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Run Efficient: Bradbury Bruiser Report

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bradbury Bruiser Report

Well, the day is finally here.  I had a whole bunch of trepidation about this race.  After having such a great season racing short distances, ultras, hilly courses, snowy courses and the like, I was starting to put some pressure on myself to perform at my best, all the time.  I was also nervous as I didn't do much "quick" training between the 100MW attempt and now.  In fact I really only got in two, sometimes three runs a week over the last month.  So when I set my sights on cutting my time down from last years 9:05 minute miles to 8's I wondered if I had it in me.

Leading up to the race was pretty typical except I had Alison and Francesca to see me on my way and cheer me on, which was fantastic.  The racers chatted as usual and Ian gave his pre-race talk in the cool morning shade.  He directed us to get behind the start line and I got in a position and looked around for my crew to run with.  I thought I was close to the front, and started chatting with George Alexion about the Jay Challenge race.  Next thing I knew Ian said "Go" and I look up and see 40 or so people in front of me.  Damn!  Rookie mistake!  I fumbled hitting buttons on my watch as I jockeyed for position and scrambled to get ahead quick before the single track.  Once there I was annoyed with myself for getting caught in the pack and felt like a caged lion searching for a way out of the mayhem.  It took over a mile to feel like I was actually running the pace I wanted.  At that point I dismissed the starting error and decided to make it work for me.  I figured a nice easy start warmed me up and would make sure I wouldn't blow up too early.  No worries.  Shortly in to the run we went by Blaine who had twisted an ankle.  Not good.  I wished him luck and carried on.

Cruising right along now I came up on Ryan and had some fun words with him.  I probably only stayed 10 to 50 paces in front of him and whoever he was talking to for the next bunch of miles.  I would scream down a hill, charge up another, fly around some sharp technical corners gasping for breath and still hear him and the other dude casually chatting right behind me.  Incredible.  At the 4 mile aid station I glanced at my watch and realized I was two and a half minutes behind my goal.  Bummer.  I felt like I was really flying along now, and was trying to figure how to go faster.  Must go faster!  And still there was Ryan.  I think he left his running mate at one point, but now instead of his conversations, I heard his blowhole.  Like a Narwhal ready for a jousting match he spouted, and snorted and grunted towards me.  Relenting.  At the 7 mile aid station I counted seconds till he got there, one, two, three, four there he was, quick little bugger and closing!  Now my goal was to simply not get passed.  I had no one in front of me to pull me along so I was running scared at this point, and for my own PR.

I had planned on sucking down a GU before the O trail just to give myself that extra boost, but before I could bother I came up on a few people.  I think I went by someone before reaching Bob Poirier who graciously let me by and then it was on to the final aid station.  Around that time I caught a glimpse of Jamie Anderson and was psyched how well he was running.  I kicked in a bit and charged on hoping to catch him on the O trail.  I glanced at my watch, which read 1:13 and change and thought I'd really have to push the next few miles to ensure a good time.  Relatively close to the beginning of the O we exchanged pleasantries and he mentioned something about top ten and that Ian and another guy were in front of us.  Both of these updates were a complete shock to me.  First of all I had no idea I was even close to top ten. Second, I was pleasantly blown away by the fact Ian was crushing it on ahead.  I now felt the impetus to maintain position and catch Ian.  With this new found drive I started to get a bit ahead of myself and tripped, and skipped a few times never going down.  I would see Ian, we'd say hi, then I'd lose him again.  I pushed hard through the O, and at one point went right past a turn in to the woods, full momentum carrying me along.  OK, I was getting tuckered and getting sloppy.  Time to relax, finish strong and uninjured.  But Ian was just ahead.  Time to kick in the racing juices... sputter...sputter.  Nothin'.  Damn.  I know I was pushing hard through the O, but Ian was absolutely killing it!  Just when I thought I might be able to catch him he'd disappear around a bend.  It wasn't going to happen today.  Hit the double track and flew to the finish with nothing left. 

I was quite surprised by my PR of 1:35:38, 13 minutes and 13 seconds faster than last year.  Also super happy to have acquired top ten and helped the team to victory.  I am, as always, very impressed by the runners out there, all of them.  There were runners and TM's that were out for a long time, some getting lost, a bunch getting injured.  I'm constantly inspired by people's own challenges and triumphs and today was no different.  Another great job on the race by Ian and all TM volunteers!

efficiency:  Start at the front of the pack stupid!

distance:  12
duration:  1:35:38


At September 12, 2011 at 5:12 AM , Blogger Jamie said...

Great race report! Way to battle back. Having that pesky Ryan on your tail is definitely good incentive to run faster.

At September 12, 2011 at 6:28 AM , Blogger Sparkplug said...

Awesome job, Jeremy! You have had an impressive season this year. Woohoo!

At September 12, 2011 at 8:40 AM , Blogger vja said...

Great fun! Way to push it, Jeremy. And now, I'm going to have a hard time looking at Ryan without seeing a Narwhal :D

At September 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM , Blogger gIANt said...

Great race and awesome PR! You're having a great year so don't stop now. Thanks for putting a little fear into me in the O-Trail to keep me moving.

At September 12, 2011 at 10:41 AM , Blogger sn0m8n said...

I guess this proves the point that trail racing is about surprise. I was chatting it up quite a bit out there, which makes it impossible to sneak up on anyone. That chorus of snot rockets was pretty funny. I think there were about 5 or 6 of us that blew 'em out in quick succession. Funniest part of this post: I was a touch under 1:15:00 when I went into the O, and you beat me by over 4 minutes! Way to fly on the O!

At September 12, 2011 at 9:29 PM , Blogger mindy said...

Fantastic race report and PR!! Love watching you guys fly to the finish and hearing the battle stories afterward. Awesome teamwork as usual!

p.s. who's that pumped up dude in the picture at the top?


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