Masters Running


Snow Monkey 5K Snowshoe RR (Read 219 times)

    This was the first race of the year and it’s been over two months since my last race. Needless to say, I was eager. My first snowshoe race was in 2002 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve seen novices do well and expert foot racers not do as well as we’d expect. Before the race we talked with Rodney and Kathy. Matt showed up. Last year he finished 63 races. His goal was 65 but wound up with a stress fracture. This year he has 20 scheduled. It will prolly be more. Greg and Kris showed up with a new puppy. El Scorcho is a class snowshoe racer. My goal has always been not to let him lap me. He moved to Santa Fe.  He often races in a cape. Last year this course was tough and tore the carp out of my snowshoes. This year I rented a pair. I choose a pair of Tubbs. Race time was 10:00 AM and the starting temp was 10F. The skies were clear and there was no wind, we expected it to warm up quickly. I was the only one there in a black ribbed Batman tank top, though there were several men in tights and Matt wore shorts. This had been the most snow I’ve raced in. I told DW I’d be about 40 min There were about 75 racers at the start. The first part of the trail was across a field. Every time I pushed off the snow, I’d sink some. Uh oh. I looked around and other racers were in the same boat. The first hill forced us into single file and there was an opportunity to catch out breaths. At the back side of the hill I picked up the pace and made opportunities to pass…….Then the bindings on the right shoe came undone….You gotta be kidding me. At least six people passed as I fussed with the straps. After I got back on the course, I pushed and passed four people. We had to duck under branches heavily laden with snow and looking out over the valley on the left was breath taking. For a race, there was a lot of serenity going on. On the way up the third hill, the darn binding on the right shoe came loose again!!!! This time really really bad. I had to rethread the straps through the buckles as racers passed and the adrenaline was pumping. Placing in this race was out as well as a 40 min finish. Well, even if I were to finish DFL, I was going to finish well. Up and down more hills than I can remember, as well as sharp turns and low branches kept me pretty warm. I was staring to think that shorts were a good idea. There was a straight away along a frozen lake and the trail turned to follow the base of the hill. I didn’t see anyone in front of me…..Worse yet, there was no one behind me. The course turned up the hill and back to the start. I finished the first loop in 24 min and some change. I bolted back across the field that started the race. 75 runners went across the field at least once. Many others had gone across twice and the trail was still spongy. I’d push off and sink…land and sink…push off and sink and my bindings came undone again. I pulled them tight as I could and tried to knot them. I hit the second loop as hard as I could and started passing other racers!!!!! Though the binding was digging into my foot, I kept hitting it hard. When I got back along the lake, I lapped other racers who had not finished the first loop. Sweet…. The last stretch brought me with in striking distance of a racer. One glance to the side and at my DW’s smile, I hit it and passed the guy. 5K 44:34. 41/50 OA. 26 people only did one loop. I thought about being one of them. I would have liked to have seen the finish. Matt, in his shorts, tried catching a woman on the final stretch and wound up face planting into the snow. The first finisher over all was a 49 year old Master. This is the first race I can remember where neither Greg, Matt, or Rodney placed. All of them have a consistent sub 20 5K. All of them finished over 30 min. This race was just plain fun, except for the bindings of course. I’ve got a good sized blister from the over tight binding. The spread afterwards was a delight and non racers were invited to partake. The chicken chili was melt in your mouth greta. DW and I were enjoying the fare. I told her I felt over dressed. A young woman heard us and said she was El Scorcho’s sister. He told her to look the guy in the Batman shirt up. He’ll be moving back in September. We met Doug who came from the other side of the state for this race. I have a feeling this will not be his last snowshoe run. If you want to put your endurance to the test, come see us next year.


      Steve, Sounds like a tough race. Congrats Batman!

      ksrunr All American 10K Feb. '10 Cowtown Half marathon Feb. '10 Boston '10

        I've never snowshoed, Steve, but you make it sound like fun in spite of the binding problems. You sure knew a lot of people at the race. That makes it especially enjoyable. Congratulations. TomS
          Congrats Steve, that does sound like fun!
          Quit being so damn serious! When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. "Ya just gotta let it go." OM
            From frustration and gruelling, to scenic and fun... this race pretty much covers it all. I'm glad you had a great day playing in the snow rather than cursing it. Making lemonade out of lemons. Well done!
              Wow, that sounds incredibly challenging, but also incredibly fun. You certainly earned the post-race eats!

              "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."

                that sounds like crazy fun!! nice job!!


                  Steve! I love this report and with the great photos as well. I have never attempted a snowshoe race, but the workout is amazing----just used them a few times on some local trails. Your report made me think that I should just get over myself and go for it. Great work and take care of that blister. The best part is the fun and enjoyment that busts out of your report. Rock on! CNY
                    Steve, I've only hiked in snowshoes but know how much of a workout they are. I can't imagine running in them, but sure would love to try, especially after reading this report. Bindings causing problems on snowshoes sounds way more frustrating and complicated that an untied shoelace. Do they need to be replaced at times or was it just plain bad luck yesterday? Either way, it sounds like you made the most of it and had a lot of fun.
                      Bindings causing problems on snowshoes sounds way more frustrating and complicated that an untied shoelace. Do they need to be replaced at times or was it just plain bad luck yesterday?
                      After the first time, I noticed the left shoe's bindings were threaded through the buckles in a different manner than the right. After the race, I couldn't get that shoe off fast enough, then I took the bindings apart and re threaded them. Don't let some one pack your parachute or do your snow shoe bindings.


                      Marathon Maniac #957

                        Yikes! That's quite a workout! Next time maybe get the snowshoes with the velcro fasteners.... Smile

                        Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."

                          I loved reading this report - makes me want to go find my snowshoes and hit the trail! Thanks for sharing!

                          Sue Running is a mental sport...and we're all insane! Anonymous