Sep 102012

by Danielle Triffitt – Well, finally, a Bradbury race this season where I actually felt like I was racing! I was still much slower than last year (1:55:20 by my watch, compared to 1:50 last year), but at least I felt like I was in the right mindset, and was willing and able to push it during the race. We got a fair amount of rain last night – although admittedly I didn’t even hear it! I was exhausted, and we had the windows closed and the A/C on in an attempt to dry the house out a bit – which left the course pretty slick. There were a number of puddles of course, but it was the slippery mud, roots and bridges that were the biggest ‘slow down’ factors of the day for me.

In any event, after a bit of chit chat while milling around the parking lot and a quick 3/4 mile warm-up, I headed over to the start. I went fairly close to the front, not wanting to get stuck behind too many people on the twisty turny first few miles along the Island Trail. The funny thing is that after we exited the Island Trail, it was just me and the guy behind me. No one else near us either ahead or behind me. We ran that way for a while, until eventually things shifted a bit, and we got passed and he passed me, and then, well, it all sort of blurs together in those middle miles. I just kept trying to push forward. I probably let a few people by me a little too easily, but overall, I was fairly happy with how I kept up the pace. I had a few slips and almost falls along the way, but managed to stay upright, thankfully!

I felt strong when we turned onto the snowmobile trail and climbed upward. Somewhere along the way, Bob Dunfey went by me, but I managed to pass him back at the aid station and held him off the rest of the way, which was a first for this season! 🙂 I felt strong on the climb despite getting passed, although I had a bit of a energy let-down soon after. With the slight change in course around mile 8.5, it seemed like there was some additional “O”esque intestine that we went through, but I was on the heels of a guy in silver and he was a good carrot. I wanted to stay with him, and maybe even pass him at some point. Eventually, somewhere along the crazy twilight zone of the “O”, he got slightly off track for a few steps, and although I told him to hop back in front, he declined. So, since I didn’t want him passing me back, I ran as hard as I possibly was able, and thanked the gods above when I finally had wound my way through that last wacky rock outcropping. I knew the rock wall would be in sight soon. The end was in sight! Hurray. I ran the final stretch on the wide snowmobile trails as fast as I could, happy to be able to stretch out my legs for the final few yards – it felt so good after all that silly twisting!

Although not my fastest, this round wasn’t my slowest, and since I was able to put in a good effort and push along the way, I declare myself happy with this one. Sad to not have been a contender this season,  but as George said later, these races will be here every year, and the most important thing is that we be here every year with the right attitude and with a continued love for running. And so with that, onward and upward.

Many thanks, as always, to Ian and Ryan for putting on one heck of a trail series, and to all the volunteers who helped make it all come together on race day!

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