Monday, January 23, 2012

First Snowshoe Race of the Year

A few hundred meters from the finish ( photo by Gianina Lindsey)
Finally, there is enough snow on the ground to race on. Very early Saturday morning, i headed up to North Conway, NH with teammate Chris Jasparro to the Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble. It is a 4 mile race on groomed trails and some single track in the middle of North Conway. This was the first race of the Granite State Snowshoe Series since the first two races had been postponed due to lack of snow. Snow was falling lightly and it was a bit cold, maybe 10-12 degrees, but did not feel that cold. After registering and saying hello to many of my trail/snowshoe friends, Chris and i did a mile or so warmup on the trails. This was the first time on the shoes since last February, but i felt great on them, smooth and strong. 

As the race went off, i fell into a pace i thought would be good for me, the lead group separated quickly and i found myself entering the woods leading the second group while watching the guys out front disappear. Chris J was at the tail end of the lead group and seemed to be running very well, Chris, like me, is in much better shape this year and should place well in some of these races. This course is basically uphill for the first half and downhill for the rest. As i came into the start of the hills, i was catching up to Dan Hayden of Acidotic Racing. Dan was running bare armed out there, too cold for me, but as Dan said before the race, as long as he had gloves on, he would be fine. I was gaining good ground on Dan on the uphills and did catch and pass him about the time we hit the high point of the course. On the start of the downhills, it was different story, Dan ran with a bit more reckless abandon than i did, a few times i pulled up on his heels only to have him pull away again. In the last mile, i was maybe 10-15 seconds behind as we came out onto the last part of the course, what looks like a groomed 400 meter track, i closed a little, but was 9 seconds behind at the finish. I had too much left at the end, i need to learn to push harder at the end of snowshoe races, it is not quite the same as the end of a road 5k. I finished with a time of 33.53, last year i ran 38.50. I am running lighter and stronger this year and it showed, this was my best SS race in the 4 years that i have been running these things. Now if we can just get some more snow in NH so i can run more of the series, i will be very happy. Chris J ran a great race to finish 5th, this is his 3rd year doing these races and a huge jump from last year.
Big shout out to Jess and Kevin Tilton for putting on a great race...Thank You!

Post race? What else but a visit to a brewpub. In this case Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewpub. Chris and i met up with Don Fredrickson at the bar. Had an imperial stout that was very good and a rye ale that was just so-so. Food here is always good and i love their "yam fries".

Next week is the Sidehiller in Center Sandwich, NH. Lack of snow has already altered the course, it should be fast, just hope the snow lasts til the weekend. There should be a better Turtle showing at this race. Post race at Milly's Tavern in Manchester.

I started this week with the Epic Trail Run, Bradford to Salisbury, Ma. This was a Dave Dunham/Dan Verrington production. It was cold!! No it was f*****g cold, 6 degrees at the start and i had 20 miles to run. I should note that i had not run 20 miles since November of 2004, the Philadelphia Marathon. Pace was easy and the miles went by quickly, the company helped too. I only started to fade in the last mile, letting the pack go with 1/2 mile to go. Finished in 2:42, not a bad start to some longer runs that will be upcoming.

At the finish, Dan Verrington, Me, Todd Callaghan, Jim Pawlicki, Joe Shairs
Bob Jackman,Joe O'Leary, Dave Principe, Dave Lapierre, Ken Tripp
Thor Kirleis and Dave Dunham
Of course, we hit a brewpub on the way home, this one was Watch City Brewing in Waltham, MA. Bob Jackman, Dave Principe, Thor Kirlies and myself enjoyed a few brew and a bite to eat. One thing i will say about this place, they never seem to have anything i would call earth shattering on tap. The cask stout was ok, there wasn't an IPA on tap. I should have tried the barley wine, but after running 20, that would have put me in a coma.


GZ said...

Scott - stoked to see you shaving off such a huge chunk of time and being happy with how it is all going!

Scott Mason said...

Thanks George. Looking at the long range, already into Mt W on a bypass. I got unfinished business there.