Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble

Drive 3 and a half hours, run 4 mile race and drive 3 and a half hours back. Why, because i want to. I guess it also helps when you are joining a bunch of your teammates and other friends from the north to run a snowshoe race.

Saturday was the second race of the Granite State Snowshoe Series and my first one. I had been sick for most of the week and had not run in 8 days, so i was coming into the race with only one goal....finish comfortably. The race was at Whitaker Woods, right in the middle of North Conway. It is a nice park, with groomed XC trails and some great views of Mt Washington. The race uses both groomed and single track trails on some nice rolling terrain. We had 11 Turtles up here for the race, funny how we can't organize that many to run a race in RI as a team, but we drive 3+ hours here.

Photo by Gianina Lindsey
At the race start, i lined up way over to the side to stay out of the way of most of the runners. Race Director, Kevin Tilton said a few words and then we were off. We headed off across the groomed trails, there was already separation as the front half of the field was pulling away. I hear it was a very fast start. I stuck with my plan of running comfortably, moving up and down the first hill easily. Footing was great, but i did feel that my snowshoes weren't adjusted to my liking, i had loaned them out last week and the straps were definitely off. On the second uphill, Jackie Jackman went cruising on by, i just kept my pace. All the climbing in the race was done in the first 2 miles, about 400 feet worth. Just after the mile, we came out onto one trail where you had a great view of Mt Washington totally covered in snow. Five months from now, i hope to be running up that hill. Once past the 2 mile mark, things started feeling better, downhills will do that. I seemed to pick up the pace a little, coming into 3 miles, i caught up to and passed Don Fredrickson. Don and i go way back to the 80's and racing in RI. He had mentioned later that this was his chance to finally beat me. Sorry Don, maybe next time. It will be the battle of running has beens. I finished up right behind Tim Lindsey, Tim was in my sights for a while, but i just could not and really did not feel like trying to catch him. Over the finish line and then the effects of the race and my week long cold hit, i had a 3+ minute coughing fit, then i was fine. I ran better than i thought i would.

Up front, the Turtles had a good day. Bob Jackman was 9th, Dave Principe, Martin Tighe and Matt Keefe all made the top 20. Jim Johnson/CMS won the race in 26.53.

Next week is Sidehiller in Center Sandwich, NH. I have run this race the past 2 years. Lack of snow last year caused them to change the course, with a lot more snow this year, we should be back on the original course. That is a good thing!

After a short awards ceremony, most of the Turtles headed over to the Moat Mountain Smokehouse  and Brewing Co. Joining us there were Don Fredrickson and Jess & Kevin Tilton for some food and excellent beer. My beer of choice was the Double Bock, the menu said you could only have 2 of these, usually they say this when it is a real strong beer, i did not find it strong but it was very tasty. In the number of times i have been to the Moat, i have yet to see an IPA on tap. I'll have to contact them a month before i show up there again and beg them to brew a big, hopped up IPA, maybe for the Mt Washington Road Race. We had a great time there, Don and myself got to talk about the old running scene here in RI, i could have stayed for hours, but we had to get back so John Peabody could get out on his lobster boat for 8pm.

One nice thing about going up to Sidehiller is that we get to hit Milly's Tavern in Manchester afterwards.

See ya next week.

Race Reports:

DoubleJ Running
Acidotic Racing

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