Aug 162011

by Jeremy Bonnett – Went in to the Bradbury Breaker not really knowing how my body would respond after last weeks hard effort on the 100MW. I strongly felt I’d beat my time from last year of 1:24:13, but didn’t really care beyond that. I was mostly excited to run with friends and be around “race” energy. I chatted a bit in the beginning with TM’s about previous runs and races, and was excited to see Ryan Triffitt out of the penalty box and donning running shoes.

I’ve had a hard time changing my mind-set to a racing mentality. It’s been no real problem wanting to better myself and my own times as I’m a competitive person, but racing other people is a bit foreign.

So I decided to start in the front of the pack and test running with the big dogs. The pace started out quick and I still had some kinks to get out so found myself lopping along for a bit in the beginning. Ran with Ryan for a while, then was able to say hi to Ian Parlin on the back of the Boundary Trail. Alan Morrison gave me a shout out as we climbed a section stating I was in 13th place, which made me a bit trepidatious. I came up on Jamie Anderson and thought it would be good to try and keep up with him for a bit. I was nervous however that I was pushing it too much and he was running a smarter race when I didn’t see him after the South Ridge Trail.

After the pounding decent down to the parking lot I really felt as though I’d blown out too early and Peter Keeney easily passed me running up the Summit Trail, as I sucked wind. At the top it was great to see Emma Barclay cheering people on and spouting words of encouragement. Down the Tote Road I wanted to relax a bit but heard someone coming up behind me (later to find out it was Bob Poirier). I figured I’d let him pass and continue to rest a bit, but when he got right up next to me the race juices kicked in and I said to myself “nope, don’t let him pass, make him work for it.” I caught back up to Peter, who shortly thereafter stopped dead in his tracks thinking he was going the wrong way. I went past him, but told him to pass back to keep his place, but he wanted to follow me down the Switchback Trail. I was super impressed with his speed down the trail and thought I’d lose him but no avail.

Second lap and I felt real good. Peter was right on my tail for most of the first few miles but I knew I had to get some space on him with the Summit Trail coming up. I figured 30 seconds would be enough for me to walk and him to run it, and still keep my lead. But Peter is tough! He blew by me again and I struggled to keep up with him running a bit as well as hiking.

Along Tote Road we ran together again and I found out he’s recovering from an ankle injury. Just then I was surprised to see Jeff Walker way up ahead and told Peter, “let’s go get Jeff!” Peter exclaimed it was all the speed he had as his foot was keeping him at bay. So on to Jeff. I absolutely could not believe I was going to get to run close to Jeff and was excited to finish next to him. Then I figured I’d change my mind-set and decided to, race. Got a bit closer to Jeff towards the mountain and as Jeff turned the corner to head down he looked back and exclaimed something like “holy shit!” I took this as an absolute compliment and figured now I’d really have to hold on. Jeff blazed the down hill grunting and puffing like a stampeding wildebeest hungry for the finish line. With about a half mile to go we shared encouragements and headed for home.

One of my better trail races for sure, and quite fun. Very thankful for all the work Ian and the volunteers do and good to see Val, Mindy, Blaine, Danielle, and all the other TM’s.

efficiency: Changing the mind-set to racing when actually racing encourages faster feet, go figure.

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