Bradbury Bruiser Trail Race
The Bradbury Bruiser 12 Mile Trail Race is on October 28th this year. The race begins at 8:00 am. The race is being sponsored by L.L. Bean’s, and may be an introduction of more to come next year if things go well. The course is pretty flat, despite being held in Bradbury Mountain State Park, but do not expect a fast time. The vast majority of the race is on single track, and there are plenty of twists and turns to slow a runner down.

If you have never run on trails before, then this race is probably not for you. If you still want to run, then I recommend that you read Trail Running 101 and that you start near the back. If you are an experienced trail runner, then this race will provide a great challenge and should be a lot of fun.

Course Preview

If you would like to see the race course ahead of time, there are group runs on Saturdays at 6:00 am and 8:00 am. Lately, there has not really been much light available at 6:00 am, so if you are there early be sure to bring a head lamp. Parking is available off of Route 9 Hallowell Rd in Pownal, Maine. It costs $3 to park, and if there is no gate guard when you arrive you can leave your money in a donation box by the gatehouse.

This Saturday, October 20th, at 9:30 am, there will be trail clean up and course marking. If you have a little time to spare, groups will head out to mark 3-4 mile stretches of the trail. This will be a great way to learn the trail if you are not yet familiar with it. The last course preview run before the race will be at 7:00 am, which will then be followed by the clean up crews and course marking. Update: The course preview and trail marking has been moved to Sunday, October 21st, at the same times.

Course Description

You can download the Bradbury Bruiser course map by clicking on the image to the right.

Bradbury Bruiser course mapThe race begins on the Eastern side of the trails, heading up the Link Trail for the first half mile. The trail quickly narrows into single track after turning left onto the Lanzo trail.

The Lanzo trail is fairly straight until you cut off for a quick loop that has you twisting and turning left and right in quick succession. Once back on the Lanzo trail, there is a short run up to Old Tuttle Road and the first aid station.

Turning left onto Old Tuttle Rd, the trail immediately veers to the right onto the Ragan trail which you can follow to the Ginn trail. In this section of the race, you will stay near the edges of the park and will know that you have left the course if you wind up on private property. The borders of the park are well marked. The Ginn trail also has the little elevation change that you will find on the course. The course gradually climbs a small hill, and then goes down the far side as you begin heading south again. There is a second aid station as you cross Old Tuttle Road again.

The Ginn trail leads to the Fox East trail. At marker 64, you take a sharp right and are presented with a very gradual climb that will be the perfect place for catching and passing people. The trail here up through the Monument cross trails is fairly flat, fairly wide, and does not have as many rocks or roots as most of the rest of the course.

The course goes back north of Old Tuttle Rd onto the Ginn trail again, but quickly turns counterclockwise to cross back over to the Fox West trail. The third aid station will be located on Old Tuttle Rd the last time that you cross over. The trail is mostly straight and uncomplicated until you get to the final aid station at the Southern end of the park. You turn and take the trail back to the north into the Knight Woods, where you will turn off for a 2 and a half mile stretch on the “O” trail.

The “O” trail is a lot of fun. You will be frequently turning back and forth as you attempt to follow the trail, and you will feel like Jackie Chan as you hop from rock to rock to find your way through. Once you manage to get through the “O” trail, though, you will be very close to the finish line and will have a relatively easy sprint to back to the Link Trail.

Despite the number of times that you turn on the course, the race does not repeat itself at any point until you head back down the Link Trail in the last few hundred meters. You may look off to your side and see somebody running in the opposite direction as you a mere 50 or 100 feet through the trees, but they may very well be a mile or more ahead of you. On the “O” trail, there are over 2 dozen places where somebody might be running in a different direction than you as they progress along the trail.

The race will be very fun and I challenge anybody to get bored on their run. The constantly changing terrain and technical footing will keep you occupied for most of if not more than 2 hours.

Park Rules and Amenities

Bradbury Mountain State Park is open to the public year round. There is camping available near the park entrance on the Mountain side, and costs $10 per night for Maine residents and $13 per night for others. Reservations are not necessary. Park access is $3 per adult. There will be rest rooms available at the parking lot, as well as a hose for washing off mud after the race.

Alcohol consumption is not permitted at the park and fires may only be built in the provided grills. The park closes at sunset and areas outside of the trails are off limits. Pets must be leashed at all times and cleaned up after. Modifying the trails or picking plants is not allowed.

All proceeds from the race will be donated to the park for trail maintenance and improvements. Separate donations are encouraged. Post race chili will be provided to all runners by Bruce’s Burritos of Yarmouth.