by Danielle Triffitt – This morning was the 9-mile Bradbury Breaker, put on by Ian and the great trail group, Trail Monster Running. It was an appropriate race name, as the course took us up and down Bradbury Mountain four times total during the two laps. While the “mountain” is more of a glorified hill, it still offered plenty of pretty stiff ups and downs, which combined with the wet roots, rocks, calf-deep puddles and the numerous mud pits due to all the recent rain, made for one tough course.
However, it was also a lot of fun. It was a bit misty at the start, as Ian did his pre-race meeting with the 70 runners gathered for the run. One runner asked if, given the recent rains, there were any parts of the trail that were totally blown out. Ian matter-of-factly answered, yes. The Boundary Trail was the worst, with about 6 puddles to wade through and lots of mud. Seems to be a theme in our running/hiking these days 🙂
Towards the end of the Boundary Trail on the first lap, I was caught by George, who, upon further reflection, I am sure I ran with for a bit during last year’s Bradbury Bruiser. He was a cheery, upbeat guy, and I tried to stick with him as we descended down to the parking lot before the first stiff climb to the summit. I am not as confident a runner on the downhills, but I did what I could to keep close to him, and we ended up power-hiking in file up to the summit together. After the tough down and up combo, the trail mellows out a bit and winds through the woods, giving runners a chance to stretch the legs and hopefully make up some time, before going up to the summit again and down the Switchback Trail. George and I went through the start area together, in 43:52. Not too bad a first lap.
I was feeling good, and wanted to keep up the pace, but George dropped back a bit, so I was on my own. Still, it was fun to run with him for a while! Later during the second lap, I played leap-frog with another male runner, who ended up finishing about 30 seconds ahead of me. I also got passed on the last steep downhill by two other runners – damn! I have to work on my downhill running! Although the second lap was tough, I didn’t suffer too much, and was able to kick it in in the last 100 yards or so, finishing in 1:29:39. Under 1:30, which is what I was hoping for. Also ended up being first in my age group (yes, there was one other 30-something female, so it wasn’t by default 🙂 ) – which was cool. I got a gift certificate to Maine Running Company, which will go to good use tomorrow when we’re down there picking up new running shoes!
I feel happy with the race. I had been concerned that feeling so tired and being so busy this week, I wouldn’t have much energy, but I felt solid throughout, and it was a fun time. Thanks so much to Ian and Emma, as well as Jamie, Blaine and all the other volunteers, for making this race a good one! A great way to spend a Sunday morning! And good reason to relax on the couch watching the Olympics this afternoon 🙂