by Danielle Triffitt
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Sunday’s 6-mile Scuffle race. I missed the inaugural race in 2008 due to work. Last year I was pregnant and didn’t run. I certainly haven’t been training for a short race. In fact, I haven’t run a short race since the 2008 Thanksgiving Feaster Five. I definitely haven’t been doing any speed work, and June wasn’t a stellar training month. After running the course a few weeks ago, and saying I was hoping to run 55 minutes or so, I’ll admit that my quiet hope was really to run under 9:00 pace. I thought I just might be able to pull that off if all went my way on race day, and in my mind having a good race at the Scuffle, while not redemption for my DNF at Pineland, would at least let me feel like all was not lost, and allow me to feel OK with my running again.
The morning dawned overcast and muggy, despite the rain the night before. Irene and Dana came over to watch Sam for us while we ran, and I headed out around 7:45am, stopping in Freeport to pick up Meghan at their hotel. Ryan and I both really appreciated his parent’s help this weekend! Without it, both of us racing would never have worked, and it was great for Sam to be able to spend more time with them too! Thanks guys! We were also super excited that Meghan and Chris had decided to come up to visit as well, and that Meghan was game for her first trail race ever!
After a few words from Ian at the start, including a tribute to his friend Chris which made me tear up, we were off. The start was a quick one, downhill on the Knight Woods trail. I tried to maintain a reasonable pace, which was hard with people zooming by me on all sides. I ended up running along next to Chuck, in his blue plaid kilt, who was running easy in preparation for next week’s VT100 race. We chatted a bit as we turned onto the Snowmobile Trail, passing a number of people who had gone out a bit too fast on the initial downhill. As we turned onto the singletrack, I got into line behind Chuck and a few others and we wound our way through the woods. We eventually caught up to Jim, and our train snaked its way along, over roots, rocks and bridges. Chuck yelled back encouragement, telling me to keep up, while Jim yelled back that he liked it better last year when I was fat and slow! 🙂 Ha! I kept up at the back of the train, passing a few people along the way as we made our way up Ginn to the aid station at the Snowmobile trail junction.
There, Chuck took off, while I stopped to get a drink of water, and Jim stopped to chat for a few seconds with Dora. At this point, I knew there was only a little over 2 miles to go on a wider, less technical trail, so I vowed to pick up the pace as much as I could. Jim trailed along behind me as we ran up the Snowmobile trail, calling me out for going around the big puddle, but I managed to pull away, at least for a while, until he caught me towards the end of the big downhill on the Snowmobile trail. D**n downhills! They are just not my friend. Ah well. Jim didn’t get too far away though, and I caught him as we made our way up the final hill. I called out to him to come along, telling him I was sure he could out-sprint me, but he called back that he’d run for 3 hours yesterday, so I said OK, and took off. I worked pretty hard on the uphill as I really didn’t want him to catch back up 🙂 and managed to cross the line in 50:04 (43/147). I was pretty spent, but felt really good about how the race had gone. I think I surprised Ryan a bit, finishing as I did – I know he had faith in me to run well, but perhaps not that much faith 🙂 Anyway, I’ll take it!
Full results here.
As usual, Ian, with the help of all the volunteers and with Ryan at his side as his new assistant, did a wonderful job with the race. The course was well-marked, the awards were many and the t-shirts a great design. Thanks guys! There was a big turn-out, with 147 finishers, and lots of fast types to stack the field. All our Trail Monster friends had great races, and everyone I talked to had fun, including Meghan, and our friend Scot, who was running the race despite never having run more than 5.5 miles! Woohoo! They both had smiles on their faces at the finish, so we’ll call it a success 🙂