Friday, September 22, 2006


The ADK 540

"Who is that Walker guy?"

Those words filled the air at every checkpoint. Brett Walker added to the stigma by never stopping. His crew checked him in as he rode on.

The conditions for this years 540 were nothing short of ideal. Riders gathered outside the host Super 8 Motel then lined up for the start as a slight fog tried to lift. After the first 3 hours the misty, drizzly rain gave way to intermittent sunshine and mild temperatures. Overnight lows in the mountains dropped into the high 40s, with daytime high temperatures approaching 80. The 10 mile rough stretch of Route 9 through North Hudson was still rough, but drastically improved from last year. The uneven road at the top of the steep climb into Wilmington was paved.

Even in the best of conditions the 135 mile loop provides more than enough challenge. Only 5 of the 10 that attempted the full 4 loops were able to finish. John Fuoco was forced to pull out near the end of the first loop due to a nagging IT band. Bernie Comeau withdrew after 333 miles with stomach problems.

Brett Walker went through the first 136 mile lap within 10 minutes of the one lap course record. His pace at each successive lap was below the respective course records. 2 laps in 15 hours. 3 laps (408.3 miles) in 23 hours and 33 minutes. 540 miles finished in 32:16, 42 minutes faster than the old record.

The course record at the ADK had held up for 6 years since it was set in 2000 by Rainer Klaus of Germany. Klaus also held the course record for the Furnace Creek 508, and went on to finish 5th in RAAM 2001 as a rookie.

So who was this Walker guy? Brett Walker is from nearby New Hampshire and had been training for this event exclusively for the last 10 months. He even had the password of his email account set to ADK540 followed by the old course record. He rode supported by a crew of 4, with no bicycle mechanicals. His primary support vehicle did have a tire problem that required switching to the spare. This left Walker out on the course alone for 40 minutes, without an idea as to what had happened. Walker was heard on the phone after the race arranging for time off next June. Seems he has a date with RAAM. Seen at right with race director John Ceceri, trying to hide his big Turkey sammich.

Doug Levy, after narrowly missing RAAM qualification at Fireweed this year, was on a mission. He took over 2.5 hours off the over 50 course record finishing 1st in 37:40 and earning the RQ.

He was supported by "Team Fireweed" which included ultra racing legend Lew Meyer.

Jennifer Krebs, in her debut as an ultra road racer, bested to women's course record to finish in 49:23. With the help of Steve Born from Hammer, she was able to arrange an experienced crew of Rich Kondzielaski, and John Kinnicutt. The 3 first met in person just 2 days before the event. Rich had finished the ADK twice, winning once. He also finished 9th in RAAM 2000. John is an experienced ultra runner. Jennifer rode a strong, smart, well paced race.

Kevin Kaiser came up from Georgia to finish second in 36:05. He's had a very busy and successful ultracycling year and previously qualified for RAAM.

The ADK 540 continues to provide ultracyclists a formidable event at which to test there skills. Complete results can be seen here. Some photo stuff here.



That's crazy talk! Much respect to all dem ultra peeps! The biggest I'll go is the SM100, that's it!
We had a nice w i n d y ride this morn
see ya soon
It looks like the start conditions were worse than last year but improved from there. Last year that rough 10 mile section didn't seem too bad on lap one but by lap 4 it seemed like terrible torture.

What caused your DNF this year?
Sign me up for your RAAM support crew next year :)
Great write up. Please let me know when you put the rest of the pic up.
nice re-cap JB.
540 miles in 32 hours?
That's about what I ride in a month!
Huge respect!
200 miles isn't shabby either
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