John's first race in the northeast (this winter anyway) - I convinced him that it wouldn't be so bad to snowshoe for 3 miles, even though it's cold and snow is falling. He tagged along after a promise of hot coffee before and after, plus a free loaf of bread at the finish line. It was also fun to rent snowshoes for $5 to try out the racing type.
Snow was coming down as we were getting ready, but it stopped before the race began:
Ready to go!
Come on John, you can do it!
He did eventually get out of the car and join me and maybe 100 other folks at the starting line. Pre-race announcements were mercifully short, and then we were off.
The course began on an open cross-country ski trail which had enough snow to make it feel like I was running in slow motion as my heart rate went up. The race director had warned us about an early hill. I actually didn't mind the hill because then at least I had an excuse for my slower-than-running speed.
Then it was off into the woods on a narrow trail. Fun! I was soon passing a couple people here and there, following someone for a while to take a breather and then working to find a place to pass. The trail was awesome, and I put my technical trail running skills to good use while trying to find the best places to place my oversized feet when a root or a rock appeared here and there.
I only stepped on one other person's shoe, and that was because he stopped to walk when I was right behind him. Didn't expect that! Surely he had heard me breathing down his neck? I'm not a quiet racer when I'm aiming to pass.
The racing shoes were great - narrow and light, with plenty of traction and perfect for those conditions. We have some hiking snowshoes from France, but we may have to get some for racing. How to explain that native (and pseudo-native) Texans would own not just one, but two sets of snowshoes? And possibly a pair of cross-country skis in the near future too?
Anyway, I had a blast running through the woods, weaving around on the trail, playing in the snow, passing more people, getting in a great workout. I was still glad when the trail finally reached the main road and headed for the finish line. Except that road still wasn't packed down much, so it was back to running on "sand" for a quarter mile. John cheered me in as the 3rd woman (finally something other than 2nd place!) and I got my loaf of free Vermont Bread Company bread :)
We're back in Albany, all tucked inside awaiting the first snowstorm of the season to hit. Fun weekend!