Monday, March 7, 2011

Snowshoe marathon in VT

No photos for this one, sorry - I didn't carry a camera (again) and no one backed me up this time. So I'll try to keep it brief to limit the wading through words.

Snow. Rain - but only a little. Snowmobiles. Quiet trails. Climbing through trees. Occasional views. M&Ms. Fun run down the mountain. One lap done. Repeat 3 times. Done!

I guess I could put just a little more substance in...

The people that put on the Peak Races sponsored this snowshoe fun run (1 loop), half marathon (2 loops), marathon (do the math), and 100-mile race (for crazy people) last weekend. On the other hand, the 100-mile folks looked positively sane compared to the guys doing the Death Race training at the same time. It was fascinating watching those folks stagger slowly up and down the trails, carry firewood in their packs, schlep rocks from the creek in buckets, and split logs for firewood. I was a little worried at first that I was watching the 100-mile racers do these strange things, then was relieved to find out it was only the psycho Death Race people.

Compared to that, the snowshoe race was a walk in the park. After the first loop of 150 racers, the trail got so packed down that it was a ton of fun to run on. It also made the climbing (1800 ft per lap) more straightforward. The best part of each loop was the Labyrinth trail through a dark stand of pine trees, weaving back and forth like it was trying to be a Texas mountain bike trail in a small space.

I was patient the first loop (not a lot of places to pass people anyway), found a pace to sustain the next 2 loops, and pushed the last loop. Somehow that put my splits at almost exactly 1:30 for each one. My total of 6:04 was good enough for 3rd place... out of 3 women who finished it. The 2 leading ladies were completing the course as I was starting my last lap, so there was no one to chase there. I chased my own lap times instead, and that was enough work for me.

A little rain kept things interesting but hardly bothered me nor did it mess up the trails. Snowmobiles at the bottom of the mountain were loud and smelly, but we didn't have to deal with them for too long at a time. Otherwise, just another fun day in the woods. OK, I'm ready for winter to be done now.

Shortest post in a long time, but I'll take it! :)

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