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Downtown Temple,NH

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Northeast Snowshoe Championships

At least I had fun before the race!
The first ever Northeast Snowshoe Championships, or Federation Cup or NSF Championship Race was held on Saturday at Northfield Mt in the aptly named town of Northfield, Ma (results). I was mentally checked out of this race long before showing up on Saturday morning. As someone else mentioned earlier this week on their blog regarding a different race, I too know what I like and this wasn't it. I find no pleasure in doing a mountain race on snowshoes. Period. Granted, I'm generally a weak climber to begin with and for whatever reason I was even weaker on Saturday. Like I said, I just wasn't into it. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what I didn't like with Northfield. I'm not against going uphill. In fact, my favorite race over the last couple years is still Turner Trail from last year (and that course had a TON of climbing).
Maybe the real problem was I wasn't prepared for Northfield. I wasn't rested. I had tired legs even before the start. The race started off bad and just got worse, which made for a long day. It's easier to blame the course than to blame me :-)

I think the other big reason I didn't like Northfield was due to a handful of snowshoers who were....well, jerks. I can't even think of a race where a single snowshoer did something during a race that I could actually remember more than a day later. At Northfield I can remember at least 3...still. To be honest, I'm sure the fact that I was having an incredibly bad day added to my mood but seriously, some people need to relax out there. It's a $10 snowshoe race, not the freakin Olympics. On the initial climb I got behind a guy who clearly went out too fast and was walking slowly (yes, slower than me!) I asked if I could go by and he said "go ahead" (with attitude) and just kept on walking right in the middle of the single track. His idea of go ahead meant "you can pass but I'm not getting out of the way, YOU step off the trail if you want to pass". Whatever. At the time it really irritated me. 4 days later I'm not sure what I think. Anyways, time to move on.

This entire season has been a Jekyll and Hyde type season. Good race, bad race, good race, bad race, sick, repeat. Honestly, I never know what to expect when I show up anymore. But I keep showing up :-)
Finally, some much needed downhill!!!

The season will be over soon and I'm sure I'll miss it ( I think).
Thanks to Scott Mason for great photos once again. Thanks!


Kevin said...

Bummer about your race at Northfield Steve. Looks like you're do for a good one at Great Glen! Or you could run that indoor half marathon instead. No hills there.

DoubleJ said...

I've heard numerous stories of a few guys out there that caused problems... very strange that they all showed up for the same race... I've done this 2 times now this year, where I'm completely aware of who's behind me and when Kevin (both times) caught up to me on a climb, before he could even ask me to go around, I moved aside at the last minute and let him pass. I did that at Sidehiller and Northfield because I know how to properly race a snowshoe race. You have to be aware of others and responsive and respectful and know what to do and when to do it. To anticipate the right course of action. Those guys were clowns.

Steve Wolfe said...

Thanks Kevin, although 65 laps is a bit much for me :-)

Jim, I think 90% of us can sense someone behind us and will ask if they want to pass, typically before they ask. We step off, let them pass and step back on. Pretty simple.
I have no idea what was going on at Northfield.

sn0m8n said...

7 Sisters will make you feel better.

Michael said...

Steve - I recommend quitting while you're behind. That way, the fast people in front don't even notice you're gone!

Hey, it's worked for me. :)