about the photo

Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hallockville Orchard 3.7M Snowshoe Race

Part II of my weekend would take me (and DoubleJ) out west to Hawley MA for the Hallockville Orchard 3.7M Snowshoe Race (results). Only the stubbornness of both of us made this one happen. We both had sub-par experiences at Horse Hill the day before. I was hoping that was an aberration and not a trend. The general plan was if one of us went the other would go. If one bailed, the other most likely would skip the race. Well I wasn't going to be the one to say no. The outcome of this battle was no surprise to those who know us. Give the 'W' to stubbornness.

Horse Hill 7k Snowshoe Race

Horse Hill
It 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.

Snowshoe Double (Not the one I planned on)

If you live in the Northeast, you don't need me to tell you the snow conditions have been less than ideal over the past month. A couple of the Granite State Snowshoe Series races have been shuffled around in hopes of hitting a date with actual snow on the ground. What a concept: a snowshoe race with snow....It really should not this difficult in the dead of winter in New Hampshire.

So, this weekend was supposed to be a day/night doubleheader. The Horse Hill 7k would take place in Merrimack NH at 11:30am and 6 1/2 hours later we'd have the infamous Kingman Farm Moonlight 5k in Madbury NH. Well three straight days of 40+ degree weather plus 50 degrees on race day ended that possibility. In the end, the Kingman Farm course could not maintain enough snow for a quality snowshoe event and was removed from the GSSS schedule, effectively becoming an 'snowshoe optional' race. I opted not to participate. It was a tough pill to swallow, as this race had become my favorite event over the last couple of years. I still attended, volunteering instead...guiding mostly runners (and some diehard snowshoers) across the snowless fields of Kingman Farms. Nobody complained.. It was a beautiful, star-filled moonlight night and I made sure to point it out to more than a few participants. Heck, Danny Ferreira even ran without his headlamp on, just to enjoy the awesome night.

Is there a point to this blog post? Well I didn't do the Horse Hill/Kingman double but thankfully we still have some options. I ran the Horse Hill 7k on Saturday and then headed out west for the WMAC Hallockville Orchard 3.7m race on Sunday. Stay tuned. Incredibly boring race reports to follow soon.