Saturday, January 5, 2008

Snowshoe Insanity

Well, I just got in a little while ago from the first of three Snowshoe Races this season in the Mad Trapper Snowshoe Race Series. What a blast.

Ignoring how I felt yesterday (since I had such a good long sleep last night) I decided that why not do the 10 km race instead of the 5 km. Ya that was smart.

What did I learn at the race today?

  • Regular snowshoes meant for big powder and backpacking are not good for racing.
  • Racing Snowshoers wear really small snowshoes that are built for running; they are lighter, they are smaller meaning you can use a closer running stance, and due to this they cut a narrow path in the snow.
  • Everyone is faster than me so I am at the back in big wide snowshoes that weigh more and that require more room to maneuver hence I tripped over my snowshoes a lot.
  • In a small cut path walking is faster than stepping on/tripping over your snowshoes.
  • 10 km is about 5 km too far if you have not been training.

So how did I do?

  • First 5 km: 55 min 45 sec
  • Pit Stop: 9 min 21 sec (including water and begging the race director Mike, thank you Mike, for a loan of a pair of racing snowshoes; which he loaned me)
  • Second 5 km: 48 min 49 sec (same loop as the first 5 km so I did about 7 mins better on the 2nd loop with running snowshoes)
  • Also I was in last place. But all is not lost, I got a price; a new winter running toque.

What will I do for the next race? Well I am seriously contemplating using my MEC Gift Certificate for a new set of running snowshoes (that is a no brainer). I am going out for one of my running sessions per week and going to go snowshoeing near the house where there are lots of nice rolling hills. I am going to carry water on the next run since I was out for 1 hr 54 min and stopping for a water break was a waste of time.

All in all though, I learned a lot. I had a good time and I did the hardest physical activity that I have done in a long time.

My trail running, insane idea racing buddy was with me and did the 5 km. He thought I was crazy to do the 2nd loop and I think I may have been a little. I committed to it though and I knew I could do it if I took my time. The funny thing he pointed out was that he figures 10 km of snowshoe racing is about equal to a 1/2 Marathon. I would agree it is close; my 1/2 Marathon time this past spring was 10 minutes faster than todays snowshoe race.

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