Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A good weekend

This weekend was Feel Good Farm, the second race in the Granite State Snowshoe series. Amber and I traveled there separately as I had done the Winter Wild race in Whaleback that morning. Not knowing how long, or lost, I would get going to the farm, I left early from the first race, getting there 2 hours early. Despite the annoyance of squandering precious hours of potential sleep, I decided that I would make the most of this time and sign up to use a pair of Dion snowshoes as well as run the course.
Feel Good Farm is a two lap course that ascends Moose Mountain twice on each lap. It runs about 5.25 miles total but in those miles is a fair amount of ups and downs. As it appears that the snow storms have decided to neglect New Hampshire this year, the course had areas that were sparsely covered with snow which made for some interesting descents as you had to negotiate roots and rocks.
After running the course and getting my loaner pair of Dion's, which I have to say make snowshoing a much more enjoyable event than running in a hiking pair, we got ready to run. The race, as always started out fast, which in this case would have been a good strategy as the course quickly tapered and the first ascent was a slow slog if you were caught behind someone who was walking. (You would have thought that I'd recognize that pitfall of the course when I ran it, but I was clearly lost in thought, or lack thereof at the time). At the summit of Moose Mountain, the trail opened up a bit and allowed for some passing, which I took advantage of. Looking back I saw Amber looking strong and gaining on me. Taking off down the hill, I realized that without the cushion and safety of snow, bombing down wasn't necessarily the best idea. Going slower than I would have otherwise, I ran with a pack of Acidotic runners for a while, while feeling Amber continue in hot pursuit. The second ascent of the first lap gave me a bit of an advantage as the trail was wide enough to pass successfully without much extra effort.
Amber, however, was in a bit of a quandry, being stuck behind a bunch of guys that were a bit slower than her on the ascents but then would bomb by her on the descent. Sparring back in forth, she looked as though she had finally gotten a substantial lead while, wham! she feel flat on her face. Not to be slowed down, a few snowshoers decided to jump right over her back. Finally, a fellow Acidotic and GCS team member Jeremiah Fitzgibbon stopped and helped her up.
The second lap went pretty uneventful for us both as we picked off a few more runners on our way to 10th overall(me) and 1st female overall(Amber). As always, there was a nice fire, hot soup and plenty to drink after the race. And at the Acidotic Team Raffle after the race, Amber won a 6-pack of Red Hook Kona Blend! It's a sign of good times!

Can you guess who jumped over her back?

Winter Wild was really fun. Though short(16 minutes total), the climb seemed tougher than the green circle label given to it for skiers. Reaching the summit as the 5th overall in the open category I quickly picked off three runners, running the majority of the race in second. However, as I neared the final 100 yards, I was past by David Veale, who ran a smarter race and picked a smarter, and firmer line for his final kick. He beat me by a solid 3 seconds which considering he made that in the last 100 is pretty impressive. I finished in a time of 16:13(6:30 pace)-3rd in the Open Category and just missing top 10 overall. The next race is at Ragged on the morning of the Exeter Snowshoe race and I'm trying to get Amber to join me this time as they really are fun.

1 comment:

  1. At Whaleback - you should have snowboarded back down. Seems well within the rules as far as I can see.