Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another weekend - lots of driving

Double Snowshoe weekend - #2

This weekend was my second two race weekend this year.  When the snow is out there (and it certainly is this year) you’ve got to take advantage.

I headed up to Sandwich NH for the first race of the weekend.  On the way I stopped at the Rattlesnake Mountains on Squam Lake.  My plan was to get in a couple of mile to loosen up then head over to the race.  I ended up running more than four miles to bag both summit and was a little late when I arrived at Sandwich.

I quickly registered and headed out for a nice easy 2m run on the roads.  After a quick change into racing gear I headed out for another mile on snowshoes.  I did four or five strides and felt a bit flat.  The first mile of the course is fairly flat and well groomed so it was going to be fast.

Paul Kirsch sent the record crowd (I remember running this race with less than 30 finishers) of over 100 racers off on the 4 miles of scenic Sandwich.  Jim Johnson sprinted to the front as usual and I found myself in about 10th place right away.  I slowly worked my way up and just before we hit the single-track I put in a big surge to get into 8th place.  The single-track starts with the only real climb of the race and I found myself running down a couple of guys.  They both moved partly off the trail when I called “on your left” and by the top of the hill I found myself in 6th place.

The snow was very sugary and traction was not the greatest.  I love those conditions as it slows the faster guys down.  I slowly moved up on Ryan Kelley (who had outkicked me at Whitaker Woods last week).  I nearly caught him when we hit the final descent at which point he accelerated like mad and any chance of catching him disappeared.  I held on for a solid 6th place.  Jim held his lead for a good portion of the race but was passed by Kevin Tilton in the last half-mile.  Kevin has now won at Sidehiller five consecutive times! 

I did a nice easy warm-down with Jim Pawlicki then hit the road with half the racing but nowhere near half the driving done.

Sidehiller 4 Mile Snowshoe Race 
Center Sandwich, NH, January 29, 2011
1 31:47 Kevin Tilton CMS
2 31:53 Jim Johnson  CMS
3 32:44 Judson Cake 
4 33:22 Wesley Dinnan 
5 33:59 Ryan Kelly 
6 34:14 Dave Dunham   CMS 40+
7 34:41 Charles Thierrault 
8 34:42 Robert Jackman 
9 34:48 Danny Ferreira 
10 35:27 Scott McGrath CMS
11 35:41 James Pawlicki CMS
Picture by Krissy K

I woke up on Sunday a bit sore from Sidehiller but game to give it a shot.  Curly’s record run is one of my favorite WMAC races.  The course really suits my abilities with a tough climb and a short (but crazy steep) descent.  I picked up JJ and we headed West with me telling Jim “I’ve run there” at every town line we passed.  He never gave me the satisfaction of getting tired of it.  Damn!

Anyway, we headed out for an easy 3m road warm-up and both of us were complaining about how tired we were.  I changed into race gear and headed out for another mile on snowshoes.  The race was held up for about 15 minutes as people were arriving late.  Everything takes longer at a snowshoe race and racers really need to plan accordingly.  I took advantage of the extra time and ran up and down the field packing down a path for myself.  The only powder on the course would be in the first 100m, the rest would be firmly packed single-track.

A record crowd of 117 took off like a shot!  Jim headed out to the front despite telling me his plan was to take it easy for the first couple of miles.  I was in 6th as we hit the road and started to climb.  I passed Tim Mahoney soon after then slowly ran down a couple of the faster starters.  Actually it was more like “walked down” as none of us were moving very fast on the climb.  I steadily closed on Ross Krause but couldn’t quite catch him.  At 17 minutes I hit the top of the climb and then the craziness starts.

Curly’s Record Run” is named for Curly Voll who set the coruse record of 1:10 to descend the Shadow trail.  The trail was used in the 1920’s for ski races and drops 800’ over 4/10ths of a mile.  I don’t know how the skiers stayed on the trail, it was difficult in snowshoes.  Mostly I just tried to get down without totally blowing out my back.  I hit the bottom and the few little climbs left really had me gasping for breath.  I couldn’t see Ross anymore but I knew that Tim M was not far behind.  I kept working as hard as I could and took my second 40+ victory in two days (thanks to Tim Van Orden deciding to “jog through” Curly’s).

JJ ended up with a solid victory (ah, to be young and able to race fast back-to-back), he’ll be looking to lock up the WMAC series soon.  Tim Mahoney joined us for another 2 miles on the road before we called it a day and hit the car for the 3 hour drive home.
Curly's Record Run - 4 mile snowshoe race
Pittsfield, MA, January 30, 2011
1 30:56 Jim Johnson CMS      
2 32:46 Ross Krause     
3 33:35 Dave Dunham CMS 40+       
4 34:09 Tim Mahoney CMS       
5 34:37 Tim Van Orden  CMS 40+      
6 35:38 Chris Taft     
7 37:04 Steve Dowsett     
8 37:24 Paul Bazanchuk   
9 37:42 Richard Teal     
10 38:32 Amy Lane    
11 39:29 John Agosto     
12 39:36 Erik Wight    
13 39:41 John Pajer CMS  40+ 

Single age records at Curly’s

Weekend totals
Drive 530 miles
Run 24 miles
Peaks 2 (West Rattlesnake, East Rattlesnake)
40+ wins 2

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