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I met Adam just a few years ago in 2018 recommended by a co-worker of mine to friend him on Facebook. She said he lived near me and had climbed a few Adirondack Peaks and was looking for someone to hike with. ( Thank you Octavia) After friending Adam on Facebook I invited him over to my mountain training facility in the woods on the hill behind my house. There I have an obstacle course on the ground made of stones and logs on a steep hill. Stepping stones if you will buried like icebergs in the ground. They are a great test of agility and coordination as well as great training for the rocks on the mountains.
On this day little does Adam know I am thinking I need a local Ultra hiking partner and he could be the guy? At the time I was bearing down on finishing my NH48 and I was tired if driving to NH alone on the weekends. I was kind of desperate for a local partner I could share the drives with. My usual routine is working Friday 8-4pm then after work driving straight to the mountains, getting out of the car, hiking, then getting back in the car and driving straight home usually arriving in the middle of the night Saturday night. I sleep in Sunday and go back to work Monday! This process involves going 40- 50 hours without sleep while doing a crazy hike in the middle plus all the driving. This had been my process for climbing the mountains of the North East in the past 11 years. Not too many people are down for joining me in my routine It is kind of hard to even ask someone if they want to come along. Where do I start?
The day comes, Adam arrives at my house and I take one look at him and say no way. This guy will never be able to hike 52 miles at once. This guy is a beast. And I mean a BEAST in the best way. The kind of guy that can bench press like 400lbs for reps and squat and deadlift 600lbs plus. Who knows? Just plain OFF THE CHARTS strong, not super lean and just basically weighed down with muscles, in the lean hikers eye. He clearly did not appear to have the genetics for ultra endurance anything.
Needless to say on day one Adam had no problems with my little obstacle course. He was eager and ready to go and was immediately asking to go to the mountains with me. By the end of our first day before he left I threw it out there. The invite was to go without sleep Friday night after work, drive through the night, get out of the car and hike over 30 miles total in 2 separate locations, driving 2 hours in between, then driving back home without stopping arriving home in the middle of the night Saturday night. I figured near 50 hours without sleep would be required for this one Now anyone that knows me knows I like to make hiking fun. I figured this would crush him and not be fun for him, so I planned for many bail out points along the way, and the obvious one was after the first hike when we would drive 2 hours then hike again. He could just stay in the car and sleep while I would do the second hike alone.
Well the end of the story goes Adam DID ALL OF IT! Every step every mile of the insanely rugged NH48er terrain! Over 30 miles of hiking 18 hours of driving and 52 hours with out sleep. He even helped me drive the final miles on the way home. He was unfazed by any of it, as if he had done this his whole life! I could not believe it. This guy had not climbed a mountain in a long time and he had not trained for this???? How could he have done this? I thought I was tough and this guy can do what I do, right out of the box? His potential is endless. He could be one of those people running 200 miles at once I thought. The best part is. Now I have a new BEAST of a hiking partner, and right from my home town! Here we go!
TIME FOR THE NEU8
After that Adam agreed to train local with me for a while, as much for me as for him, and together with Adams close friend VINNIE CUDA, we began to add miles and vertical feet to their regiment, hiking and running mostly on the Finger Lakes Trail near where we live. Adam had only climbed a few ADK peaks before meeting me and had very little experience overall, but improved rapidly from his already amazing starting condition. When Adam said to me "I don't want to hike Adirondack Peaks anymore, I want to do the NEU8" , how could anyone doubt he would do them with ease. And that is exactly what Adam did! He finished the NEU8 without issues in just a little over a years time, ringing the bell at the Saranac Ultra 6 for his final NEU8 hike in September of 2020! He has made a dream Ultra partner and inspired me to complete a second full round of the NEU8 along the way! Adam amazes everyone time and time again. He is a true Viking, a modern day warrior, and a human beast. All combined with a kind heart and soul. Adam has it all. I also want to give a shout out to Vinnie Cuda who managed to finish 6 of the 8 NEU8 hikes with Adam and myself! Vinnie you can do it you are so close just 2 more to go!
On top of all of this Adam runs his own business. He maintains his own website. When It came time to create a NEU8 web site and an Instagram page Adam was on that too! There is nothing that this guy cannot do. Thanks Adam for everything. Thanks for making the NEU8 a reality. There is no better partner I could have for the future of the NEU8. Thanks Mr. President.