Arrived at the Prediger Rd. trailhead around 6:15am (surprised by how many cars were there -- some people sleeping in them/others must be people out packing the trail -- did not see very many people (at least not compared to recent runs on the trail) all day so they must have not been up and moving yet). Did a movement prep from Elizabeth to get warmed up. Got the pack all set while the sun rose and waited for it to get light enough in the woods to start. Took off just before 7am. 32 degrees and clear skies w/ a slight breeze to start. Set out with 2 Salomon 16oz filter flasks + nutrition for 6 hours.
Have run the full DP 2x before for fun-sies (once in 2016, maybe 2017? starting w/ Wes and catching up to a bunch of MPF Folks - either way, don't even think I wore any kind of watch that day.. ohh, the "old days", and once in 2018 on a very hot, wet summer day w/ Alanna, Josh, Alex, and Mike -- Alanna and I finished in just over 7:50 that day) + I scoped it out in sections over the past month or so to get ready for this attempt.
Went out a little fast, which was intentional knowing the first 2 miles are some of the more runnable miles of the day. Had a pretty rough training day when I scouted the first ~8.5-9 miles to Plateau so wasn't totally sure what I'd hit getting there if things were going well but I knew I was going to need a decent downhill day. Thankfully I had my best downhill day in a while and could feel that flow especially later on.
Climbs to Plateau were decent -- hard and working but controlled. Filled one bottle going up Plateau at the spring. Came across 214 feeling good and I think 1 minute within (can't remember if I was ahead or behind) of record pace. Did not stop at the spigot to refill my other bottle and definitely regretted that as I ran out pretty quickly heading up to the backside of Hunter and spent ~3 miles without water/was definitely thirsty.
Made it to the base of West Kill (at Diamond Notch Falls) 3 mins ahead of schedule and stopped to fill both bottles in the creek by the bridge. Climbs on the second half (214 to lean-to and West Kill) were a lot slower than I would have liked/really struggled but kept moving forward and tried to focus on getting in calories.
Once I hit the top of West Kill I knew it was going to be close but pushed what I could.
Temps stayed cool all day and the trail was dry except for a few spots. With such a cool night, I was worried the rocks might be a bit frosted/slippery but they were actually great. Leaves are definitely starting to fall so this was probably perfect timing before fall leaves her mark. Only fell once, thankfully, while trying to put my gloves back on. Got a few shiners out of it and a little blood but happened about 10 steps before the only mud pit of the day so extra happy about that.
This trail is a beast and always will be, but definitely second that it can be done faster. Looking forward to whomever comes next!