Sunday, October 7, 2012

Monroe Dunbar Brook Trail Race 2012

I loved this race. Tucked away up in a scenic, relatively remote corner of northwestern Massachusetts, the Monroe Dunbar Brook Trail Race is 10.5 miles of very hard trail running, with around 2,000 feet of climbing in the first five miles. I had to slow to a hike on plenty of the steeper sections. There was also some very tricky footwork on part of the descent (especially the mile or two just after the summit of Spruce Peak where it's steep and there's lots of leaf-covered roots and mossy rocks). But overall it was a total blast. Plenty of places to open up and race, two bridgeless stream crossings (one ankle-deep and one knee-deep), and beautiful fall weather. My finishing time was 1:47:34. Excellent peeps, too. At the finish was a fire and a keg, along with a fantastic assortment of treats and grilled stuff. Jen came and ran the 2-mile short course; it was her first running race ever and she won a prize -- pretty freakin' sweet!

I'd highly recommend this race to anyone who loves trail running, as long as you're mentally prepared for what you're getting into. It's no walk in the park.

Here's a pretty good map of the course.

Dunbar Brook

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