80 is what we will be praying for (no fixed dates here!)

Two weekends ago I did the section between NY8 and the terminus at Northville, - it took me about 7 1/2 hours to cover that 32.5 miles, including the blowdowns ( which I really didn't find that bad) - this includes the 10+ miles of road the end. Most of the trail is in much better shape than the Mud Lake area, or at least what I have seen so far.

This past Sunday I did the 36 mile section from Lake Placid to the Long Lake (Tarbell Rd.) in 9 1/2 hours at a pretty mellow pace, and that includes the 75 yard thrash/swim somewhere between Shattuck Clearing and Plumey's Point.

I've done the 32 mile Wakely Dam to Piseco section in 5.05 hours, but that probably won't happen this time around Probably more like 7.5 here.

Those three sections, ran separately, add up to 24.5 hours, which would leave 7.5 hours for the 30+ assorted miles remaining and still be under 32 hrs.

Of course, it probably won't work out quite so neatly because of all the other factors I mentioned, but we are going to give it our best shot.

I'll let the board know when we have a "GO" condition.
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:02 PM   #10
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Getting closer...

I have finished scouting the entire route, and should be within about 10 days of the attempt. Most of the trail is in great shape, despite the usual blowdowns, wet spots, and overgrown sections.

I am trying to track down Richard Denker ( who did the NPT on 1973 in 40 hours) to find out what his starting and finishing points were. My questions are:

Did he start/end from the center of Lake Placid village ( the original end, correct?) , at the Averyville/Military road, or at the Chubb River Bridge?

Did he start/end at the Godfrey Road or do the 10 miles to/from Northville?

I would appreciate any information anyone might have on his journey, or any contact info. I would like very much to do the same mileage ( I will be going North to South)

One correction to my earlier post - there IS a way to avoid the "swim" near Plumey's Point, I had simply missed the markers for the bushwhack, which are easy to miss going southbound - there is a small rotten log down in the trail about 75 yards before hitting the water's edge ( southbound) - if you look to the right here you will see two dark blue ribbons on some small saplings where the bushwhack heads into the woods - it makes an arc to the right, about a 4 minute bushwhack to rejoin the trail at the other side.

One other "bushwhack" ( actually a re-lo) not to miss is south of Stephens Pond, but this one is clearly marked with three red ribbons hanging from a tree that is leaning over the trail - this one heads left ( southbound) into the woods, following sparse new blue markers and red ribbons and arcing back to the trail at the other side of the beaver activity.
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:11 AM   #11
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3...2...1....

Weather and other details permitting, we will be making the attempt on Tuesday July 12, starting in Lake Placid at roughly 9-10 am and hopefully finishing up before nightfall on Wednesday at the Northville bridge. If we have a hotel with a phone line, and my "team" ( my wife, 2 year old son, and running partner) has time between all the crazy driving around, they will post updates as we are able. Thanks to all for the encouragement and offers to help! (cross posted to adkhighpeaks.com)
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:58 AM   #12
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GO TIM, GO

I PM'd you as well
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:45 PM   #13
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Good Luck. I'll send some energy your way.

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Old 07-10-2005, 10:06 PM   #14
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Good luck
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:36 PM   #15
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It is a go for tomorrow ?


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Old 07-11-2005, 11:11 PM   #16
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So tomorrow still is looking potentially good - we are holed up at the Jackrabbit Inn in Lake Placid sorting gear right now.

We were not able to contact Richard Denker (the person mentioned in the NPT guide as having done the trail in 40 hours), unfortunately, which left us wondering what to use as starting and ending points. The ADK regards the current end points of the trail as the Godfrey Road parking lot and the Chubb River Bridge lot, so after much deliberation, we decided to go with that distance for this challenge. I see it as a choice of the "historic correctness" of using the Northville Bridge and the Military Road (or the center of Lake Placid Village as the pre-1980 trail did.), versus the purity of a trail run that begins and ends in the woods, instead of on a stretch of busy asphalt.

I believe the mileage will be 121.65.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:24 PM   #17
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My plans have always to use the current end points when I do it. I've done the road from northville to benson and I would never want to do it to start the trip or end it. I wish you great luck tomorrow. I'll be wondering about tomorrow so keep us update if at all possible.

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Old 07-11-2005, 11:25 PM   #18
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and that stretch of asphalt from Northville to the Upper Benson trailhead is one Hell of an ascent....
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:31 PM   #19
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or a descent if your coming down from placid. I would rather go up it then down it. I've run down to G'ville after a day of XC sking at LapLand and that downhill is hell when tired.


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Old 07-13-2005, 03:41 PM   #20
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Attempt 1 Foiled by Rogue Storm System

Despite a pretty optimistic forecast, we got nailed with thunderstorms and 2 inches of rain for most of the afternoon yesterday, and bagged it at the Tarbell Road parking lot at Long Lake.

For me, these types of challenges are difficult enough without 100+ miles of puddle jumping, which would have turned what is very much an enjoyable run into a treacherous, nasty slog. On the upside, I was feeling great despite the crummy conditions, and arrived at Long Lake at 6:58, feeling ready to hammer the rest of the course out.. This was 17 minutes before my target time of 7:15 pm, or 8 hours and 58 minutes from the 10 am start at the Chubb River Bridge, pretty much averaging the 4 mph we hoped for. Maintaining this average would result in about a 30 hour total. The main problem at this point would have been keeping my feet from falling apart, which would have been difficult even with vast amounts of Vaseline we were using to keep my feet blister free and relatively dry. The NPT, being a lowland trail that skirts numerous bodies of water for it's entire length, is wet enough as it is without flash flooding and endless trenches of water.

It was pretty amazing how isolated this storm system was - for almost 4 hours, when I could see the sky over my left shoulder, it was as blue as can be - even though I was being pelted with heavy rain and lighting bolts were striking all around. This contrast made for some extremely beautiful scenes, particularly near Shattuck Clearing, which has become one of my favorite spots on the trail. I hope to be able to spend some time backpacking sections of the trail with some photo gear soon.

The team is more psyched than ever to return , hopefully before month's end, and give this another go. Thanks to all for the encouragement and offers of support!

A few pix from the day

We'll be BACK!
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