Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Granite State Snowshoe Championship

After recovering from nearly lighting our apartment on fire by running a fun three miler and having drinks at The Top of the Hub with my brother Matty and sister-in-law Deidre, we were ready for the Granite State Snowshoe Championship.

The whole way up to Great Glen on Sunday was rainy and dreary. "Great way to end the series". However, we cross through Jackson and start up the hills on Rt 16 and all of a sudden the rain turns to snow. By the time we've hit the Mt Washington Auto Road, we felt like it was really winter again. Now the Auto Road has been a site of some memorable events-Amber competing in the Nordic 300(300 minutes of cross country ski racing), hiking Washington as well as running it twice(the first was when I proposed). Sunday's race was no exception. It was by far the best race of the season. It had a perfect blend of hard packed fast terrain with rolling hills as well as tough climbs and single track. It had it all. Did I mention the Red Hook? At the finish Chris had gotten Red Hook to donate a Keg of IPA(my favorite) which when split amongst the 50 or so volunteers and racers made for a very merry post-race.

The race brought out some of the usual suspects with Jim Johnson, Kevin Tilton and Geoff Cunningham all vying for the first place finish. Closer to my competitive level was Dave Dunham(only close due to injuries), Chris Dunn, Steve Wolfe, Kurt Gustafson, and Dave Principe. The way the course worked was that the first half was on groomed x-c trails which while hilly made for a much faster first 5k than second. As was expected, the fast guys were out of sight within minutes and a pack that included Kurt Gustafson, Dave Principe, and Steve Wolfe were right behind. I followed behind that pack trying to see through my iced/fogged up sunglasses for about 2 miles when Dave Dunham passing looking as if he showed up to the race late. He quickly traded places with Steve and when we went under the tunnel to start the second 5k I caught Steve on the hills.
From catching Steve, I spent the rest of the race doggedly trying to get passed by Steve, then Chris, then Steve again who alternated riding my heels for the remainder of the race(Chris is great on the hills and Steve on the flats and descents). I had made it within 200 yards of the finish when Steve passed me to finish right ahead while Chris came in less than a minute behind. What a great way to finish with two of the guys that I'd been competing with all season.

Amber had a bit of an interesting race and was very close to losing the last race of the season due to equipment error. She had put on a sizable lead when she somehow stepped on her running shoe with one of her crampons. This resulted in a head over feet fall(luckily into powder). Fumbling with her snowshoe she was unable to rid herself of the impaled running shoe. Determined to finish the race she momentarily considered hopping to the finish line nearly three miles in the distance. Luckily for her, our teammate and friend Rich Lavers, kindly stopped. Not worrying about his own place or time, Rich worked to get the feet apart. Despite the delay which probably cost them nearly two minutes they finished in 11th and 12th places overall.

At the award ceremony, in addition to the typical prizes for overall finishers, there were enough prizes for two goes at the raffle meaning everyone won something and many two things.

For an otherwise, snowless snowshoe season, this Sunday's race rejuvenated my love for snowshoing and was a good sendoff amongst friends and family. We now look ahead to a fun trail running and triathlon season. Thanks to Acidotic for a fun winter.

No comments:

Post a Comment