Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Horse hill snowshoe race

Horse Hill 7km snowshoe race

The final race of the weekend tripleheader was the Horse Hill 7k race in Merrimack NH.  I’d run this race before and knew what to expect.  The snow was flying so I gave myself plenty of time to get to the race site.  I arrived with ample time to do a long warm-up so a preview of the course was in order.

The course was very well marked and it had a great mixture of single-track and wide trail.  The single-track was the most twisted trail I’ve ever been on.  It was a constant up, down, left, right, 180, that kept you concentrating.  Added to that was the post-holed condition of the single-track.  It was ankle busting.  The snow was well packed so the running was pretty quick.  I covered the course in 39 minutes (10 plus minutes per mile) then changed into racing gear and headed out for another mile.  Checking out the course is such a bonus; I’d know exactly how far to go and how the footing would be throughout the race.

JJ was out of sight in the first 100m and I found myself running side-by-side with Ryan Welts.  We’d had a tight race last night and I expected it to be close on this morning.  He said something like “this isn’t too bad”, and all I could think was “yes it is bad”.  We hit the first little climb; really the only climb in the race and Ryan made a little move as we hit the top of Blodgett Hill.  I stayed in front and kept pushing as hard as possible.  Ryan would not drop off, damn he is tenacious!

Around half way I realized my shoe was untied and it became difficult to keep my foot from sliding around.  Luckily my snowshoe was on painfully tight so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t run out of the shoe.  It really didn’t change my race as I was running as fast as I could.  I kept waiting for the final mile on the wide snowmobile trail to make a push.  We hit the final mile with Ryan one step behind me.  I pushed as hard as I could but just couldn’t get a gap.  With ½ mile to go I went into a kick and finally felt that I got some space.  With 200 to go I checked and he was still right there and I ended up just getting to the line in front of him.  I went to the ground wheezing (I’d been wheezing the last 400, going as hard as I could) and was happy to see that Ryan also ended up on the ground from the effort.  That is racing, sometimes you get the other guy sometimes he gets you…but any time you both end up wiped out on the ground you can walk away knowing you both gave everything you had.  In the end isn’t that what it’s all about?

I headed out on the course for a warm-down and it was like another world out there.  Nothing like 50 snowshoe racers to smooth out all the post-holes.  It made for an easy end to a tough weekend of racing.

Pl Time  Name               Sex       Age       City, St              Team
1   27:35 Jim Johnson      M          35         Madison, NH       Unicorn
2   29:20 Dave Dunham   M          48         Bradford, MA      CMS
3   29:26 Ryan Welts       M          32         Northwood, NH   acidotic
4   31:15 Ryan Proulx       M          33         Portsmouth, NH 
5   32:14 Chris Dunn        M          44         Strafford, NH      acidotic
6   32:24 Scott Mitchell    M          43         New Durham, NH            acidotic
7   32:26 Phil Erwin         M          45         Ridge, NY           acidotic
8   33:47 Kristina Folcik     F           35         Northwood, NH   acidotic
9   34:06 Chuck Hazzard   M          52         Freeport, ME      Trail Monster
10  34:08 David Hamilton  M          29         Haverhill, MA       acidotic


No comments: