So, we had planned to do a one day Pemi on Saturday August 21 and as we got closer to the hike I got the urge to try to do it as fast as I could. We set out to run it without waiting for each other and to see what we would do. I was shooting for 10 hours and Don was shooting for 11 hours. We got to the parking lot at 6am and waited until 6:30 to see if anyone else was showing up. We didn't see anyone so we decided to go start our day.
I started my stopwatch at the Ranger Station and we were off. We ran down Lincoln Woods trail and Don pushed a pretty good pace. We were still together when we got on the Bondcliff Trail. Don soon dropped me by about 20 seconds but I caught up with him on Bondcliff. We stood on the cool rock outcropping for a minute and were off. We made our way up to Bond and we had a quick snack. I was pretty hardcore about minimizing our breaks as they add up fast and could kill our time! Again Don was a bit faster on the hills than me but I managed to pass him on the flats heading to Twinway.
Surprisingly we were on the same pace and stopped at Galehead Hut to fill our camelpacks and take a quick bathroom break. Then we were off! The weather could not have been more perfect! Cloudy and cool and the trails were in awesome shape!
As we headed to Garfield, once again Don was in the lead going uphill and I pushed hard to hang. We met Dave on the trail and the three of us stood on top of Garfield and took a quick food break. We hopped down off of Garfield and started up towards Lafayette. On our way we ran into Mats! It was cool to finally be meeting some of the VFTT people! We chatted for a bit and then made our way up to Lafayette where we took a longer break to eat and rest.
Don and I were still about the same pace and I wanted to keep pushing so I took off as fast as I could across the ridgeline! I was like a bulldozer, pushing through the sea of people up there without messing up my stride! Surprisingly people were kind enough to cheer me on as I ran by! We then ran into Bob, Geri, Mike and Jeff. They offered some awesome encouragement and thought we may be able to pull off 9:30! That was some serious motivation for us! From that point on it was go, go, go! I chased Don up the steep parts and he chased me on the flats. When we got on top of Liberty we took one last break and our hearts sank when we saw how far away Flume looked!
Before we knew it we were charging over flume and down to the Osseo Trail. As soon as we hit some good terain (with no ladders!) I was ready to make up time. I pushed as hard as I could and was back onto the Lincoln woods trail at 9:09. I was not about to stop. I knew I could definitly pull off 9:30 but wanted to do better. Pushing as hard as I could I tore down Lincoln Woods trail, suffering, with Don still hanging with me! I looked at my watch as we turned towards the bridge and yelled out, "coming through!" just before a family with kids got on the bridge. We charged across the bridge and ran up the stairs to the Ranger station where I stopped my watch. Official time 9 hours 21 minutes and 35 seconds!
It was way too much fun and we both could not believe we were at the same pace! At times we were not together on the trail, but most times we were! It was a great experience and I feel I am ready for my Virgil Crest 50 mile Ultra Run in September! Maybe next year I will come back and try to break the 9 hour mark!