On June 12th Sho Gray and I ran from US19E to Damascus, roughly 74 miles by trail distance, but more like 75 miles or more by the time we were done. Not due to getting lost, but due to “side trips” to get water, back track a bit, etc. I had estimated maybe 20-22 hours based on the elevation profile and from what through hikers had told me — namely that the last 30 miles into Damascus was “easy.” Boy did I underestimate it! It was a very difficult run that took over 25 hours to complete, had 15,000′ of climbing, and was filled with rocks and roots and mud most of the way. Both Sho and I had moments of despair, but we persevered and made it through! Here are photo’s from the trip…
- Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek pack – ripped across the top and I lost my Sawyer filter bag and maybe (?) some food… UD is replacing the pack, and I still love it, though maybe a touch small for this distance/length of a run
- Sawyer Squeeze Bag water filter system — will next time use the Sawyer mini filter in-line from the hydration pack to mouth piece, and a collapsable cup to fill the hydration bladder. The Sawyer squeeze bags are great when you have running water, but not so great when you have a small spring / puddle, which is what we had the 2nd half of the run.
- Altra Superior 2.0 — my 1st pair ripped in the toebox and this was a brand new pair, never worn before. Had a bit of a hot spot the 1st day but overall this shoe was still great, considering it was brand new.
- Nike combat compression – still happy with these after moving on from under armour.
- Petzl Tikka RXP headlight – love this light. One charge lasted all night.
- Fenix PD32UE – super bright hand held helpful for finding the trail in some areas when it’s not always obvious.
- Icebreaker bodyfit 200 top — got some terrible chaffing between this and the pack. Had never chaffed in this shirt before, but had not worn it with the SJ pack.
- Icebreaker 200 hoodie — ended up wearing this at night and taking off the body fit due to chaffing, and it got me through.
- Injinji toe socks – awesome as always.
- Buff – never leave home without it…
- Had a knife, black trash bag, and a rope for emergency purposes — ended up using the rope to tie my pack together once the top ripped so badly.
- Food: Started with Ucan super starch in the bottles and a bit of gatorade for flavor (it’s all the shop at the hostel at the start had…). Epic bison bars. Vfuels. One pack of pop tarts, one pack of peanuts. Was really low on food the last 5 hours, but I’m not sure if I lost some food due to the torn pack or if I just had the perfect amount to get through to the end….
- Water: gathered along the way from water falls, streams, and springs.