Jan 272012

by Jeremy Bonnett

Alison and I arrived a bit early to bring wood, check in and do a proper warm up in the cold conditions.  I was crazy nervous for this race and it felt real good to run a few miles on the road to calm down.  Last year over the winter all I was really thinking about was running my first snowshoe races and beginning to train for the Pineland 50.  This year I’m real focused on Peaks 100, and with the snow’s late arrival I hadn’t given much thought, or training for snowshoeing (like most everyone else I’m sure).

A bit before the race Ryan had some encouraging words to basically get out right in front from the beginning, and Alison echoed the thought.  With Ian stating course conditions earlier that day I had a good sense that it was not going to be easy to pass people during the race.

So I started in the front of the pack, which is still a bit weird for me.  After a few hundred yards we settled in to a pace and I was third behind Judson Cake and Matt Lundt.  For the first mile or so the race heads up hill, either by a bit of double track on the Northern Loop and Ski Trail or some tight single track on Krista’s Loop.  For pretty much the whole way I was saying to myself, ‘what the hell am I doing here running with these two up front?’  I actually felt rather good and was surprised to stay close to them.  My goal now was to keep them in sight and push hard.

By the time we’d reached Tote Road Trail Judson had garnered a lead and Matt started to pull away on the more ‘level’ trail.  It was clear to me on the Boundary Trail that Matt was taking more chances on the downhills and quicker on the flats and could pull away.  However I gained a bit of ground on the inclines and would real him in just a bit.  It was apparent at this point though that I would not catch him though, and it was my race to lose if I’d gone out too fast too early.

The last climb on the Boundary Trail was brutal and definitely took it out of me.  I was gasping and coughing horribly at this point due to the cold air and fatigue but was feeling OK.  By the time we got back to the Northern Loop and there was a half mile to go I absolutely gave it all I could for a strong finish.


This run was monumental for me and really surprised me.  I remember how awful I felt last year during the race and just how much of a slog it was.  It really made me appreciate just how much goes in to racing.  I was overjoyed at the finish to see the other TM’s coming in strong and knowing just how much effort it was for them and how much training they’ve all done to get to this point.  Man I love this sport!

I want to thank once again Ryan, Ian, all the volunteers who made this possible and continue to create an enjoyable atmosphere, and Mr. Penta of Maine Running Photos.

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