Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bradbury Squall Snowshoe Race Report

Very stoked and honored to get third place at today's Bradbury Squall 3.5 mile snowshoe race. Record field as well, with 62 finishers! That's awesome. This sport really is growing fast. That being said, a lot of people who would normally beat me with no problem weren't able to make it today, and that definitely helped me nab the podium. I'll gladly take it though.

Pre Race
Kate and I got there about an hour early...plenty of time to chit chat and allow time for a warm-up. It was also really warm out, so hanging out and socializing was pretty comfortable.

Ran a short warm-up for about 6/10 mile to get a feel for the conditions. I knew getting relatively ahead in the first tenth of a mile before the trail verged on to single track would be pretty crucial, so that was the plan.

First Half

Courtesy: Maine Running Photos
We're off! Went as planned and I reached the single track with five people in front of me and one guy on my tail. One of the guys in front of me, Al, got off to a quick start but slowed down and was passed. I was feeling a little nauseous all morning, and the sharp twists and turns of the Island Trail weren't helping. I shook it off though.

About a half of a mile into, Ryan's calf problem made itself known and he had to drop. It of course sucks to see that happen to a good friend.

The guy who was right behind me was still right behind me and we were pulling away from the others. I wanted to shake this guy off, though. I could now hear him breathing really hard and heavy so I figured now was a good time, and I threw in a few surges on some short uphills and that did the trick.

Probably around mile one, I came up on George A. who was running the trails. He pulled to the side as  I approached and said "Hey Jamie! Third place, great job!" Third place? I thought I was in fourth for some reason but I thought about it more and knew he was right. Scott H. and Jeremy B. were ahead of me. Scott was increasingly pulling away and Jeremy was for the most part gone.

Second Half
I rejoiced though when I was off the windy Island Trail and on to the more straight Lanzo Trail and made an effort to put down some speed here. Now the left turn on to the Link Trail. Nice. Straight trails where one could lay down the law easier.

However, I was also starting to get tired and was slowing down. My heart rate was jacked throughout and it was taking its toll. Even worse, there were now three guys behind me starting to gain ground. I first noticed them towards the end of the Island Trail but now they were closer.

Though I jumped out somewhat fast at the start, I don't think I overdid it. However, I wasn't running my kind of race. Just yesterday I posted that I run better with targets in front that I can chase down. This was the opposite. I was in the top three and had a pack of guys starting to inch their way closer. I was on defense, not offense, and I was already redlining. However, I really wanted that podium spot. Badly. I pushed harder.

The trail turned back on to single track before it would join the wider trail that goes past the O-Trail and would signify the end was near. Some short, steeper hills here and I did my best to keep moving and would steal glances behind me on the turns while trying not to look obvious. I seemed to be holding them off.

Finally reached the wider trail that goes past the O-Trails and there was less than a half mile to go. It crested a hill and I floored it on the downhill and hopefully put some distance between myself and the chase pack so they wouldn't smell blood if they still saw me by the time they crested the hill.

Trail turned left and then right and the finish line was soon in sight. Crossed the finish line in third place and was really stoked and glad it was over.

Courtesy: Maine Running Photos
Post Race
Went for a cooldown run (sans snowshoes) with Jeremy, Scott, Zach and one of their friends. Just an out and back on Route 9 for about a mile total. Happy to get back in time to see Kate finish and do so strongly. The Crossfit workouts she's been doing are really helping her with chronic muscle and tendon tightness and it showed today.

Awards ceremony and I nabbed a bag of Wicked Joe's Coffee for my prize. Very honored to share the podium with Jeremy and Scott, two good friends and super nice guys. Definitely a very fun race! HUGE thanks to Ryan and all of the volunteers for making it happen. Races like this are just a blast for so many people.

Courtesy: Maine Running Photos

Mmmm, coffee.
Afterwards, Kate and I headed to our friend Jim's house for lunch and hockey, but the warms temps had turned the pond to slush and skating was too difficult as a result. Still, we passed the puck around a bit before calling it good. Fun cap to the day!


Ran 3.5 miles @ 8:21/mile pace.
Official Time: 29:11
Place: 3rd out of 62
Trails with packed snow.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 40s, partly sunny.
Dion 121 Snowshoes, New Balance MT110, long tights, sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, gloves.


mindy said...

Strong race today J-Squatch! Glad you didn't puke over the finish (since I was timing...).

Thomas said...

Fantastic result, congratulations!

Jeremy Bonnett said...

Awesome race man! Nice job with the surges to lose the field!