Today Emma and I met Erik, Stephen, Chuck and Ben for a run on the West Side, aka "The Mountain Side," trails of Bradbury.
Bradbury Mountain isn't really a mountain, but if you run it the right way it feels like a mountain, especially if this is your first run since completing a 50 miler the week before. The beginning of our run was the same route I ran a few weeks ago when I went out looking for a course for another race, but this was the first time I showed it to anyone else so I was curious to see what others would think of it. As an added challenge to the course this morning there was a lot of water on the trail and in some places ice over rock. The run was pretty easy going until we got 2.25 miles into it, and then went from the lowest point in the park right up to the highest in about 1/4 mile (check out the elevation profile 2.25-2.50 miles). We paused to catch our breath at the summit and take in the view. The climb brought flashbacks of the Mt. Cranmore Hill Climb to both Stephen and Emma, not that this course is nearly as difficult, but it's going to have some of the toughest hills you'll find at a race in Maine, and pretty technical too.
After the main summit we had a gradual descent of about a mile on the Tote Road and then back up to the Northern Bluff which is another nice spot for a view. From there we headed down the Terrace Trail which is great trail to run down fast, but we took it easy today. We finished the 4.5 mile "loop" back on the Northern Loop Trail where we started. At this point Erik, Stephen and Chuck headed home and Emma, Ben and I continued for another loop of the mountain taking in some different trails this time. After reaching the summit for a second time I decided to take a different way down along the appropriately named Switchback Trail which was a lot of fun.
Looking forward to more running at Bradbury tomorrow!