by Blaine Moore
I recently ran the Bradbury Bruiser, which is the third of three trail races at Bradbury Mountain State Park, and it was a lot of fun. It’s 12 miles of very twisty, very turny, mostly single track racing.
There were multiple switch backs. There are sections where you can get dizzy if you are going too quickly and others where it just takes a little bit of work to find the trail.
It’s very well marked, so it’s easy enough to do but you have got to be very careful that you don’t fall and hurt yourself. Here’s a video for my race report:
This year was very competitive. I managed to break the course record, but I was seventh overall. There were six people that ran faster than me. The winner was Kevin Tilton, who just had amazing race. He ran it in a bit over 82 minutes and blew everybody away.
The start of the race is on some wide double track, but only a few hundred yards later you take a hard left on to the Lanzo trail which is very narrow single track. You follow that up and go around the outside of the park on the Island Trail, then continue up Lanzo to Regan to the Northern side of Bradbury where you’ll hop on the Ginn trail.
Once you get over towards the Eastern side of the park, you have a little bit more single track where you are constantly twisting and turning. Many of the trails here are some of the trails you might have run in the Bradbury Scuffle, which was first of the 3 race series back in July, such as the Bat Cave Loop and the Fox East trails.
Once you are back in the center of the park, you head up the snow mobile trail to Fox West. You follow that over the Link Trail until you are back into the Knight Woods, where the end of the race features a section called the “O” Trail. The “O” Trail is a very small area but its got over 2 miles of trail that resembles a small intestine on the map. You better have some good upper body strength if you want to try running fast in there.
You’ll be running right next to somebody that is literally a mile or two behind you. Sadly, I was actually passed on the “O” Trail, which I didn’t think was going to happen. I thought it was going to be one of my stronger parts of the race. My cracked rib from a few weeks ago didn’t bother me most of the race but was a little sore on the “O” Trail.
I managed to finish 7th overall, which was good enough to win the series if not this race. My final time was 88:14 for the Bruiser and 3:15:11 for all three races. I had about a 3 minute lead going into the race over second place, Mike Dowling, and his final time was 3:23:08.
As a nice treat, I managed to come home with quite a bit of stuff…
Every year the runners that do all 3 races get a “Bradbury Bad Ass” T-Shirt, but this year we were rewarded with hoodies. And, as usual, the race shirt you get as a regular participant is also really good.
I got a plaque for winning the series, along with a vehicle park pass for all of the Maine State Parks in 2011. For winning my age division in the Bruiser, I got an award certificate and a Nathan Waist Pack Water Bottle Holster, which is pretty cool. I’ve been wanting to try one of those out.
I also won a case of beer for the series win. Smuttynose is one of the race sponsors, and they make good brew. Trail Monster Running won the team division, so we got a couple of cases of beer for that too. Of the two cases of beer I wound up with at the end, I managed to come home with a little less than 3/4 of a case, as I shared out most of the beer with the other Trail Monsters (which is what you really should do in a team race.)
If you are going to be in Maine next summer, I highly recommend this series. Especially the Bradbury Scuffle, which is a great introductory trail race that just about anybody should be able to do. If you can do a 10K on the road, then you can definitely run the Scuffle. The other 2 races are little bit more challenging and definitely a little more technical, but they are also a lot of fun, and I’m glad that I finally got to run them all this year.