It certainly was an interesting weekend. I had to cancel the Northfield snowshoe race due to lack of snow. So I headed out west (Western NH) and bagged 9 towns instead. It was a bit surprising to hear that Beaver Brook had enough snow to put on a race, so off I went on Saturday morning.
I was one of the first people to arrive and it was looking bleak especially on the drive in when you could see there was very little snow in the woods. The fields had held snow and Beaver Brook gets a lot of activity which packs down whatever snow they have. Due to the lack of snow the course was going to be a very short (2.4 miles) out back on the main trail.
Double-J joined me for a course preview, we ran it in Kahtoolas and traction was not an issue. There was hardly any snow, mostly just ice covered with a film of snow. This was going to be a sprint and I hate sprints. I put in another mile in snowshoes and headed to the line feeling a bit dead on my feet.
Nacho Hernando was running his first snowshoe race, so it looked like JJ would have company. I was hoping to not get trampled and keep Ryan Welts in sight. Zoom, the field really did sprint out. I started way over on the left (so far you can’t even see me in the start pictures) and fell into the pack in about 10th place 100 meters into the race. JJ was already way out in front with Nacho in hot pursuit. I worked my way up through the pack and by the bottom of the hill (1/2 mile in) I was in 6th place. So after I moved up on Ryan’s heels and we passed one of the fast starters.
I had some equipment trouble as my shoe came untied and I had to clench my toes to stay inside the shoe.
I don’t think it really changed the result, I was running as fast as possible. At the turn (1.2 miles) Jim was 10-15 seconds ahead of Nacho who was another 30 seconds ahead of me and Ryan. Phil Erwin was half-way between us and Nacho and there didn’t seem to be anyone too close behind us. That is one of the benefits of an out/back, you can check out where everyone is. I was a bit surprised at how fast we were (7:35) at the turn, I guess that was why it hurt so much.
I kept thinking that if I kept close to Ryan I could make a move on the last ½ mile of climbing. Ryan must have read my mind because he really took off on the climb. With about 200m to go he caught Phil and with about 100 to go I caught him as well. I could reel in Ryan and crossed the line wheezing. It took me 8:21 to come back up for a total of 15:56 (6:38 pace). JJ stayed out in front and took the win with Nacho running a very fast time especially for a first-timer.
After the race I took off my shoes and found that I’d completely broken the Atlas Dual-tracs.
I guess if I was going to ruin a pair of shoes those would be the ones to destroy. All in all this was probably my worst race so far this year, but my mileage was pretty high so I’m not too worried. Four weeks until Nationals so still plenty of time to rest up.
1 Jim Johnson 14:22 5:59 M36 Madison, NH CMS
2 Nacho Hernando 14:45 6:08 M20 Concord, NH
3 Ryan Welts 15:53 6:37 M33 Nortboro, NH aR
4 Dave Dunham 15:57 6:38 M49 Bradford, MA CMS
5 Phil Erwin 15:59 6:39 M46 Wading River, NY aR
6 Chris Dunn 16:51 7:01 M45 Straffor, NH aR
7 Marek Telus 17:16 7:11 M38 Hopkinton, NH
8 Tom Hooper 17:19 7:12 M35 Lee, NH SIX03
9 Scott Mitchell 17:19 7:12 M44 Greenland, NH aR
10 Justin Beaudry 17:21 7:13 M32 New Boston, NH Lazy Lightning