Adk Canoe Classic Pit Crew

Hi, I am a first time Pit Crew person for the 90 Miler. I have been a spectator for many years but am looking for tips on how to do this job well. Any advice would be welcomed and appreciated!

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Thanks for volunteering to care for your paddlers. They will need your help and greatly appreciate it. The two main duties of the pit crew are to move camp each day and to provide hydration and nourishment for their teams. And to provide emergency replacements for broken equipment and missing personal gear. My longtime pit crew has it divided into two teams. The camp team and the on-course hydration team. The toughest day for the pit crew is Day 1. The move is long and the camp for Friday night is a ways from the Day 1 finish line. The hydration team, Patmandu, meets us at the first carry at Inlet to see if we forgot or need anything. She then meets us at Brown’s Tract Carry where we resupply with hydration for the second half of the day. After this point pit crews can’t meet their teams without great difficulty. The whole pit crew is at Blue Mtn. Lake to greet us at the finish line and take care of our gear and sore bodies. Day 2 is easier since the only places to reach the paddlers is at Raquette Falls Carry which requires a 12-14 mile round trip hike; or at the official pit stop at the mouth of Stoney creek, about a mile round trip. We go with resupply at Stoney Creek and take 4 liters each in the morning, getting 2 liters at Stoney creek. Meet your crew at the finish line at the Crusher and be prepared to carry their gear from there to wherever you manage to park along Rt.3. Day three is short and again not easy to meet the paddlers on the course. The best spot is the State boat launch at the Rt. 3 bridge. then its on to the finish line and the celebration. You will earn your Pit Crew shirt and your team should gladly buy one for you. Bring your team dry clothes and towels to the finish line each day. And plenty of Vitamin I.
I would not have survived the 21 times I have done this race without a good pit crew.

Well stated Bill!!! Taking another stab at the 90 again this year!! Got a better kayak for the race this year and training a little bit different with what I know now! Can’t wait to take on the 90 this year!!

Great, glad you are coming back and are becoming one of the 90 Miler Family. Raymondo and I are paddling C-2 Rec Men’s Veterans this year. Going back to C-2 from C-4 after 12 years in the long boat. Want to see if we can still be competitive in the class where we started. Hope to see you in Old Forge. We will set up by the tennis courts near the fence corner. Will be using an Olive colored Wenonah 17’Jensen.

Thank you Bill for the detailed suggestions. What a help your notes will be. I appreciate you sharing from your experiences! Looking forward to the big day.

Great. Getting people interested and enjoying their time at the 90 Miler is part of enlarging its family. I am just returning the help others gave me in my first years. As Brian McDonnell says every morning at the Paddlers meeting, “We are all in this together.” The goal is for everyone to arrive at the finish line tired and safe.

Some years ago I managed a pit crew for a multi-day, multi-sport adventure race. I carried one of those portable power packs and a blender, and would have smoothies ready to go at the pit stops. A real hit with the team!

I started paddling the 90 miler 21 years ago in a 6-man voyageur canoe. My pit crew consisted of my wife and another team member’s family. Setting up camp at the campground was the toughest part, mostly done by the family team. My wife only had to be sure I had everything I needed loaded in the boat and double check on the others. Life was relatively easy for everyone. Then things got combative with pit crews, all rushing to limited parking spaces at every access point, especially at the campgrounds. When I started paddling canoes other than the voyageur, I no longer needed any intermediate access support, so my wife was left to set up camp herself. Within a couple of years of that, we started staying in motel rooms for the night rather than camping. Much more pleasant. Happy wife… happy life. She started helping out Brian and Grace, at first just with counting boatsthen. Now with official timing at the finish for each day. Like I said, after 21 years paddling the 90, I no longer need any intermediate support at access points during race days. Now my wife has graduated to being the most experienced Pit crew for me and my new team on the yukon 440 mile and 1000 mile races.

Bill - Awesome, I’m sure you guys will do great in C-2! I’ll look for you in Old Forge not sure where I will setup but I’ll be in an Orange Stellar S16 Kayak this year!! I think a much better fit for the 90 then the heavy plastic one I used last year! Good Luck and see you in Old Forge!

Its getting close now. two weeks from today we drive to Old Forge and pick up our registration packet, tee shirts and boat numbers. Then a short nights sleep, a rushed breakfast and down to the start line and set up. A morning of jitters till the horn goes off and we start paddling towards Blue Mountain Lake. 90 Miles of hard work and 90 miles of water ahead. Bill

CAN’T WAIT!! Super Excited for this year!! Marco

My team practiced this past weekend in a Minnesota 3 from Brian and Grace. It was a beautiful day for it. While they were paddling I scoped the area for spots to view the race. Just being in the north woods is so peaceful. Met some nice people along the way too! Can’t wait for the day.

Was up to Fish Creek Campground last Saturday and returned via Old Forge. Water levels look good in the Raquette River Watershed, and ok in the Fulton Chain. Weather looks like it won’t be hot. One week till travel day. We are in 90 miler mode from here out. Bill

Thanks for the Update! Yes looks like it will be a lot cooler then last years and hopefully the wind plays nice this year! I’m in 90 miler MODE! Did a local race in NJ last weekend only 6 miles but took 1st in the kayak division, even beat a couple of surfskis!! Its got me pumped for the 90!!! See you all in a week!! Marco

Great Marco, good tuneup. See you in Old Forge.

My team was up there too Bill on Sunday. We took out a canoe from Macs for them to practice. Water levels were high and Grace said that would be good for the 90 miler. They put in at Spider Creek and went up through the Saranacs. What a beautiful day for a paddle! We can’t wait. See you soon.

Less than 12 hour till departure for Old Forge. Jack L , Nanci and Red Cross Randy are well on their way north. see you all Friday AM in Old Forge, Good Luck and good weather everyone.

Puddlecrew, how did it go?