Beckwith, Nedeau Finish 1-2 at Bretton Woods

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Leslie Beckwith and Kim Nedeau finished 1-2 at the Bretton Woods Fell Race on Saturday. The pair were pretty close, especially for a long mountain race, with Beckwith winning in 1:31:33 and Nedeau finishing just behind her in 1:32:25. They actually finished 10th and 11th overall, respectively. In fact, the third woman (Kelsey Allen, WMDP in 1:34:03) was 12th overall so the lead women really had a strong showing. We got a few thoughts on the race from Beckwith and Nedeau that we’ll share here. First up is the big winner, Leslie:

I only picked out a route around 8pm the night before. I had vague plan, but I figured I would follow the crowd if it differed from my plan. I was a little nervous with what Kelsey was running since it did end up being a faster route, and she gained a lot of time on us to checkpoint D. I was following Kim at first, but after she and Eric Narcisi* led me into a bushwhack in the woods after checkpoint A, I became a little more cautious. Ha ha.

Kim and I did run almost the same exact route, minus a very short part up to checkpoint D. We were together helping each other out for E and F. I ended up mostly doing the route I has planned, but there was definitely a faster route to D than the one I took.

I felt pretty good, and even though my calves were trashed by checkpoint E, I still felt strong. I guess the most challenging part was just not ever knowing if your’s was the best way and having to worry that your competition’s was. Other than that, the race was fun. I’ve been hitting the mountain runs hard the last two months, so this race is right up my alley.

Kim didn’t let any bad shortcuts bring her down. Courtesy of SNAPacidotic.

For the record, it’s a little odd editing a piece that blames yourself for navigational woes. Maybe Kim won’t mention it…

Ethan and I like to joke that I just moved to the area and that’s why I struggle to find my way around. The truth is that I have lived here for ten years! The obvious question was whether or not this was the right race for me. The day before the race, I think Ethan was worried about my capabilities (as he should have been) so he spent some time studying the map. He penciled in a route for me, which I studied and memorized. We both knew that a few factors could change everything: 1) were the chosen trails mowed? We had no clue. 2) If my competition chose a different route, would I follow them or feel confident in my own plan? 3) If I found myself lost and alone, would I panic? I already knew the answer to that question.

I arrived at the starting line with my marked map in a plastic bag, a hat to keep the rain off my glasses, and my cell phone strapped to my arm. In the end, I never used the map, my glasses were fogged up and speckled with rain and my phone was only useful in its Strava recording (8.9 miles and 3300 feet of elevation, thank you very much). I was a very good copy cat following those who clearly had good trail knowledge. The only time this plan didn’t work for me was when I was led astray by the one and only Eric Narcisi who cut into the woods while attempting to cut off some distance between checkpoint A and B. When I arrived back on the trail, I was about 30-60 seconds back from where I should have been! Remind me to never ever follow Eric Narcisi*.

The hard highlights: the never-ending uphills, the tiny flat sections that weren’t nearly long enough to recover, the steep descents where I felt my arms helicoptering out of control and my feet slapping the ground as I worked my way down. I’m pretty sure the finish line crew heard me coming from the very top of the mountain. Overall, absolutely great race. Can’t wait for next year. Actually you should wait and ask me again in a week when my quads have recovered.

*Kim was warned ahead of time…publicly…by Eric Narcisi. Kim and Eric both warned the world not to follow them (that means you Leslie!). Next time he’s going to have people sign waivers before the race. He advises people to not follow him in road races either.

All shots used here are courtesy of Gianina Lindsey & SNAPacidotic. Check out the full album here.

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