by Danielle Triffitt
I am super happy with how my race at the 12-mile Bradbury Bruiser went, especially considering last Sunday I was thinking I might not be running it! Amazing what some good stretching and foam rolling will do!!
Once again, Ryan’s parents nicely agreed to come up and take care of Samantha so that both Ryan and I could race. What a big help! Thanks guys! I arrived at Bradbury around 7:45, and spent a while chatting with friends before heading out for a short warm-up with Ryan before the race started at 9:00. It was a perfect race day – gotta love this fall weather! – cool (59 degrees), crisp and sunny. The course is a big, twisty turny loop on the east side trails, and starts out on the carriage roads but heads quickly into single track. There was a bit of a back-up here, but I think I did a good job of balancing not going out too quickly, but starting close enough to the back of the front of the pack to not get too tangled up in a line of people at the start.
As we turned onto the singletrack, I noted that Jim was only a few people ahead of me (I certainly could hear him! 🙂 ), and so I focused on catching up to him, although it took me until right around 5 miles to actually do so! I was feeling good as we ran along together (and no knee pain, thank goodness!), and Jim eventually motioned to me to pass him at some point, noting that I could pass him as long as I also passed Jeremy (the Trail Monster I had passed near the final climb up to the summit in the Breaker last month), who was right ahead. As luck would have it, soon after he said that, the course opened up onto the Snowmobile trail and started climbing. I remembered Ryan’s advice to use this section of trail to make up some time, so I took off, at a comfortable, but quick, pace. Neither Jim or Jeremy came with me.
I spent most of the rest of the race in my own little “void” of people. Why is this always happening to me? So odd. I passed a few more people here and there, but ran mostly on my own. This worked out fine, as I could push when I felt I could and try to maintain when necessary. As we neared the infamous “O” trail, I was tiring a bit, and I knew I would have to focus pretty hard to keep up a good pace through this “small intestine” of a trail. I also hoped my knee would hold up OK with all the quick twists and turns, and small ups and downs. It did start to ache a bit as I ran through this section, but luckily, not too badly. I really didn’t want anyone to catch me in the “O” trail section, and as we snaked along, I could see Jeremy back there, but never quite knew how many twists back he was, so I did my best to push, push, push! I was thrilled to see the stone wall marking to exit to the “O” trail – man that 2 miles is tough! – and knew I only had a short way to the finish. I ran through the line in 1:47:42, way ahead of my hoped-for goal of breaking 2:00:00. Who would have thought?! So I am super happy with my run, and that I felt good and my body (mostly) held out.
I am feeling a bit stiff and tired right now, but otherwise, it was a great race and lots of fun! As usual, a big thank you to Ian and Ryan%2