I got bit by the snowshoe bug at the Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic last Saturday (results). I went home that day and searched for upcoming races and found the Granite State Snowshoe Series. The next race was held today in Lyndeborough, NH, only 90 minutes away from Beverly. What I did not account for was a ball-buster of a course hosted by Feel Good Farm and race director, Michael Amarello of 3crace productions. I read that we had to do Moose Mountain four times, and I certainly did, slowly. Feel Good Farm has 540 acres of land. There was plenty of animals milling about.
After helping a few first time snowshoers with advice and snowshoe adjustments at the starting line, I headed out and got buried in sixteenth place about 100m in as the single track hit us and the climb ensued. I got a chance to pass a few on the first climb between stepping around and or from an offer in front of me to step aside. I was then in tenth place at the top with a hardcore descent into the backside of the mountain where the lowest part of the course awaited. Then another climb back up was there at 1.6 miles to insult us again. I passed three more guys as all four of us mixed a slow crawl of walk - trot - run to the top where Scott Mason awaited to capture drool, snot, and sweat with his Nikon camera. See photos.
I got down the bottom approaching the half way mark. Tim Cox (Acidotic - CMS), who was spectating, had words of encouragement. I failed to check on the half way split but heard I was in sixth place. I couldn't see anyone in front of me so I had no way to judge spacing but Chris Dunn was on my heels soon enough as we approached the ascent again up Moose Mountain. It was here that I trotted up and he was walking but keeping pace at my heels. I got some distance at the top and into the descent over the next mile but not much as I would peek back and see company about twenty seconds back.
I pulled into the finish line just under 43 minutes for a distant sixth place (results). It was clear the five guys in front of me finished minutes ahead of me. Kevin Tilton and Ben Nephew were already cooling down. They finished 1st and 3rd respectively. Just behind me was Reeder Fahnestock, Chris Dunn, and Chris Mahoney who ran his first snowshoe race. I told Chris that this was a tough introduction to snowshoe racing. The rest, unless going through two feet of snow, should be easier. I cooled down with new CMS teamate Christain Muentener and then caught up with CMS 'mates Kevin and Ben for a few minutes. I picked up a Feel Good Farm Pint Glass for 3rd place in the age group and a raffle prize which will be a gift for a friend. In all, this was a great event and as always, great people.
Kristen (photos) and Scott Mason (photos) were everywhere on the course taking photos. My Garmin measured 4.03 miles today. How does 10:40 pace per mile on snowshoes sound? The high point on the course was 878ft and just about touched that four times today. The low point was 499ft while the race started at 648ft.
The Pooh Hill Showshoe Scramble in East Madison, New Hampshire is the next race. Perhaps I can convince Kristen and the GTI for another day trip.
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