Saturday, September 3, 2022
Start/Finish: Lincoln Woods Trailhead
Start time: 4:10am
End time: 8:31pm
Total time: 16:21:24
I was up early and at the trailhead by a bit before 4am. I paid for parking, grabbed my gear, and headed to the south side of the bridge. I headed out right at 4:10am, jogging down Lincoln Woods until I took the left up Osseo. I kept my pace as quick as I could as I climbed up towards Flume in the dark. I made the summit before sunrise and saw some beautiful dawn colors. Then it was down and over to Liberty, with a dozen people gathered to watch the sunrise. It was a fairly quick hike up to Little Haystack, and then along the ridge crossing Lincoln, Lafayette, and North Lafayette. It was pretty quiet, only seeing a dozen people or so. Then I descended all the way to Garfield Pond, and started the climb up to Garfield. I quickly took a picture of the Pemi from the summit and then scrambled down to the water by the Garfield shelter.
I chatted as I filtered with a fastpacker doing a Pemi-dential (Pemi-Presi loop). I saw another trail runner shoot past and head up the side trail to the shelter, ignoring the trail intersection sign. He came back a few minutes later, confused about where the trail was. I directed him down; a few minutes later, I caught up to him going back up the trail. He was uncertain that he was still following the trail; I said ‘yup, it’s basically just a waterfall.’ He took off at his quick pace again. The 6’2″ fastpacker quickly outstripped me, though I caught up to both of them at Galehead hut. I tagged Galehead (fastpacker ran out and back past me) and headed up South Twin. I summited and headed over to North Twin, anticipating the approximate halfway point for my route. I filtered water along the creek, and then pushed up the endless climb to Hale. I was very glad to reach the summit and sat down on the cement block to pull more food from the back of my pack into my front pockets. I didn’t let myself linger and kept moving with maybe 5 minutes sitting down.
The descent from Hale was long but not too steep and I was able to make better time. I ran into Jo, and chatted with her and Andrew for a few minutes before pushing on. I grabbed water again as I crossed the creek near Zealand hut and struggled to keep a solid pace as I climbed up towards Zealand. I was very glad to hit the summit and tried to open up my stride as much as the rocks would allow. I flew over Guyot and out towards West Bond, crossing paths with a Pemi looper as he headed back from West Bond. Based on Strava data, he was doing a Pemi plus Galehead, N Twin, Zealand, and West Bond. I chased and caught him by Bondcliff and then rocketed past, thinking he might catch up to me once the trail got more runnable, but I didn’t see him again.
Once I got below Bondcliff, I tried to run as much as I could. Within 4 miles of the trailhead, I was able to start running consistantly. My legs were tired and it was dark, but I kept my legs moving along at ~5 MPH for the entire stretch while avoiding any wipeouts or bellyflops. I made it to the south side of the bridge and stopped my watch for my final time of 16 hours and 21 minutes! I cut off ~6.3% off my last time of 17:28 and beat the women’s time of 16:56.