Bradbury Breaker T-ShirtMy second of two races this weekend was the Bradbury Breaker. It’s a 9 mile trail race at Bradbury Mountain in Pownal, Maine.

It was a good time, and I have to give big kudos to Ian and Ryan for once again putting on a first class event.

The last couple of years, I’ve been a volunteer at the race. I wasn’t able to run it last year because I broke my foot a couple of weeks before the race.

This year I was looking forward to running it but the Beach to Beacon wound up being the day before, so I was going to be on tired legs when I got there.

But that’s no reason to not race.
Trail MonstersWe got to the race about an hour early. Plenty of time for my wife to get her Trail Monster singlet, and for us to get registered and get our shirts.

Usually I don’t really care that much, but these shirts definitely need some mention.

They look like they’re an old-time cereal box, and they’ve got a lot of humorous description on the box where you would see like a list of ingredients. It has things such as hills, dirts, rocks, roots, mud, speed, pain, it has a warning may contain bees. Instead of a “low fat” or “lots of nutrients” message it’s got a little blurb that says loaded with hills. We got a good laugh out of the shirt, it’s a great design.

The race had grown about 30% over last year, which was very nice to see. There were about 40 race day registrations. You start out in a field and the course is pretty flat for the first mile or so. You run out to the Boundary Trail, and run basically around the base of the mountain. At this point Mike Dowling had gone out ahead of everybody and I was kind of chasing him down and wound up getting just ahead of him pretty quickly, and then Geoff Cunningham caught up to me.

Geoff and a few other guys wound up taking the lead within the first couple of miles of the race. A little before 2 miles, around a mile and a half you have a nice little climb up to the South Ridge which gets you to not quite to the summit, about 40 feet shy of the top.

Then you come down the South Ridge trail which is relatively steep but not too bad. It’s definitely runnable for the most part, although there’s some stretches of rocky areas, and there are some stairs that have been put in that make it a little bit more difficult to get around. Anything man-made on a trail is usually going to be more dangerous than the natural features.

Bradbury Breaker Trail MapOnce you get to the base, you’re at about 2 and a quarter miles where there’s a water stop and then you have a climb that goes straight up to the summit. You could run that, but there’s really no point to. It’s steep enough that you’re probably better off doing some sort of walking as you go.

At this point I was basically running alone. Mike Dowling would catch up to me any time we had a flat or less technical section, and then whenever we got to the steep downhill parts, or the parts with a lot of roots and rocks, I would manage to gap him by a few hundred yards.

Once you got up to the summit, you kind of head most of the way back down the mountain on the trail there, and that especially is where Mike was running really well. So he caught me on my way back up to the summit for the third time, almost to the summit. And this is around mile 4, so you take a turn right before you get to the summit and head right down this nice trail that’s pretty much straight down with a lot of switch backs.

You’re really putting a lot of stress on your knees and ankles and your lower legs just trying to maintain your balance and get down as quick as you can. Once you get down to the bottom of the trail, you wind up coming out into the field where the race starts. And from there, there’s another aid station where you can get some water or gatorade. And then, you basically do the same thing over again.

It’s a 2 loop course.

The only change on the second loop is that you turn off a little bit earlier and you come down a different trail to the finish line, so that you can come in to the field from the opposite direction.

It’s not the fastest course. I was able to run it faster than I can do a half marathon in, but that’s about what I can say for speedwise.

I’ve felt pretty good for the most part, the first couple of miles I could definitely tell that I had run the 10K the day before, but by the time I summited the first time half way throught the first loop, I was pretty tired and sore but I don’t think that I would have felt much different had I not run the day before at that point.

I think that for the most part I was able to just go on as well as I might have. Mike had caught up to me in the second loop and was running right behind me. He tried making a move, but then we got to the one of the more technical sections and I was able to hold him off until there and then run away from him. I managed to put about a minute and a half, 2 minutes on him over the last 2 to 3 miles.

At the finish line yesterday, everybody was hanging around, cheering on the finishers, and there was some food and water. At the awards ceremony, everybody’s favorite award is always for the “Best Break.”

Acidotic Winning BeerThe first year of the race there actually was a break. Someone broke her finger and had to be carted off.

This year, there was a couple of people looking for the best injury. They had both done the superwoman flying down the side of the mountain on some of the rocks, and were all scraped up and muddy. All in all, it was a good time to be had by all.

Unfortunately, the bad guys won the team competition, Acidotic Racing.

They just had a great crowd that came up to the race. They were able to hold off the Trail Monsters, and run the race quite a bit quicker than us. There was two of them that beat me, Charles Therriault and Geoff Cunningham, and then Steve Wolfe came in not too long after me to take 1st place masters and outsprint the next Trail Monster by a few seconds (although Andy wasn’t listed in the results as one of us.)

Top 5 score, and it’s good to see that there’s more of a team element starting to build around these races. Hopefully we can keep that up and next year for the series we’ll have 3 or 4 different teams for all 3 races that will try and compete for the team prizes.

There’s still time to register for the Bradbury Bruiser, the original race in the series. It will be run on September 12, and will give you a 12 mile tour of the single track out on the Eastern side of Bradbury Mountain State Park.

(More Info: Series Home PageFull ResultsPhotos)