Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Prospect Mountain snowshoe race

After I cancelled the Northfield race, all of the forecasts suddenly changed and the Blizzard headed our way.  Go figure.  Then teammate Tim Van Orden stepped up and got together a race at Prospect Mountain (Woodford, VT).  I had planned on going on Saturday afternoon and helping TiVO with course marking but the driving ban wasn’t lifted until 4 PM which was too late to be useful.
I drove out early and gave myself extra time in case the roads were a mess.  There were no issues and TiVO arrived just after I pulled into the parking lot.  We gathered some flagging and headed out to finish marking (Tim had spent some hours the day before doing a large amount of the course).  It was 9 below zero when we started but didn’t seem so bad once we got going.  It was fun to have some time to chat while checking things out.  The course was terrific, a great mix of groomed wide trail and powdery single-track.  There was a ton of snow and we also had a good combination of climbing and breaks (over 800’ of climb).  After 1:28 we were back at the finish line with time in hand before the race.
I changed into dry gear and headed out for an easy mile on the road, then put on my snowshoes and did another mile on the course.  The snow was loose and the running was going to be SLOW.  A little less than 50 people lined up and blasted out at the start.  The first ½ mile was mostly flat and wide so passing was not an issue.  Teammates Greg Hammett and Tim Mahoney took it out.  Greg used his sub-2:00 half-mile speed to forge a big lead early.  I tucked in behind Tim (actually I just tried to hang on to Tim, I was already tired…maybe from the 1:50 of running I did prior to the race).  By about a mile Greg had forged a solid 30-45 second lead and I was starting to get into a rhythm, so with a call-out of “on your left” I went around Tim.  Soon after I took a spill, maybe I was pushing too hard?
I could see Greg up ahead and the long steady climb was much to my liking.  The snow was powdery and deep and my favorite kind of SLOW racing.  It is amazing to be all-out and running over 10 minutes per mile!  Having Greg in front was a great motivator, I worked on closing the gap and by the summit I had him only 8 seconds ahead.  He gained some ground on the ½ mile of downhill but I closed it up a bit in another deep powder section.  It was a big advantage knowing the course and being able to pay out my effort.  I gave it my all and closed back to within 12 seconds with a mile to go.  Unfortunately for me, that last mile was almost all downhill.  Greg immediately disappeared from sight and ended up putting 1:03 on me during that final mile.  Behind us Tim stayed tough and held off a hard charge from Jeff Dengate, which gave CMS a sweep of the podium places.
Greg and I did another mile out/back on the course cheering people on, and then called it a day.  TiVO did a heck of a job putting on another great race at Prospect.  Hopefully he’ll get the bid and be hosting the snowshoe national championships there in 2014.
   Time                          Age      Sex       Team    Pts
1 50:35 Greg Hammett    35         M          CMS     100.00
2 51:50 Dave Dunham     48         M          CMS     97.73
3 55:23 Tim Mahoney      31         M          CMS     95.45
4 55:33 Jeff Dengate      35         M          CPTC     93.18
5 56:14 Rich Teal            35         M          ARE       90.91
6 56:42 Ken Clark            50         M          HTC      88.64
7 56:54 Brian Northan      37         M          Utopia   86.37
8 59:24 Dan Dix              33         M                      84.09
9 1:01:31 Donald Pacher  40         M          RunReg  81.82
10 1:01:35 Allan Bates     64         M                      79.55
11 1:07:29 Ed Alibozek    50         M          Dion      77.27

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