Trail Monster Running

Visit the official TRAIL MONSTER RUNNING website for information on upcoming group runs, local trails, trail races and more, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival and the Bradbury Mountain trail Running Series.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Preview of Bradbury Trail Races

Bradbury Scuffle - 6 Miles - June 15th
Bradbury Mountain Breaker - 9 Miles - August 10th
Bradbury Bruiser - 12 Miles - September 14th

Videos by Peter Buchanan

Monday, April 21, 2008

Presumpscot River Run

Tonight I ran at along the Presumpscot River in Portland from Summit Street. This is my favorite trail in Portland so it was great to get back out on it for the first time this year. The trails were remarkably dry, with only the occasional patches of snow/ice that were easy enough to avoid.

Water in the Presumpscot River was still pretty high from all the snow melt and the Presumpscot Falls were roaring. Portland Trails had clearly been out there recently creating drainage ditches, building bridges and filling in a few washed out areas. Nice work!

There was something a bit wrong with my Garmin tonight. I'm pretty sure the mileage was off because as I was running it told me I was doing close to 10 minute miles for most of my splits and I know it was a lot quicker than that. When I uploaded my data to SportTracks it also told me that I hit a point 350 ft below sea level, I don't think so. I also know that the first and last mile were run on exactly the same trail but there is a big deviation in the routes that were recorded. I hope it sorts itself out, maybe it got confused after the trip to Virginia.

time: 52:38
distance: 5.7 miles
pace: 9:11

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First Pineland Run of 2008

Since not all of us are lucky enough to work at Pineland, like John, this Saturday was the first chance that many of us got to run there this year. James and Jamie started at 5 am, Emma and I met Jim, Jim, Shauna, Tom, Randy and Tom at 7 am. Emma's plan was to get in 31 miles as a training run for the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50 miler, and my plan was just to run for as long as I could. This was only my second run since completing the Bull Run Run 50 Miler last weekend so I wasn't sure how my legs would hold up.

There were still a few snowy/icy patches on the trials but for the most part we were running on dirt with a little mud thrown in. Most of the snow and ice was found on the steeper hills which made running up and down them pretty difficult for those of us without screw shoes. Emma and Jim were the only smart ones who came prepared to deal with the ice. So at an early stage in the run we found ourselves being forced to walk some of the steep hills in both directions. Conditions in the fields were good enough to allow us to run most of the Pineland race course, one complete loop of our run worked out to be a little over 14 miles (as opposed to the 15.5 mile/25 km race loop).

I didn't bring quite enough water/fuel to get me through a really long run so I decided to call it a day at about 4 hours after covering approximately 23 miles. Emma continued on with James and Jamie to get in 31.5 miles in just over 5.5 hours. James and Jamie both got in 40 miles, and this was the first time I ever heard anyone say "I only did 40 miles" with a genuine hint of disappointment.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bull Run Run 50 Miler

This isn't much of a race report yet, mostly photos with a few brief descriptions.

I didn't run as fast as I had hoped, but with an average temperature on race day more than 40 degrees warmer than the average temperature of all my training runs, I'm just glad it didn't kill me. The Bull Run Run is a very well organized race, the course is beautiful and very hilly.

Pre-race photo. I'm happy because at this point it was only in the mid 60's and I couldn't see all the hills.

photo by Anstr Davidson
Bull Run River near the 9.4 mile upstream turnaround

The course runs upstream, turns at 9.4 miles, returns to the start at 16.6 miles, runs downstream with a few short loops thrown in and then back up to the start.

My Garmin (via SportTracks) tells me that there was over 9000 ft of elevation gain, and an equal amount of elevation loss over the course. This was more than I had expected and really took it's toll on my quads. For the last 10 miles I was walking the downhills and moving faster on the ups.

photo by Anstr Davidson
Near the 9.4 mile upstream turnaround, the flattest part of the course was found early on in the race. This image is not typical of the terrain.

photo by Anstr Davidson
Much of the first 1/3 of the race featured schemes like this with a carpet of bluebells.

photo by Anstr Davidson
The upstream turnaround point. Melissa, who is right ahead of me here, should be coming up to run Pineland with her friend Lisa. They both ran good races (finishing ahead me) and provided some good company during the run.

Fountainhead aid station at 37.9 miles. This is where I saw my cousin Jon for the first time during the race. He fed me one of my mother's delicious molasses sugar cookies and provided a much needed emotional boost.

Heading out of Fountainhead, with a little over 12 miles to go I decided (immediately after this picture was taken) to get rid of my hydration pack and just carry my handheld bottle for the rest of the run. A good decision because my back was getting seriously chaffed.

Coming into the Marina Aid Station at 44.9 miles.

The finishing stretch where I was able to fend off several runners who had been chasing me and even got ahead at one point during the last mile.

photo by Anstr Davidson
The last few strides to the finish line.

83 out of 265 finishers

Monday, April 7, 2008

Making Gaiters

Not a lot of excitement in the world of tapering. I'm starting to suffer from long run withdrawal.

Tonight I decided to make some gaiters out of an old long sleeved technical running shirt.

I started by cutting the sleeves off, then slipping my feet through the cuff, putting on my shoes and cutting the sleeve to the right length.

I hemmed the cut edge and attached a strip of elastic.

Voila! Gaiters.