More than 500 canoers flock to the Adirondacks each September to partake in the Adirondack Canoe Classic, otherwise known as The 90-Miler. Meet Ken T., one of many unsung heroes of the event, tirelessly assisting racers as they attempt to sustain and maintain their endurance over three days and nearly a century of miles paddled.
I live near Eagle Bay in the southwest Adirondacks, a place that offers some of the best waterways for paddling practice. I've never attempted to paddle the 90Miler, but it's such a magnetic event for the community around here, that I volunteer as a pit crew guy to be a part of it. I must say that one of the best tips outside of preparation for racing is to have a loyal and loving pit crew!
Although the excitement entices me, we in the pit crew take heed of the amazing duties and responsibilities our teammates have pleasantly coerced. For example, we are tasked with numerous ways to ensure our racers are well nourished and rested between each leg of the race. While our team is out battling the course and unpredictable mountain weather, we occupy oursleves with prepping for the next pit-stop, checking off all needed supplies, repairing any gear that may have been nicked on a previous stage, and tend to explore the many combinations of Adirondack Blue Line gin and canned fruit, we recommend pears - Del Monte or home-made canned pears ... either or works well!
From racers to the support pit crews, one thing is certain during The 90-Miler - you will create friendships that will last a long time. Even if it's a bond lasting just the three days, you return and see familiar faces that recognize you ... and maybe the Gin and pears, too. That is priceless.
Here are some of the moments I was able to capture during my last race ... enjoy!