2012 Monroe Dunbar Brook Trail Race

Today was the Monroe Dunbar Brook Trail Race in Monroe, Massachusetts. Nestled in the northern Berkshires, this is one of our favorite races in the New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series. It is also the third race in the WMAC Trilogy. This was my 7th Monroe since 2000, but first since 2009. We missed 2010 because of Kona and 2011 because of Grindstone.

My 1:27:22 for the lollipop shaped 10.5 mile course was my second fastest time, and was good for 7th place, though I think we should go to the video to see how much Donald Pacher beat me by. We had a death-defying sprint through the “tree tunnel” and practically crashed across the finish line in a heap. I came oh so close to a head on collision with one of those many trees, and flinched at the last second as he beat me across the line. We waged a fantastic battle over the final four miles of the rocky, rooty, and slick course. It was all-out NASCAR style racing with the occasional bump and run on the narrow trail. It was awesome.

Debbie had a nice bounce back race, only seven days after the Vermont 50. She has some residual soreness, but still finished 2nd to a blazing Kelsey Allen, who has owned these middle-distance races the past two years. Kelsey was 9th in 1:32:22 and Deb was 16th in 1:38:28. The third woman was Summer Rabida in 1:49:37. She was part of a good Shenpsit Strider crew that came up from Connecticut.

Brian Rusiecki, fresh off of his Vermont 50 win, took first again today in 1:20:47. He promptly went out for another lap. That’s how you get fast and strong and stay fast and strong. Our Strider teammate, David Merkt, had a great result, finishing 2nd in 1:23:02. Stanislav Trufanov put in a nice run only a week after the NipMuck Trail Marathon, to round out the podium in 1:25:24.

The course has nearly 2,100 feet of elevation gain, with most of that coming during the climb up Spruce Peak. It seems to never end. It was typical Monroe weather. It was overcast and cool. The foliage was very nice, but the flat light put a damper on things. Still, the racing was hot. There were many battles in that final 100 meter finishing straight. The trails were wet in spots, though the two stream crossings were only knee-deep.

I did well on the climb, but gave up some spots on the technical descent. I reminded myself several times that I need to be at work tomorrow. Sometimes the risks aren’t worth it. The WMAC had their usual post-race spread with lots of food and drink to enjoy. On the way out of Monroe, we noted all of the rafters and kayakers on the Deerfield River. It was a chilly day on the water for those folks.

Thanks again to Mrs. Schieffer (aka Momma S.) who joined us for the trip to the lovely trailhead. Also, thanks to Race Director Kent Lemme and his fellow WMAC volunteers. It was great to see so many familiar faces. Our last GT race was WMAC’s Greylock Gallop back in June. It took some big time races the past two years to keep us from Monroe. It’s likely that it would take similar epics Β in the future to keep us from missing again.

Race Results

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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes πŸš΅β€β™€οΈ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning πŸƒπŸ»β›°

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