Todd Callaghan and I arrived at the Prospect Mountain NordicSki Center in Woodford Vermont for the Woodford Whiteout 10K snowshoe race. I was not sure what to expect as this was a new race for me and i raced the night before in Madbury, NH. Race Director Tim Van Orden devised a course that will challenge many. Up his sleeve was a blend of stadium loops, deep (beyond his control) single track, some fire roads, and a summit to Prospect Mountain. I witnessed the deepest snow that I have ever tried to run through about 3.25 miles into the race - deep as in above the knee depth that makes running very tough. I had already fallen three times. I hiked down some tricky parts (as in deep as $#@!*) and then proceeded to hike as the guy in front of me was doing. I came up with a term while I was hiking. Not offense to Sally but I came up with “Sallying.” Running or hiking like a Sally. My hiking effort (not even worth calling it that) caused a bottle neck and someone to catch up and step on my snowshoes multiple times before I told him it was not appreciated (PG13 version). There was no room to step aside and let anyone pass. If I or the passer stepped out - one risked taking a digger in 2.5 feet of white powder. Eventually I leaned off to the side and let him by. Ashley Krause passed by too – offered a comment to let someone else lead. I was embarrassed.
Danny Ferreira, who was supposed to be running a marathon in TX (flight got cancelled) was also in company so he saw me struggling. He saw me fall a few times and sound off a few expletives. I was fearful that I was holding him back but he was content that he was on pace for his National Snowshoe Qualifier anyhow. We vented a bit about the current conditions as it seemed to take forever to get out of that crap and onto a groomed trail. Danny flew past after offering me a GU. He knew where I was mentally and physically. I declined and encouraged him to pick up some time and spots. He put nearly 2 minutes on me over from 4.5 miles to the finish. I was in a miserable state of mind and also physically drained. I had fallen at least 8 times over the first 4.5 miles – more than I have in racing in 10 years. I put the stride in “limp mode” to the finish - 12th overall with a time of 1:13:40. I put my tired arms on Tim Van Orden’s shoulders and asked if it was too late to cancel my trip back out there for Nationals? I was joking and let the spectators know that he was evil for putting us through that previous hour. I am praying for some melt and a foot less of snow in March. Meanwhile, other CMS guys ran very well. Kevin Tilton got run down at the very end which sucked as he led most of the race. Todd, Dave, Tim, Paul and Ross ran very well – none complaining so I tried to hide mine. The good news is that the ride home went by fast.