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.
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
14 3:00:00 Ron Smith M 56