Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snowshoe to the clouds

Snowshoe to the clouds

I'd heard of this ski race a few years back and asked teammate Kevin Tilton if they'd ever had a snowshoe race.  Apparently they had snowshoe raced in the past but not recently.  I was very happy to hear that they added a snowshoe field this year and signed up right away.  The idea of running up the Mt Washington Auto road in snowshoes really appealed to me.

I was a bit beat up from racing the day before so I got Kevin and Paul Bazanchuk and Keith O'Brien to head out with me a little early for a 4 mile warm-up (34:28).  I switched into race gear and headed with O'B for another mile or so of snowshoe running to get over to the start and stay loose/warm waiting for the start.  The 25 or so skiers headed off and 5 minutes later we were in pursuit when the cannon fired.

Kevin went to the lead and I tried to relax and feel comfortable.  Kevin had about 10 seconds on me a mile in but he wasn't pulling away.  I upped the pace just a bit and caught up to him.  I was a bit surprised at how easily I was breathing compared to Kevin, but knew that he missed two weeks of training with the flu.  We ran together until about 2 miles then I pulled ahead.  I hit the Auto road (2.4 miles into the race) in 19:07 and the fun began.

The groomed snow was pretty easy to run in but the climb was steady and tough.  I hit the mile post in 7:53 (about 11 minute mile pace guessing from when we got onto the road).  I couldn't hear Kevin behind me so I tried to "relax" during the next mile which is one of the toughest of the race.  I must have relaxed a bit much and was surprised to see Kevin right on me at around the 2 mile post (about 13 minutes for that mile).  I got to work and gave it all I had for the next mile (about 10:20) and was able to gap Kevin again.  I paid for it during the last .7 which took me 9:46, but I was able to hold on for the win.

Kevin and I quickly changed into dry gear but decided a summit bid in the snow and both of us being tired would not be a great idea.  Instead we did a short side trip to Lows Bald Spot, a peak near the 2 mile mark on the road.  We were back down off the mountain in just over 46 minutes.  I don't know about Kevin but I was pretty beat and beat up. 

I can only hope that they keep the snowshoe division of the race, it is super-fun!
Pl  Time    Name                         Sex/Age
1 1:00:07 Dave Dunham             M 48
2 1:02:01 Kevin Tilton                M 31
3 1:12:26 Peter Keeney              M 46
4 1:12:56 Paul Bazanchuk          M 58
5 1:13:39 Bridget Ferrin-Smith    F 31
6 1:14:16 Chris Thibaudeau        M 42
7 1:14:20 Keith O’Brien              M 48
8 1:20:36 Francois Bernatchez    M 57
9 1:22:07 Leslie Beckwith           F 36
10 1:25:55 Jeff List                    M 53
11 1:37:58 Philip Tatro                M 49
12 1:40:22 Gary Hebert               M 48
13 1:48:26 Karen Kleinschmidt    F 48
14 3:00:00 Ron Smith                M 56

1 comment:

Greg said...

Congrats on a great weekend of snowshoe racing! See you at the Granite State Championships.