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90 miler

Looks like I made the cut and the wife agreed to be my pit crew/shuttle bunny/tent setter upper.

Since it's my first attempt at this, I have a few questions that I'm sure the seasoned racers can answer.
Just want to get all my ducks in a row before hand.

Are there places during the day where my wife can stop and hand off food and water? Or should I plan on carrying enough for the day? It says they provide some pit stops, are these considered resupply stops to fill up a camelbak, or just grab a cup of water on the go?

Thanks Mike



  • Options
    In for the answers
    I've got a 97 two day race two day race in less then a month.
  • On Day 1 there are several places
    the camp ground carry is an ideal place.
    On day 2 there is none until about eight miles from the finish in the Raquette River.
    On day three there are a few places.

    There are pit stops along the way where they give out cups of water and chocolate bars.

    We shortly should get in the mail an overview of where all the pit stops are.

    Train hard and pray for good weather

    Jack L
  • Thanks for the info.
    Train hard, LOL, a bit late for that. I got what I got, whether its good enough is yet to be determined. What I have determined is that I'm still not as fast as I would have like to have been.

    I figured there would be some info coming on pitting, but was expecting it at check in. Just trying to get things prepared.

    Do you know how far apart the waves start?

    Do you know cut off miles and times?

    Thanks, Mike
  • It varies Mike
    Any where from five minutes and more, depending on the roll call and conditions.
    Unless you are fast, it is good to be in the beginning waves.
    Last year on day two, it was so windy and nasty with bad storms predicted for the afternoon that many of the waves were started immediately after the roll call with some of the boats not even lined up.

    Jack L
  • class?
    What class are you paddling? What boat?
    For your first time pit crew the best advice is follow the crowd to the necessary carries. There will be time from your start for your pit crew to pack up camp and meet you for resupply. As JackL said, on day two there is no place till about the 3/4 point at Axton's Landing/ Stoney Creek outlet that your pit crew can reach you without a long hike to Raquette Falls. We take 3 liters each and resupply at Axton's Landing. On day 3 we go all the way on 2 liters each. Day one has the most opportunites for resupply and being first time you should plan on using them. As much for things you may have forgotten or just found out you need or want; like rain gear or sunglasses. The first carry at Inlet going between 5th Lake and 6th Lake is soon after the start, but we always try to have our pit crew meet us there to check if we forgot anything or broke anything.
    It has been sunglasses more than once when we started in cloudy or foggy weather and weren't thinking of sunglasses. The pit crew finds out what we need and can get those things to us at the 8th Lake carry or Brown's Tract Carry. Brown's Tract Carry is our scheduled water drop. The pit crew is waiting near the end of the carry where we have to stop and take off the wheels. That saves us from toting the canoe and full hydration bottles over the carry. We get cold liquids for the last half into Blue Mountain Lake. The last opportunity for your pit crew is the bridge at Raquette Lake village. They can drop things into your boat as you go under the bridge. The Marion River carry has an official pit stop with cups of water and candy bars and fruit. No walk-in for pit crews only officials.
    The paddlers guide coming to you in the mail will explain a lot of this. And others in your class will help answer your questions as you go. Both you and your pit crew will make new friends. That's one of the nicest things about the 90 Miler. The official song puts it well;"90 Miles of hard work and 90 miles of water. 90 miles of family and friends."
    See you, JackL and Nanci,Red Cross Randy,Gearwoman,Vitamin Ray, and hundreds of other 90 Miler Family in Old Forge.
  • Everyone needs the video
    We watched it the other night for the umpteenth time and got excited just seeing all our friends.

    Jack L
  • Drinking system
    So I think I'm going to go with a camelbak for a drink system. This should make portaging quick and painless. I have a few camelbak's so my pit can just hand me another one rather than refilling the bladder. And can pick the correct size for the upcoming distance.

    I don't want to wear it while in the boat. Any suggestions on how to secure it in the boat and still have access to the tube? I'm thinking I will need a longer hose for sure.

    Thanks, Mike
  • Just a velcro strap
    securing it to a thwart, or one of your seat supports.

    For what it is worth: I would advise practicing coming into a portage landing and then taking off again-trying to simulate what you will have to experience.

    jack l
  • Camelback attachment
    I use a carabiner attached with a string to the thwart behind the seat. Clip it to top loop of the Camelback. Faster than velcro.
  • Paddlers guide ?
    did any of you get yours in the mail?

    I keep looking and am wondering if it got lost in the mail.
    I figured I would call Mac's livery tomorrow

    Jack L
  • weeks ago
    Mine came several weeks ago.
  • Hmm
    I got the yellow booklet the registration came with, but not a lot of detailed info in that? Hoping there is something with more info for my pit crew coming.

  • That is what I am talking about
    Other years we got a "Paddlers guide" long before now with detailed info in it including the final order of the classes.
    That list of entrants that is on line is by no means correct

    jack L
  • Portage yoke
    I have a clamp on solo yoke with pads, but am looking for some alternate ideas.

    I think a lighter weight and a quicker attachment design may be in order. What works best for a solo?

  • Paddlers Guide
    Raymondo got his and I got mine today. Depending on how often the U.S. Mule heads into your part of the Carolinas, it could be in your mailbox tomorrow or Wednesday. I never remember it taking so long. I will read mine and report if there's any major changes.
  • Got mine
    Mine came today. Lots of good information.
  • Weather
    The long range forecast is looking favorable at this point. Getting pretty stoked.

  • It looks perfect !
    Hope it doesn't change.

    Jack L
  • weather
    I've been paddling the 90 for 17 years. I can remember very few bad weather days. Usually I think it is too hot - and we have seen 90 degrees in the past.

    Last year day 2 was an exception with higher than usual wind on Long Lake, causing a lot of problems with a cross wind out of the east on the north end. If you were a late finisher, you faced high headwinds and heavy rain coming into the finish at the Crusher.

    Two years ago day 3 had strong headwind on Upper Saranac Lake, and strong tail wind on Middle Saranac, causing big rollers that were determined to turn boats sideways. But although some wind is expected... long lasting wet weather is rare.
  • Paddling C2 Stock
    Hubby and I paddling the C2 stock class this year. It is only my second 90 miler. First one was in 2011. Didn't make the cut last year. We paddled C4 in 2011. Got 3rd. Loved it, in spite of the blisters. Have a new plan to prevent that this year. We did not have a pit crew then and won't now. Plan to carry all of our supplies with us. We placed bicycle packs on the thwarts to hold supplies. Electrolyte tabs and Motrin or Aleve duck taped to the canoe where we can easily reach it. Drink system is a half gallon cooler with plastic tubing and bite valve. Don't forget a cool hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. May be a good idea to have a small backpack size first aid kit tucked in somewhere. I remember the water and snicker at the portage. I was too dry to eat a snickers!!! Lucky me. I paddled with three men who told me. "Just run and get to the other end" while they pulled the boat across the portages. I only had to help on the one with the hill covered with many rocks and roots. Will be much harder for me this year. Good luck to you all in the 90. We are leaving for the ADK's today and will be at the eighth lake campground all week.
  • We are C-2 Stock also
    Will you guys use wheels or will hubby be carrying it ?
    We have always used wheels, but I am carrying it this year.
    We will be leaving here in NC Wednesday morning for the two day trek up there. Another couple from Atlanta that is racing in C-2 stock will be spending tomorrow night with us, and then driving up too.

    We vowed that last year would be our last, but couldn't resist it again this year.

    Jack L

  • Addicting
    Where else would you want to be on the Friday after Labor Day?
    See you in Old Forge,
  • That was cool!
    It was tough, fun and rewarding all at the same time.

    Made some new friends, but missed all the p-netter's.

    Thanks for all the helpful advice, it helped greatly in being prepared.

    Everything went smoothly!
  • It was nice to meet you!
    So nice to meet you, Nancy and Red Cross Randy. Hope to see you again next year. We went up on Monday and spent the week at 8th Lake Campground. Returned home today. As much as I love the Adirondacks, I am sure glad to be sleeping at home tonight. I was glad to see that you did well in the race. An unfortunate navigation error cost Mark and I first place by 2 minutes. The competition was tough. There was absolutely no room for error. Hope to get together a C4 women's team for next year.
  • Slide show
    -- Last Updated: Sep-10-13 6:38 AM EST --

    My wife/pitcrew put together a pretty cool slideshow. It's 18 minutes long, so grab a cold one and some popcorn and enjoy. The music she found is pretty cool.

    Happy to be part of the 90 mile family.

    Looks like you have to cut and paste the link, let me know if it works.


  • It was nice meeting you also
    We'll be back next year ("The good Lord willing, and the creek don't rise!")
    We were quite happy taking an hour off our last years time, and not using wheels for the first time made the Raquette Falls carry a piece of cake for us.
    We stayed yesterday and Randy and Patty led us on delightful ten mile lilly dipping paddle and now today we are half way back home to NC.

    Jack L
  • Awesome job
    I just finished watching it.
    And congratulations on the wind and battling that strong quartering wind on day three in Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes.
    You C-1 guys have always been my heros!

    Jack L
  • Saw it on Facebook
    Great video. Congratulations on your win. See ya next year?
  • Kudos to you
    for getting back in a canoe on Monday. We will get out for a couple of hours of paddling practice today. Spent the past three cleaning the camper, doing the laundry, canning the tomatoes and apples that were ripe and awaiting our return. Seems as though the work is never done. Vacation ends on Monday.
  • Next year?
    I can't stop thinking about it.

    We bought the CD. Listen to it every day.

    90 miles of hard work, 90 miles of water, 90 miles of family and friends...

    I have done a lot of endurance events, many in a canoe, many on a bicycle and some on foot. My wife has been very supportive and has been my "pit crew" on most of my adventures. I caught one of her FB posts and she said this was one of the most fun times she has had doing this. That is saying a lot, considering all the places I have drug her.

    So it sounds like I'll have a pit crew, so I don't see any reason not to return to get my second year pin.
  • You're hooked
    -- Last Updated: Sep-13-13 9:09 AM EST --

    Next thing you know, you will be longing to do the Yukon races. Paddling the 90 for several years got me started on multiple Yukon 440 and 1000 milers (twice each so far, with more to come), and I couldn't do any of them without my wife as pit crew, or as some will say, "bank staff". Until then, take a look at several of the other shorter races in the northeast throughout the season. They are a lot of fun too, and you will soon find many friends in the community.

  • Yep
    Next on my list is the Clinton.

    I paddled the entire Susquehanna in 2001 and it's been on my "Bucket List" since. Got tied up with mountainbike racing for a bunch of years with not much paddling. Then got hardcore into WW paddling. This year I got back to my roots with river tripping.

    It's all good! And you just never know where life's journey will take you. Yukon... who knows.
  • You ought to head down to ....
    the Suwannee river next month and do the 52 mile challenge.
    The first twenty miles is so pristine and beautiful that you'll have a hard job not wanting to pull over and camp on one of the zillion white sandy banks that are on every turn.

    Jack L
  • Congratulations!
    Well done. Sweet looking canoe you have.

    Your wife is a talented gal. No wonder you did so well with such strong support.

    I'm glad you both had fun.
  • That looks cool
    But it's a long way from Pa. I think if I went to Florida to paddle I'd rather do it in January when it's ugly around here.
  • nice!
    Just watched the video, great pics. wondered about life jackets? Some wore them, others did not. Guess it wasn't required. I'm supposed to go up there next weekend for a Placidboat gathering. Wish I could put together 30 miles in 3 days, need to work on my strokes. I would love to just enter the race and finish it. I need to get a few injuries fixed and maybe I can join in on the fun. Thanks for sharing.
  • PFDs
    You will find the majority of paddlers do not wear PFDs, but all are required to have them readily handy and not tied in the boat. Interestingly, a high percentage of the non-competetive open touring class with a correspondingly higher percentage of inexperienced paddlers, actually do wear their PFDs.

    With so many boats in the water, chances are any capsize would be tended to quickly by either a safety watcher, or by another racer (which is required). If weather conditions warrant, race officials will make wearing PFDs mandatory. This happens frequently, but was not done in 2013.

    Wearing of PFDs is always mandatory during the Yukon River races, but not routinely in any NY races that I am aware of.
  • POFD wearing varies
    It is up to the discretion of the race director.
    Last year with the winds whipping at 20MPH on Long Lake it was mandatory.
    I raced yeaterday here in the south and it was left up to each racer.
    Almost everyone who can swim will chose not to wear one, since the heat stroke factor comes into play when it is a hot day.

    Jack L
  • PFD
    I have always worn my PFD 100% of the time. And it never bothered me in the least. When I started getting ready for the 90, some of my paddle days were in the mid 90's, so I left my PFD sit behind me. I couldn't get over how free I felt and how much cooler I was.

    This past Saturday I did the Can You Canoe Cayuga Lake challenge, and they required everyone to wear one. No big deal, and it was pretty choppy out there so I probably would have worn it anyhow. But I missed the freedom and sweat evaporation of not having a PFD on.

    Lots of Placid boats in the Solo Rec class. Some of them guys are FAST!

  • Hey Brent
    When are you going to fix it so we can edit our title if we make a mistake?

    Jack L
  • Rain?
    Just curious, if the weather turns bad and it starts to rain, not to heavy but continues through out the race do you use a bailer at times or you bail it out when you have to portage? just thinking thanks.

    I was also thinking about the times and if you did the race in around 16 hours then you are moving a little over 5 mph over 30 miles...that's fast. Do you know what time you have to finish in the first 30 miles so your allowed to continue the next day? I thought I heard there was a time limit.
  • Cut Off times
    Each day has cut off times at different points on the course. If you don't make the cut off time to the checkpoint you are pulled out at that point and taken to the finish line. You can start the next day in Open
    Touring. The times are very generous and are set so that everyone finishes before dark. If you don't make the cut offs you are going so slow you don't stand a chance of making the finish before dark. The times are in the paddlers guide and are announced each morning at the paddlers meeting.
    You can look at the results on the Adirondack Watershed Alliance website and see in Open Touring some of the slowest times and the DNF's for those that did not make the cut-offs. You can also see the new course record which is close to 11 hours for the 90 miles.
  • fog delay
    There are two potential problems with the cutoff times.
    First, there is there is no provision to advance the cutoff time to compensate for frequent fog delays at the start. If the delay is as much as an hour (rarely that long, but it happens), some paddlers could be hard pressed to make the cutoff. Fortunately, for this reason and others, open touring with the majority of slower paddlers starts in the first wave.

    If you happen to be in later waves, up to wave 10, you might not be leaving the start line until up to two hours after the first wave. If you put yourself in a competitive class that happens to start that late, and you probably should have been in open touring, you could have trouble making the cutoff.
  • Water
    While we didn't have any rain to speak of, I carry a sponge. I set it in front of me and it catches all the water from paddle drips on their way to the center. Every once in awhile I fling it out. I like to keep a dry boat. This works well in a light rain also. I had a bailer along in the gear bag, if there would have been a strong chance of rain I would have taken it in the boat.

    I was worried about the cut offs too. I actually considered moving from the C1 Stock class which started in the 7th wave to open touring to make sure I could make the cut. We started about and hour and 10 minutes after the first wave. I think with a reasonable amount of preparation it shouldn't be a problem.

    I noticed that people paddle the 90 for many different reasons. It was very cool to watch the record breaking C4 go screaming by, and just as cool to see the older paddlers just out enjoying the day. One thing common among all the paddlers, they are all more than happy to strike up a conversation.

    Good times!
  • Last year we got caught ..
    in the heaviest rain that I have ever paddled in when we were in the Raquette river. We had a Susquehanna with a bailer, and even with it open, I had to keep sponging while the bow paddler, (my wife) paddled.
    This year we were in a Jensen 17 that I carried and there was only a few cup fulls of water just from my hutting, and each time I picked the boat over my head for the carries, it would dump out.

    Don't worry about the cut off times, unless you are a real slow paddler in which case you should enter the "open touring class" which starts in the first three waves.

    Jack L
  • The first cutoff
    -- Last Updated: Sep-18-13 7:47 PM EST --

    On day 1, the first cutoff is at the entrance to Raquette Lake, 21 paddle+carry miles from Old Forge. You must be there no later than 3:00, regardless of what time you actually start. If you start in wave 1 on time at 8:00 and can paddle at 3.5mph, you will just make it (assumes realistic times for the carries up to that point and slowing on twisty Brown's Tract including minutes at the usual boardwalk put-in delay). Later starts will of course require a faster average paddling speed - a 9:00 start will get you there if you paddle at 4.0mph.

  • very interesting
    Thank you for sharing all that information. I think with continued exercising and more paddling I would like to go and try it for "fun". I would be one of those guys floating around listening to conversations and watching all the cool stuff going on. I'm not a racer but I would just like to set a goal of finishing the course. Hey, if you get a patch or a sticker for finishing I'm in! Thanks again, be well. Can't get up there this weekend but going up there for a fall foliage weekend trip in mid October, time to start training! Hmmm, maybe next Spring :)
  • awards
    If you are in open touring and want a "paddler" award, you must purchase that separately.

    If you are in a competitive class the top three get an award.

    Everyone gets a mileage pin.

    I lost 9 minutes standing in line on the Brown's tract inlet boardwalk. Everyone is friendly and patient, no big deal. I made that up in Brown's Tract, that was fun and felt like I was in a NASCAR race, the solo was tearing it up. Again everyone was very nice and welcomed me to pass. A bit of communication went a long way.
  • Mileage Pins
    The award for finishing is a very nice metallic pin with the 90 Miler logo and the mileage printed on it. The first 9 years are round, then at 10 its more of the shield shape. At 20 you get a gold canoe. Two more to go to reach the gold canoe for me. Its sort of neat to see 1620 miles on a pin on my hat and realize that in the 90 miler I have gone far enough to do the entire Northern Forest Canoe trail round trip. I am not a big gun racer; the biggest joy now is getting new paddlers into the race and thru their first 90 miler. We have had a new paddler in the C-4 5 of the 8 years we paddled it. The 'family' part of the 90 miler is a fact; you meet people each year, see people you met before, and talk to people you got to know over the years, from Maine to Hawaii.
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