Moderate temps but humid air bathed 147 runners in the 3rd Bradbury Scuffle, the first of the Bradbury Mountain Trail Running Series. 147 runners? That's a wicked big trail race for these parts! Must have been all the kewl schwag donated by the gear sponsors, including Nathan, Smartwool, and Smuttynose (is beer gear?).
The scuffle course is 6 miles of rolling singletrack and snowmo trail. No big climbs and no scary descents. The singletrack is of the twisty-turny-tight modern mountain bike type, which makes Bradbury the local mecca for those folks. The snowmo trail is snowmo trail, but not rutted up by the ATV hooligans like most other snowmo trail in southern Maine.
The trail was bone dry but we had a little rain last night so I chose to run with the Inov8 Mudroc 280 to take advantage of the gnarly lugs on the twisty turny and potentially slippery turns on the single track.
After a moving tribute to Chris Douglass and a big shoutout of support for the Douglass family, there to both race and volunteer, we were off like banshees. I'm not sure why we were off like banshees because the trail is wide for the first 1.3 miles and the pecking order is long sorted out before the course made the first turn onto singletrack.
I did nothing to taper for this race, other than run 4 instead of 8 miles yesterday, so by mile 2.5 (not coincidently, not long after the bat cave trail) I was feeling ...not fast. I was hanging on to Andy Kiburis who was hanging on to David Roberts and I didn't see anyone in front of David. I did hang on to them through the end of the singletrack, passed the aid station, dumped two cups of water over my head and was ready to race the snowmo trail back to the finish. That seemed like a good plan but Andy and David also thought racing was a good idea and they slowly pulled 10 yards, 20 yards, 50 yards ahead. At about the high point of the snowmo trail, Andy and David caught Christian Muentener. On the long downhill, all three had more wheels than I and I lost them. I was hoping that all three were so caught up in racing the downhill stretch that they'd forget the 1/2 mile climb to the finish. Didn't happen. Except that I did catch Muentener on the climb - he was toast at that point. I also was catching up to someone else but ran out of trail before the finish. That someone was Peter Keeney who took AG 1st (in my AG of course). I huffed and puffed across the finish line in 7th. Andy kicked past David at the end - they finished 4th and 5th. Blaine Moore finished 1st and Stephen Wells finished 3rd (nice races guys). All the other Trail Monsters had great races and major props to Linda Douglass for 1st in AG! Wooohooo!