I was excited for the race in that for the first time it would be held in the US.
Location: Saranac Lake, NY
I was not able to get a ton of time on snowshoes before the race (maybe 2 runs) but felt confident in my snowshoe running ability.
The World Championship course was expected to have record snow. Little did they know, that the week leading into the race, the 6 feet of snow base they had melted to the point where the race almost did not go on.
Now enter the World Championship Snowshoe race as more of a Tough Mudder than anything else.
Race temps were near 60! That's right 60 degrees.
I had a great family support with my delectable wife, Ashlee and my wonderful Father along for the ride. I also had my really cool Redfeather ColeVapor Snowshoes that have my name etched into them.
We were able to have some fun in the Lake Placid area before and even after the race. We went to many of the cute Adirondack shops and was able to get a true Authentic Adirondack Winter Experience.
The race though was my worst executed snowshoe race of my career. The course was reduced to an 8k and volunteers shoveled what little snow they had around the clock just so the series of races could even go on.
My hats are off to the incredible volunteers, the town of Saranac Lake and US Snowshoe Director, Mark Elmore for putting everything together.
Fast mountain and ultra runners such as Zach Miller and Joe Gray were toeing the line and my hope was to place in the top 15 and maybe even the top 10.
I made the mistake of getting boxed-in at the start as the course funneled runners through a very narrow track. I almost tripped and went to about 50th place. Looking back at the run, I should had remained relaxed and gradually worked my way through the crowd. But instead, I wasted more than my fair share of precious energy to surge back into the top 10 places. I was running through deep mud off of the icy trail path. With each step, mud was being kicked-up and kept hitting rutted-out sections more reminiscent of a potholed road. I hit hard paces around 6-7 minutes a mile to catch-up.
I soon linked-up with Jared Burdick, a teammate of MPF/RNR and we kept pace together. I then began to make a move. By the end of the first loop, I was feeling gassed. I tried to hammer the next uphill section but could not. The mud, ruts, and panic of being farther back wore on me. I felt that with ever step, my legs felt like lead, especially my right foot. Jared soon passed me as well as many others.
I laughed after falling face-first into a mud section that have virtual rivers on the once icy trail. I thought to myself, "This is not a Snowshoe race!". I brought it home and finished in 25th place in 34 minutes. I was off from my goal of 15th place and under but I was happy to be in one piece.
As I headed to the car, I later found that I had lost a tailpiece from my awesome Colevapor Snowshoes by Redfeather. I took the shoe out of the bag and chunky mud came right out of the shoe. It turned out that I was running with what felt like a 50 lb weight on my right foot.
This still with a bad race was a great weekend. Teammates: Jared ran to 13th place and Matt Lipsey ran to a stellar 8th place.
To conclude the weekend. All of the power in Lake Placid went out and its was sheer pandemonium in our hotel. We were hit with 8 inches of fresh snow and ice overnight and as the whole town shut down, the only place available for food was at the hotel. It felt like the end of the world but nothing that a few post-race adult beverages couldn't solve.
The next morning we dug out and adopted two adorable dogs: Ozzy and Daisy! A true adventure that I will never forget.
|Team MPF/RNR post World Champ Snowshoe Race. Credits: Ashlee Prewitt Crosby|
Breakneck Point Trail Run: Marathon
I finally mustered enough courage to give this race a shot. I had run some of the trails through here and was truly amazed with how unique and challenging they were. This would be a solid rust-buster of a race for me to kick-off my schedule.