Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bradbury White Out Snowshoe Race

Yesterday, the Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe Race was postponed due to potential weather, and I was bumming. I've never run that one and was really looking forward to it. My son's 9th birthday party is the afternoon of the new race date, so I'm obviously not going to change that for a snowshoe race. Things got better, though, when scrolling through Facebook (while bored at work),  I found a post from the Bradbury Mountain Snowshoe Series in Pownal, Maine announcing that the Bradbury White Out Snowshoe Race was being moved to today (Feb 14) at 3pm. I was psyched. I love the Trail Monsters and the Bradbury races (summer and winter) and usually get over there for at least one race of each series. I didn't think I was going to make any of the snowshoe races this year, but as soon as Kingman Farm postponed, I signed right up for the White Out (for only a $15 entry fee, $10 less than most of the GSSS).
It was nice getting to sleep in a bit, take John and the dogs out for a walk and then get ready. The snow started falling  as soon as I woke up  and continued all day, but I'm so used to driving in this stuff that it doesn't even phase me. Just another day. Last year, I spent all winter driving with bald tires, so having tread makes it easy. :)
We got to the race pretty early. It was good to see the familiar faces of Ryan Triffitt and Ian Parlin. I talked to them a bit before going back to the car. As usual, John would stay in the car with the three dogs for this one. He's content with it, so it works for me. I grabbed Chill, my border collie, and took him on a 2-mile warm up on snowshoes via the snowmobile trail to the top of Bradbury Mt and back. Then is was time to line up for the race. I decided to line up next to Jeff Walker and Chuck Hazzard. After his RD speech, Ryan lined up next to us and Ian in front of him. The race started and sent us for a brief run down the snowmobile trail. It was enough to spread out except I got caught behind one guy just as we turned onto the single track. And, wow, the powder. I would say these conditions were very comparable, if not harder, to last weekend's races. My lungs were burning from the get-go. I stayed behind that one guy for awhile but couldn't take it anymore and told him I needed to go around. He obliged and stepped to the side. Ian followed me as we went by and the chase on Chuck and Jeff began. Chuck was able to push on ahead, but Ian and I caught up with Jeff. At the next passing point (which was just a few snowshoe prints next to the trough), Ian blew past Jeff and me. Jeff was still running a good pace, so I decided to hang behind him. Jeff only nordic skis over the winter and was starting to lose some steam, but I decided to wait until we hit the next snowmobile trail to pass him. Once past Jeff, I set my sights on Ian, who wasn't far ahead. Other than Jeff, there had been no one behind me for awhile, but then all of a sudden, Damon Gannon was catching up fast and passing Jeff. Ian and I briefly caught up with a runner ahead who had slowed down significantly, but within about 100 yards, we came out onto a wide ski trail. We passed the runner and then I passed Ian. I could hear what I think was Gannon on my heels, but I decided to just start busting out at this point to try to catch the next guy in front of me and Chuck. The race pretty much ended with long incline, and I easily caught the guy in front of me and passed him. I could see Chuck, but I knew the finish was close and that I wouldn't catch him in time. I still finished first female (by about 12 minutes) in 46:41, 5th overall. (Bradbury Results) I finished completely out of breath and stumbling, so I knew I had run hard. I felt like I had really given my all for the first time in a snowshoe race this season. Best race I've had yet. The conditions were tough, with most of the race being in the single track, powder trough. Elevation isn't huge over there, but just the snow conditions alone made it challenging. I'm so glad I made the trek over. Always great races put on by Ryan or Ian and all of the other Trail Monster volunteers. They are such nice people.
Post-race, I took a quick 1-mile cooldown with my other two dogs, Spot and Phoenix. It was supposed to be longer, but 1/4 of the way in, I realized I had forgotten to put my second pair of gloves back on and my fingers were FROZEN. It was a struggle to just to continue to the half-mile point to turn around. Once back at the car, I warmed my hands then changed into dry clothes, and John and I walked over to the pavilion for food and awards. The carrot ginger soup from Frontier was SO good. I even had seconds. Awards started pretty quickly. They always have a nice spread of awards to choose from so I decided on a pair of Darn Tough socks (since that's the one thing I hadn't chosen before ha ha) and got a container of Valentine cookies made by Sam, Ryan and Danielle's daughter. I've already eaten almost all of them. :)
Finish line
John and I hit the road to get back to NH immediately after. It was snowing much harder and was blowing all over the roads, but the road conditions were actually fine. I was able to drive my normal speed the whole way home without a problem. Whatever, Neptune. Nice try. You weren't stopping me from snowshoe racing today.

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