This was a rare weekend with only one race, so I hoped to put in a good effort....
Last year was the first Turner trail snowshoe race and this year's version was probably even tougher. I did not enjoy the downhill switchbacks last year so when I heard we'd be ascending them I was pleased. This is definitely my kind of course, tough climbs, tough going on the flats, long straight gentle downhills. My race plan was to go out with the "guys" (whoever that might be) and give it my best.
Double-J, Wolfey, and I warmed-up by scoping out the auto road and descending the last 1.5 miles of the race course. It is always a good idea to check out the last part of the course if for nothing else then to know how much you have to go when you are running out of gas. 77 lined up for the 1,200' climb over 5.2 miles of trail.
JJ took off after 100m and left the rest of us to sort things out. TiVO tucked in behind Williams college ace Corey Watts (last year's champion) and TiMo settled into fourth with me trailing in 5th (after asking one of the Williams guys to let me by on the single-track, which he graciously did). Jim was out of sight early into the switchback climbs and I slowly reeled in Tim M. About 1/2 way up the climb I called "on your left" and went by. I regretted it almost right away as I was hurting pretty badly, but we were closing on Tim V. Soon after that I got TiVO and moved on with Corey in my site but JJ long gone.
Not much changed for me over the rest of the race. On the longer straight-aways I could see Corey and he wasn't too far out at the top of the mountain. The deep snow over the top and on the initial descent made for some careful running. I kept wondering when he heck we'd get to the road, I'd guessed the race would take 40 minutes for JJ and 42+ for me. The slow deep snow made for a bit longer adventure. I knew it was going to be longer when I hit the summit in 29 minutes but the road was a good mile away! Eventually I hit the spot where we'd warmed up and saw that Corey was only 15 seconds up. I tried to cut into that on the descent and did make up some ground but lost it all in the last 2 minutes of the race when he finished strong and I just finished.
I was happy with the run, and totally out of gas on the warm-down. The CMS team did well with five of us in the top 11. All in all a fun day!
Next up: Greylock on Saturday and Brave the Blizzard on Sunday.