Granite State snowshoe championships
I headed up to Allenstown on Friday during the “minor snow event” that turned out to be pretty significant. We got over a foot in Bradford, but there was only a few inches of additional snow up at Bear Brook. I met up with race director Ryan Welts and we headed out to mark the course. It was enjoyable running easily through the woods on some very cool single-track. Ryan came up with an interesting course with plenty of twisting and turning and 75% of the 6+ mile course would be on single-track. The only drawback (for me) was the footing was very good, firm and fast for racing. It was good to get a preview of the course and have some idea of approximate distances along the way.
I got to the race a bit early on Saturday and did an easy 4 miles on the road to loosen up. After that I quickly changed into race gear and hit the trail for another mile on snowshoes. It was already warm (maybe 40 degrees) and the trail was solidly packed. The fast guys were going to eat this up!
The start was a flurry of snow as a couple of Unicorn runners headed to the front, they were trailed by CMS Polar Bears (Greg Hammett, Kevin Tilton, a break then, me, and Jim Pawlicki). Jim was right on me and Kevin wasn’t too far ahead for the first mile or so. At about 2 miles we hit the big meadow and the first section of snowmobile trail. Jim went by and asked “you okay?”, I thought that was funny because I was running all-out and we had a long way to go. Jim immediately put 10 seconds on me and off in the distance we could see Greg and Mark Miller (Unicorn) running together with Kevin 100m behind.
I was a bit surprised to see Greg and Mark come back over the next two miles, they may have gone out too hard trying to stick with JJ (Unicorn). I closed the gap on Jim and almost got him when we hit the long stretch of snowmobile trail at about 4 miles. Soon after I passed Mark, but Greg and Jim were locked in a good battle and they seemed to just float away. By the time we ended the snowmobile trail, at about a mile to go, Jim and Greg were 20 seconds ahead and I’d dropped Mark.
The last mile was a struggle, I was pretty much out of gas and although I could see Jim and Greg it was obvious they were hauling and I wasn’t going to close on them. I stayed on my feet (barely) and rolled into the finish nearly a minute behind them. Jim and Greg had a great fight right to the line (1 second between them) and they very nearly caught Kevin. All in all it was a great day for the CMS crew, we took 2nd through 5th place and wrapped up the team title with Melissa Donais taking second in the women’s race and 23rd overall.
1 43:22 Jim Johnson 35M Madison, NH BAA
2 46:24 Kevin Tilton 31M N Conway, NH Central Mass Striders
3 46:29 James Pawlicki 38M Lynn, MA Central Mass Striders
4 46:30 Greg Hammett 35M Chesterfield, NH Central Mass Striders
5 47:27 Dave Dunham 48M Bradford, MA Central Mass Striders
6 48:22 Mark Miller 32M Parts Unk, NH BAA
7 49:35 Danny Ferreira 30M Concord, NH acidotic RACING
8 51:11 Anthony Parillo 28M Sherborn, MA
9 51:17 Phil Erwin 45M Ridge, NY acidotic RACING
10 51:25 Chris Dunn 44M Strafford, NH acidotic RACING
13 52:32 Kristina Folcik 35F Northwood, NH acidotic RACING
23 56:28 Melissa Donais 29F N Andover, MA Central Mass Striders