Monday, 17 August 2009
It was our friend Ian's race the Bradbury Mountain Breaker yesterday. Its the 2nd in a series of 3 trail races at Bradbury. (The Scuffle, the Breaker and then the Bruiser.) At 9 miles it didn't sound too daunting and I was secretly slightly disappointed that we wouldn't be around for the 12 mile bruiser in September.
Temperatures were in the 90s at a guess and although it was hard on the Scots, apparently its the first really hot weather they've had this year in Maine so everyone was suffering. The Breaker is on what appears to be relatively gentle trails but it climbs to the summit or near to the summit of Bradbury Mountain (not a big mountain but it all mounts up) 3 times in each of the 2 loops.
Emma suggested I go out aggressively as the path narrows fairly early on, so I did...and was treated to a steady flow of runners, many of them women, passing me shortly after. To be fair to myself the standard of the runners was good.
I quickly realised that I was going to have to adjust my running to the heat if I was going to get round at all so I started watching heart-rate rather than pace or time or distance and found that if I kept myself just under 90% MHR I was okay, if I went over I started to feel really terrible and flail around.
The course is littered with things to trip over (particularly tree roots) and sharp things to land on so I was keen to stay upright.
Aid stations at about every 2.25 miles had originally seemed overly generous but were very welcome as I sweated rivers off my head and back.
There was a sting in the tail at the end of the course - a nest of bees that we'd run into the day before when marking the course. The park rangers had gone to have a look and must of thought they were relatively harmless as they were still there on race day. They provided good incentive to keep the pace up right along the final flattish stretch of trail and into the field. A few runners did get stung. A lot picked up their pace considerably. A bee bumped into me but flew away without any hostilities.
Ian's thinking about changing the name of the race to the Stinger next year.
Peter was delighted with a hard fought for 2nd place and I lucked 2nd LV40 coming away with an aerobie.
We have lots more photos but I'm not finding my way easily around this computer yet so I'll post this and put some more up later.