Horse HillIt was a little disappointing only seeing 46 folks show up for the 2nd annual Horse Hill 7k Snowshoe Race (results) in Merrimack NH for race #6 of the GSSS. In the end we were able to map out a pretty decent 4 mile course on varying terrain with good snow cover. The way things are going it might turn out to be the last GSSS race due to lack of snow elsewhere in the state. I posted some pictures from the race here.
DoubleJ and I ran the course as a warm up to check out the conditions and course markings. Everything was great except me...I was not feeling very good. I was dragging on the warm up and was not looking forward to racing at all. To top it off I noticed one of my Dion bindings had torn through, allowing my foot to pivot sideways on the decking. Nothing like a little stress right before the start of a race. I truly expected my snowshoe to fall off during the race. Heck, near the end I was hoping it would and put me out of my misery.
The race started on a slight uphill and JJ quickly took the lead followed by the rest of us mere mortals.
Sean eventually took the lead and led for most of the remaining race, about 20m in front of Dave, followed by John Rymes, myself and John Pajer. We all stayed close throughout the race but I obviously wasn't closing in on anyone. Dave eventually caught Sean, probably in the last 1/2 mile or so and finished a strong 2nd overall behind Jim Johnson. Sean and John Rymes followed for 3rd and 4th place.
Dave Principe followed by Sean Snow and John Rymes near the finish
For the 2nd race in a row John Pajer stayed right on my shoulder for a good part of the race. This time I could not hold him off and he passed me in the last 1/4 mile and finishing 5th overall. I eventually limped in in 6th place, a disappointing 4th master. In reality it was a very close race for the 5 of us. Only 21 seconds separated Dave, Sean, John R, John P and myself.
John Pajer and me at the finish
Jim Johson and I ran the course for a cool down and picked up all the flags (around 2,000 it seemed) and signage.I had to walk a few times because I was bonking on the cool down. Who the heck bonks on a cool down??? Looking back, it was a good thing (sort of) that I decided not to do Kingman. I don't think I could have raced again that day.