Granite State snowshoe championships - I’ve only done one snowshoe race this season mostly in deference to my ankles which do not deal well with the added stress of uneven terrain and additional weight of the shoes. Since I’m planning on doing the All-Terrain series I felt it’d be a good idea to get another SS race under my belt before the Northeast Championships (03/12 @ Prospect Mountain). I broke/cracked a rib on Wednesday and was pretty sore (strained a triceps muscle and did something to my shoulder from the fall but neither of those hurt as much as the rib). I was able to run so I figured I’d also be able to race.
The 100 mile drive to Waterville Valley was easy enough although the wind meant 2 hands on the wheel the entire drive. There wasn’t much snow on the ground south of Concord but steadily increased. I arrived a little more than an hour before the 11:00am start time and the temps were around 10 degrees and the wind was anywhere from 15-25 mph. Chris Dunn had devised a really nice 5.3 mile course that was mostly in the woods (and all on wide groomed trail) so we’d mostly be out of the wind. I checked out the course map and found it hard to follow but committed the elevation profile to memory. It looked like about 700’ of climb and most of that was from 1 mile to 3, after that there would be a couple of “bumps” but mostly downhill to the finish. I don’t like “fast” snowshoe racing, I prefer a good grind at 10-15 minute miles but conditions and course dictate the race and this would be a fast one.
I got in an easy 2 mile road run for a warm-up then tried to figure out how many layers to wear. Teammate Tim Van Orden had four layers on so I felt okay about my 3 light layers. Tim and Jamie Woolsey had raced in the North American championships less than 48 hours before this race! Only 42 lined up for the start, maybe due to the Winter Wild race, Maine SS race, and Mt Washington race all on the same weekend?
It felt like a cross-country race start as everyone seemed to fly out. Maybe I was a bit tentative. I counted 15 people in front of me a minute into the race. Soon after I passed Jamie then got up to sometimes teammate Leslie O’Dell (she runs for another team during snowshoe season). By the first beep on my Garmin (1/2 mile) I was in 10th place and starting to settle in. Tim was in the lead with fellow CMS runner Ed Sheldon along with Josh Fields and Phil Erwin, both from acidotic Racing. Ed and Phil were in battle for the New Hampshire series title. Tivo broke it open as the real climbing started before the mile. I moved up on the climb passing Phil as he fell off from the aggressive early going. By 1.25 I was 20 seconds behind Matt Picard and just before the 2 mile mark I’d moved up to 6th place and was 30 seconds behind Josh. Matt and Bobby McDonoghue were back and forth and at the top of the climb I’d closed to 12 seconds.
I was feeling pretty good on the climbs but felt I was doing my best running on the flats (of all things). Tim and Ed were now long gone out of sight but I could see Josh up ahead and on a couple of tight turns I couldn’t see the next guy behind me. We hit the last real bump at 3.75 miles and I was 24 seconds behind Josh and had closed to 5 seconds behind Matt. I would not get any closer. Josh pulled away and Bobby and Matt did the same especially over the last ½ mile where I was really starting to feel it and just had nothing left. I was happy to hold it together and cross the line in 6th place. Tim took the win and Ed wrapped up the Granite State series with his 2nd place finish.
Time Name Sx Age City, St Team
1 36:06 Tim Van Orden M 48 Bennington, VT CMS
2 37:41 Ed Sheldon M 52 Hooksett, NH CMS
3 38:50 Josh Fields M 28 Claremont, NH aR
4 39:08 Bobby McDonough M 24 Allston, MA Brighton Bangers
5 39:23 Matt Picard M 32 Jamca Plain, MA FHR
6 39:35 Dave Dunham M 52 Bradford, MA CMS
7 40:17 Vincent Lyon M 28 Dover, NH Six03
8 40:30 John Carton M 50 Newmarket, NH
9 41:06 Andrew Hostetler M 26 Thornton, NH
10 41:31 Jeff Walker M 51 Falmouth, ME TMR
11 41:45 Phil Erwin M 49 Ridge, NY aR
12 42:17 Jeffrey Litchfield M 57 Concord, NH aR
13 42:38 Scott Mitchell M 47 Greenland, NH aR
14 42:43 Jonathan Kovar M 47 Contoocook, NH aR
15 42:52 Leslie O'Dell F 40 Albany, NH Six03
16 43:36 David Loutzenheiser M 50 Cambridge, MA CRC
17 44:28 Jamie Woolsey F 33 Oneida, NY aR