Sunday, August 26, 2007

Attempt at the Bradbury Bruiser 12 Mile Course

Yesterday morning I attempted to run the L.L.Bean Bradbury Bruiser 12 Mile Trail Race course. I first met James Anderson at 6:30 and we ran out to the first loop up the Lanzo trail. This loop is a new section with some wicked narrow trails. These 2.5 miles took roughly 25 minutes and we headed back to meet up with Chuck Hazzard and Blaine Moore at 7 AM. Already I was drenched. The humidity was visibly highlighted by the sun's rays that broke through the tree canopy. As we waited for Chuck and Blaine return from a little jaunt in the woods (they had arrived a little early), Scott Ellis and his friend Rich showed up. Rich was going to do his own thing but Scott joined us.

Everyone decided that they wanted to do the whole course and with this expectation on me as the group leader, I got nervous. I had only been out here once and was led by Ian, so I was barely paying attention. Besides, we did not do the whole course. Luckily Ian has sent me the course map so it should have been as easy as following directions. Before getting too deep into this report I will say that the trails out there are well marked, but the course doesn't follow any course that is already marked out there. I am going to talk to Ian to see about marking the course for anyone that wants to run it beforehand.

So with map in hand we set out. By this time I was soaked from sweat, all the way down to the less than stellar trail shoes I am product testing. The run was going well until Chuck's injury from his Pineland fall a couple weeks back started acting up and he dropped, regrettably, off the back. James, Blaine, Scott and I continued on, stopping at all the trail signs to make sure we were on track. This got increasingly difficult as the deer flies came to life and the sweat in our eyes got thicker. Still, we marched on. It was a blast and we were all enjoying the great trails.

The first and last mistake of the day came at sign post 59 as I was overcome by sweat soaked eyes and completely missed a turn. If you reference the map of the run, this is the bottom most arrow on the left side. Instead of continuing straight through post 59 we should have taken a left. I do remember this section from my run last week with Ian as this was where I took my spill and acquired my bruise. The "O" Trail as it is called is labeled a diamond for most difficult and described by the park as a "very challenging tight trail".

At the end of the run no one was complaining as it was getting late and we were all ready to refill our bottles. All told, James fell and got a nice bloody knee and Scott did a nice baseball style slide down a rock covered descent. Blaine kept his footing despite wearing road shoes as did I. Boy what a week a difference makes! If anyone wants a trail map, let either me or Ian Parlin know. Hopefully we can get some markings such as flags out there to help future runners stay on course. I am on vacation the next couple weekends, so I won't be able to make it out to Bradbury. Hopefully Ian will be there to guide you all successfully!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you did a fine job leading the group given it was only your second time on those trails. And hopefully more signs will be added over time. I especially like the new Delorme-based maps they have put in place at some of the major trail intersections.

As for me, I was able to muster 8 miles despite my Quasimodo running style. I am going to stick to slow paced runs on the roads for this coming week and have another massage scheduled. I also plan on going in to see my Doc if the pain persists much longer.

See you again soon and let me know if I can help set markers on the trail.