Sunday, February 9, 2014

Horse Hill Snowshoe race

Thanks to the mid-week snowstorm the Horse Hill snowshoe race was on for this weekend.  I've done the HH race a few times and it always features an interesting course with tons of switchbacks, a fair amount of climbing and a mix of single-track and groomed.

Dave La and I met up and headed out onto the roads for a 3 mile warm-up.  Double-J, MT&Goat, and Scott McGrath also joined in the fun.  After the warm-up I changed into my racing gear and Dion Snowshoes and headed out onto the course for another mile.  The snow was very dry and light and although a single lane was packed out it looked like it was going to be fairly slow going.  Finally a snowshoe race that I would "enjoy".
 I lined up 3 rows back in a record field of 101.  The start was pretty narrow but everyone seemed to seed themselves correctly and I found myself in 9th place at 1/4 mile as we took the turn off the main path.  It looked like Nacho, Brandon, and JJ would be having a good fight up front.  I was right on Ryan Welts tail and he was right on Joseph Degutis (CRC).  Occasionally we could see Kevin Tilton and Ben Nephew on the many switchbacks.  The pace felt fast and I was doing all I could to hang on to Ryan, there seemed to be a gap behind us and I didn't want to fall off into that void.

Nephew & Tilton
We reached the bridge near the end of the out/back section and I hit my watch (9:35) this would be good to know when heading back in.  Not long after that I was shocked as someone (Chad Carr) came out of nowhere and ran up behind me.  After a couple of minutes I pulled to the side and waived him by and soon after Ryan did the same.  Then he was out of sight.

McGrath, Newbold, Johnson

I kept thinking of trying to pass Ryan but every time I thought "do it now" the pace just seemed to fast.  Finally with about 1.5 to go I called "on your left" and Ryan let me by.  He stayed right on me as we approached the return section.  At that point Degutis went left instead of right and as Ryan called him back I moved up into 8th place.  We hit the bridge and I knew I had less than 10 minutes to go and that the first 6 minutes would be climbing up Horse Hill.

I threw all I could into the climb but couldn't really gap them.  At the top of the hill I dug down and really worked the downhill.  I could hear them behind me but had opened a slight gap.  At the final turn I knew it was only a minute of running left so I "went to the arms".  That was the signal for Degutis to go into his kick and he went by me like I was standing still.  I finished four seconds back and completely beat.

The field was pretty deep, which is great to see.  I hope most of the guys are fired up about Nationals!

1 33:03:00 8:03 Nacho Hernando SWEETIE PIES 20 M Concord NH
2 33:15:00 8:06 Brandon Newbould WHIRLAWAY 32 M Nottingham NH
3 33:35:00 8:11 Jim Johnson CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 36 M Madison NH
4 34:37:00 8:26 Scott McGrath WHIRLAWAY 27 M Andover MA
5 35:16:00 8:36 Kevin Tilton CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 32 M North Conway NH
6 35:18:00 8:36 Ben Nephew CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 38 M Mansfield MA
7 35:23:00 8:37 Chad Carr CAMBRIDGE RUNNING CLUB 38 M Cambridge MA
8 35:58:00 8:46 Joseph Degutis CAMBRIDGE RUNNING CLUB 36 M Brookline MA
9 36:04:00 8:47 Dave Dunham CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 49 M Bradford MA
10 36:10:00 8:49 Ryan Welts ACIDOTIC RACING 33 M Northwood NH
25 46:11:00 11:15 Melissa Donais CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 30 F North Andover MA
28 46:44:00 11:23 David Lapierre CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 49 M Chelmsford MA

No comments: