The course is two loops of repeated alternating between wide ski trails and narrow single track. The ski trails were a roller coaster - there was rarely any length of something flattish. It was bone-jarring descents or lung-bursting climbs. Like Pineland, most of these were short-lived but some of each were quite extended. By contrast the singletrack seemed flattish, like the east side of Bradbury, but I think that was an illusion as the map shows these too had large (usually) ascents, it just took lots of tight twisty turns to complete the climb. The singletrack was in sweet shape. I had both my nike spikes and my Inov8 195s and unwisely chose the 195s. The last mile of singletrack had lots of slimey turns on a cambered trail bed and it took some tip toeing to not slide down.
Bond Brook 10 mile: Garmin 305 reads: 9.46 mi, 1739' elevation = 183 feet/mi
Pineland 25K: Garmin 305 reads: 15.3 mi, 1772' elevation = 116 feet/mi
Bradbury Breaker: Garmin 305 reads 8.78 mi, 1537' elevation = 175 feet/mi
None of the climbs are as steep as the Breaker but there is very little flat.
I actually felt pretty good given that I lost my running mojo sometime in August. The first 2 miles of my 2nd loop was noticeably slower but I was slowly reeling in a young guy in front. On a long descent during the 3rd mile of loop 2 I nearly caught him and there was a short flat section before turning off the ski trail and onto the slimey mile of singletrack. I decided this was my move and I accelerated and just beat him to the trail. He hung onto me for maybe 0.5-0.75 miles which pushed me some but then he fell back when the singletrack started to climb. Had I not made my earlier move I probably would have been complacent to just sit behind him on the singletrack and run his pace. As a result of passing him, the 4th mile of loop 2 was only slightly slower than in loop 1 and my last mile of loop 2 was nearly 30s faster. So all in all I had about a 34s positive split, which doesn't seem too bad given no prior knowledge of the course
Mile Loop1 Loop2 Diff
1 7:24 7:52 +28
2 7:23 7:43 +20
3 7:46 8:00 +14
4 8:24 8:30 +6
5 5:57 5:23 -34
36:54 37:28 +34
I think I came in 5th place, 2-4 minutes behind 1-4, and 1st master. Unfortunately I googled places 1-4 and noticed that I beat them all in summer road races so not sure what this says about my current fitness. I Want to do the NE XC in two weeks. The positive is, Franklin Park is a fast course and only 5 miles. The negative is my fitness is plummeting precipitously.