Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Frigid 5K Snowshoe Race

Despite the lack of snow, Six03 Endurance was still able to pull off its planned snowshoe race at the Nippo Lake Golf Course in Barrington, NH. This is the 1st time for this event which meant it wasn't part of the Granite State Snowshoe Series. That was unfortunate because it ended up being a stellar event with a great turnout, and the conditions were as good as one can hope for in bleak winter like this one.

John and I got there pretty early since I wanted to get in a decent warm up. I checked in then hit the pavement with Chill for 2.2 miles out and back. I took him out because I assumed he had to go to the bathroom, but he's so weird about where he goes that he refused. Too bad, dog. You'll just have to wait. The other dogs had gone earlier, so they were good. I got John out of the car and into the clubhouse, where he would be for the race, and then went back out for another 1.1 miles. I wanted to have close to 9 miles by the end of the day, so I needed 3 for the warm up.

It was pretty much race time when I got back so I took off some layers, grabbed the snowshoes, then made my way over to the start. I lined up close to the line like I always do in snowshoe races. I've learned over the years to start up front and avoid the cluster of runners farther back. Just a few words, then the race was off. It was almost like sugary snow, so I was immediately blinded by the snow being kicked up in my face by the guys in front of me. This happens a lot, but is fortunately short-lived since I usually end up in my own space quickly.
Only pic from the race. I'm towards the front in the Level Renner hat, nordic suit with popsicle stick in my hand. Haha.

The downhill start was fast, and I found myself behind Scott Mitchell again, along with two other guys who went off really fast. My goal was to stay as close as I could to Scott, but he moved on quickly passing the two guys in front of us. Jim Johnson and Eric Narcisi were already long gone up front, and the 4 of us were next. I knew the guys in front of me shouldn't have been, but it took me awhile to catch them. The course would all around the golf course with plenty of hills, soft snow and then thin hard-packed sections. About a mile in, the course hit a steep, ass-kicker of a hill. I knew I could pass those guys on this, so I pushed myself pretty hard on up to land myself in 4th place behind Scott. The course crossed the road over to what looked like flat running, but that was deceptive. It was a slight incline from one end of the field to the next with plenty of very soft snow sections. My lungs wanted to burst, and I was hurting. Scott began to pull away, and in my rearview I saw what looked like a really young kid gaining on me. What the hell?! Right with the kid was Chris Straub. Damn. I didn't want to get passed by them, but I was ALL done by the time we crossed back over the road. The course went down a steep hill then back uphill to the finish. The kid and Chris were breathing down my neck and then they both passed me at the same time, one on each side. Nothing like being passed by two people at the same time. Haha. Chris would end up in front of the kid who turned out to be Aiden Cox. He's the same age as John but is wicked fast. He has a 5k PR way faster than mine. I didn't mind losing to him at first...until later when the taunting started. Haha. That was all in jest. Yeah, it was a bit embarrassing to lose to a 10 year old, but this isn't just some 10 year old. This kid is impressive; he hold the 5k road world record for 9 year olds.

I can only imagine the future he has ahead of him if he continues with running. Some day I'll be saying, "That guy beat me at a snowshoe race when he was 10 years old!!" And I'll be proud to say it. :)

I finished with absolutely nothing left in the tank as 1st woman, 6th overall in 26:39 with 3.1 miles exactly on my watch. I was happy with my race this time around. I still felt out of shape, but I gave a really good effort out there. I wasn't disappointed.

I went back inside to see John. He was busy with my phone, as usual. I know that makes me look like a bad mom, but he isn't on the phone all day. I get him out doing something after my races, which we did after leaving Barrington. I added some layers of clothes then went out for a cool down with Scott, Eric and Jim. Scott bowed out after 2 miles while the other 3 of us continued on to do three. Back at the clubhouse, brunch was being served to those who paid for it. I opted out since $20 was a little too much for me. Eric was sweet and bought me a beer and John a Shirley Temple, while Scott smuggled me over a danish, so I had people looking out for me. Haha.

Then came the NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN NOR FORGIVEN awards ceremony. I write that with jest, but it's been fun giving Tom Hooper a hard time for only recognizing the top 3 men with gold, silver and bronze painted snow shovels, 22oz Smuttynose beers, a belt buckle, fru-fru drink, bag and water bottle. We top 3 women were given only age group awards with a small beer, water bottle and $10 gift card to Philbrick's. It really wasn't a big deal to me, but we have been playing it up ever since. They shall never forget. Haha. Rosie is our inspiration!

We left shortly thereafter. On our way out, we ran into Gary Reuter and Erica Kahn. I mentioned we were headed to the ocean to take a walk with the dogs. Gary suggested Fort Foster over near his home in Kittery, Maine. This turned out to be the perfect spot! SO beautiful. And I had to pry John out of there. He didn't want to leave, saying he was having so much fun. Score!! And I should have known he'd love it since he loves rocky coastlines where he can climb. This is now one of our new favorite places. We were some of the last people there before the sunset.

York River Landing was only 15 minutes from Fort Foster, and I had heard they had a great beer list, so we drove over there for dinner. The Patriots game was on, and I pretended like I cared and watched some of it. We had a great dinner and some really great beer then drove home.

John at York River Landing
Liquid Riot's The Killing. I loved the name of this one. Good sour beer.

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