I headed over to Beaver Brook in Hollis,NH a little before 9am to mark the course for the 11:30am Beaver Brook 5k Snowshoe race (results). On the way over I was thinking of an often (dd?) used line in snowshoe racing - "everything takes longer in the winter". In other words, give yourself plenty of time. The wind had been howling (30+ mph) for the better part of a day and there was a good chance there would be a few branches on the course. In addition we had 2-3 days of temps near 60 which had melted a ton of snow. Hopefully I had given myself enough time. Marking the course was easy, clearing the 100's of branches was a pain. They were everywhere, including 4-5 blowdowns across the trail. Luckily, you could easily step over all of them so no detours were necessary. Snow conditions were also pretty good. Mostly firm, soft on the edges and just a couple exposed rocks. Other than clearing branches, no additional trail work was required. 1 1/2 hrs later I was done. I headed back out with Mike Wade for a warm up on the backend of the course. I only had on running shoes and nearly killed myself a half dozen times. I eventually circled back after a couple of miles before I injured myself.
|Me and Bob Jackman near the finish|
|'Rustic' conditions heading into the field|
|Near the finish - photo credit Gianina Lindsey|
Overall I had a great time. There's just nothing like racing on snowshoes at night. My knee was scraped up pretty good and a little stiff but I'll survive to race again! After hanging out for a little food, awards and raffles, I finally was ready to head home...and get some rest. 7 more miles done, 18+ miles for the day. Now that's one way to get a long run in!