Crossing the Prince Edward Island - Page 2
Trophy Series Leader
Bradford is more than just a prolific racer: he is also currently leading the 2012 Trail Runner Trophy Series, which tallies results from 138 trail races in the US and Canada and compiles points for those completing both shorter races and races of marathon distance or longer (Bradford is leading in the latter category). In addition to regularly placing at the top of Trophy Series races, racing frequently has helped Bradford amass a huge point total.
“I hadn’t really entered the series intentionally, but I got an e-mail early in the season that told me I was leading it,” he says. “Now I’m kind of excited about the idea of winning it. Some races, like the Lean Horse [100 Mile, in South Dakota], I wouldn’t have entered otherwise.”
Bradford placed fifth at Lean Horse on August 25 – barely ten days after finishing his PEI crossing. Since March, he’s won Moab, Utah’s Red Hot 100 Mile, Nevada’s Coyote Springs 100, Wyoming’s 52-mile Rocky Mountain Double Marathon, the Black Hills 100, Wyoming’s Happy Jack 100, and Colorado’s Grand Mesa 100. He also placed 19th at Colorado’s Quad Rock 50 Mile, and ran the occasional non-ultra race. He has ambitious plans for the rest of the year, including the Boulder 100 Mile in Colorado and the American Discovery Trail Marathon, where he hopes to hit a Boston Marathon-qualifying time (3:05) before his 35th birthday launches him into the next age bracket. The only catch – he will run the Breck Crest Mountain Marathon in Breckenridge the day before. (Update: after a 5:05 effort at Breck Crest, Bradford clocked a 3:20 at American Discovery Trail.)
“I don’t really train during the summer,” he says of his hectic racing calendar. “I mostly just recover between races.”
Most remarkable, perhaps, is the fact that Bradford had hardly run a step before 2009.
“It was just another one of those mid-life realizations that I was out of shape and needed to live better,” he says. “On New Years 2009, I ran the next day, and couldn’t make it a mile. I wanted to run a marathon but ran a half first…eventually I did the Leadville 26.2-mile, and fell in love with trail running.”
Since then, he’s been busy running nearly every weekend during the summer (and spring, and fall).
“But I’m not sure why I started winning this year,” he concedes. “I just started running much faster this year.”