Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bradbury Blues (Already)

Brother #2 has been after me for years to sign up for the Bradbury Mountain Breaker, an infamous 9 mile trail race in Pownal, ME. This race always seems to fall smack in the middle of August, which is usually during our annual vacation to Cape Cod (what a perfect ready-made excuse!). But this year, in a moment of stupidity spontaneity, I agreed to hightail it home to run with my brother one more time. And by "run with" I mean drive to the race together, lose sight of him within 60 seconds of the gun, and rejoin him an hour later to eat handfuls of carbohydrates at the finish line.

Last Year's T-Shirt Logo

Note: As I've said before, besides a handful of 5k's and 10k's here and there, I haven't really raced much at all since my half marathon. Because it's both mentally and physically exhausting to always be "in training" with no point of culmination ahead, with no lovely tapering to anticipate, and no week off to look forward to, I'm finally feeling ready to commit to a race again.

A race, Hannah. Not the Bradbury Mountain Breaker. Not the race that reduces even the most elite athletes to a bone tired and halfhearted walk/jog near the summit. Not the race that is cheerfully described as "two laps of an exceptionally hilly, technical single-track trail loop that takes you up and down Bradbury Mountain more times than you can count...if you're not begging for mercy after the first lap you will be on the second". Not the race that prides itself on being excessively hazardous and awards a prize for the biggest wipe-out.

Look at the elevation profile (Breaker is in green)!

Elevation Profile for the Trail Running Series

Look at the video of the crazy terrain!

Look at the event waiver, for goodness sake!

"I understand that this is a trail race, not a road race. I am well trained and prepared to deal with any of the beautiful obstacles the trail may present including rocks, roots, downed trees, puddles, streams, and hills. If I get hurt, it's my own damn fault. I, for myself, my heirs, executors, and administrators, do hereby hold harmless and release Trail Monster Running, the State of Maine, all municipalities in which the event is held, the race director, course officials, all sponsors including their agents, employees, assigns or anyone acting for on their behalf, from any or all claims of liability for death, personal injury or property damage of any kind what so ever arising out of my participation in this event."

Trail race. Two little words and one MAJOR detail that went in one ear and out the other as I nodded my head in answer to my mom's offer to sign me up. Slowly my deductive reasoning kicked in...piecing together the words "trail" (think of hiking...think of exhausting...think of getting lost) and "race" (think of fast running...think of worse than a tempo run or an interval workout...think of a sustained and uncomfortable speed...think of NINE miles).

Spontaneity. I knew that word had trouble written all over it.

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