Thursday, November 4, 2010

Busa Bushwhack 10 Mile Trail Race

Sunday I headed out west to Framingham, MA for the Busa Bushwhack 10 Mile Trail Race (results) put on by the Greater Framingham Running Club.  This was the 2nd to last even in the WMAC Grand Tree series for 2010 (the last being Stonecat which is this coming weekend...but I'm not racing it, as registration closed out).   I was able to squeak out a win at Busa last year by sitting on Ben Nephew's shoulder for just over 9 miles before making a move on the last 3/4ths of a mile, which is paved.  This year, I chose a similar strategy that almost didn't work, but I was able to once again steal one, coming from behind...

The weather was perfect and the trail conditions were pretty good, other than the obvious fact that everything was covered with leaves.  Practically the entire race course was covered with leaves, making it impossible to see roots and rocks, and also making it very slippery on the ups and downs.  I went with the f-lite 230s mainly because of the road portion at the end of the race.

The race began about a quarter mile or so from the trailhead and I took my time and got out behind a pack of 10 mile and 5.3 mile racers including Chad Carr (CRC) and obviously Ben, who was out quick and running his own pace.  Right before the trailhead, I surged up and got behind Ben as we headed into the woods.  Last year, Ben and I were joined by Greg Hammett (CMS) for most of the race.  This year, we had another guy on our tails but we weren't sure who he was.  I turned around a few times over the first mile to see that I had a guy in white behind me and running strong.  I was going with the same plan as last year and I was content with letting Ben pace us.  Ben is great at running a solid pace on the trails no matter what the pace.  As Ben continued to press on, I dealt with this third runner running right on my heels and pulling up to my side a couple times.  There were a few times where I was sure that this guy was probably running the 5.3 miler (which is the same as the 10 mile course for the first couple miles).  I kept telling myself that he had to be running the short course.

He eventually passed me and I found myself running in third, although we were all pretty much together.  When we got to the first major climb, he uttered something about the hill and pushed up and remained in front of me.  I was just taking my time and making sure I stayed within striking distance.  Not too long after we popped into the woods again, the course split for the two races and he remained behind Ben and took the 10 mile route.  I was shocked and thought for sure now that we'd really have a great race ahead of us.

We continued on for the next major portion of the race with Ben in the lead for most of it and myself riding 3rd.  A few points in the course, I let the two in front of me get away just a little bit as I felt rather flat here and there...but after a couple of moments of lackluster running, I would catch back up and regain my composure.  Somewhere around 8 miles or so, the guy in second went around Ben and took the lead.  He looked like he wanted to go around him the entire race but felt content to just sit and wait... When he went around Ben, I started to watch close to see if and when he started to build any sort of lead and try to make a break.  At around 8.5 or so, he came to an intersection and got momentarily confused on where to go.  I yelled 'left' and he quickly darted to the left and headed down the trail section was the last section just before the trail heads up a sharp righthand turn to the road.  I went around Ben and tried to pump him up by saying 'lets go get this guy', and sprinted up to catch him just as he was climbing up the last hill before getting to the road.  At the top of the climb, I caught up and started to go around him to beat him to the road section, where I knew it was probably going to turn into a track meet.  As I went around, he gave me the thumbs up and said 'nice job man' and seemed to be content to let me continue on my way.  I said to him 'one mile to go, c'mon lets go'...and he quickly indicated it was even less than a mile to go.

I hit the road and maintained enough distance on second place over the last 3/4 of a mile to be safe.  I kept looking behind me, but knew I could probably find one more gear if I needed to.  During the entire race, I was trying to size up this unknown runner and was trying to figure out if I'd be able to outduel him on the last road section.  Since I had no information on him and he looked to have been running so strong and within himself, I wasn't sure until that moment I hit the road, that I'd be able to hold anyone off.  In the end, I was able to put only 17 seconds on him and only 24 on Ben, who finished strong, only 6 seconds back of 2nd.

During the race I noticed that the 2nd place dude had something about 'Albuquerque' on the back of his shirt.  After talking to him after the race (his name is Eli Torgeson) and inside after the awards, I found out that he just moved here to Mass from New Mexico and is predominantly a mountain bike racer, but does like trail racing, marathons, etc.  I looked him up and he's got a ton of good trail/snowshoe/road results.  He's a really nice guy and said he'd be at more trail races in the future...He's got wheels and I give him a ton of credit...he ran his race and made a big move and went for it early...It definitely made the race more exciting from beginning to end.

Top 10 Plus CMS in Blue

1Jim Johnson     Salem, NH   331:00:546:05:00Inov-8/CMS
2Eli Torgeson      Lincoln, MA391:01:116:07:00
3Ben Nephew   Mansfield, MA351:01:176:08:00Inov-8/CMS  
4Chad CarrCambridge, MA 341:03:256:21:00Cambridge RC  
5Tim CondonDurham, CT  241:04:226:26:00
6Christopher SmithWoburn, MA 441:08:446:52:00NETT  
7Brad BirkelRoslindale, MA321:09:166:56:00
8Scott PatnodeMarlborough, MA291:09:486:59:00
9Austin WhitmanArlington, MA331:10:117:01:00Boston Tri Team
10Ian Sanders-FlemingBoston, MA 231:10:407:04:00Block Is Sport

169 Total Finishers.

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