Because this is the way I roll I got up early after being out at a passion party the night before and did a 5K (actually 4K… thank God!) snowshoe race. I’ve only been on snowshoes a few times but I enjoy it and find it relaxing. It works different muscles than my usual activities and I have a shorter stature which makes it pretty tiring, but I do love it. I’ve heard about the North Face Dirty Feet Snowshoe races before and, when in a crazy year, one must do these types of things.
The race was at Stake Lake and a bunch of friends and I were all going to do it. Originally we were going to do it in costume but we didn’t get that organized. Hopefully next year we can make that happen.
The course was a lot more difficult than I expected it would be. The trails at Stake are pretty packed down so shorter snowshoes are fine. The shorter the snowshoe the better they are on packed snow and the worse they are on deep fluffy snow. I chose to wear mom’s snowshoes that are about 4” shorter than mine. After all, the trails are packed… right? Wrong! The course veered off the packed trails and into the deep, two feet in some places, untouched powder. The track was narrow and Jody and I found ourselves in the middle of a pack of about 20 women we didn’t know.
I don’t know one person who didn’t fall at least once on that course. I fell a bunch of times. I would put my foot down and it would slide sideways and down I would go. One woman behind me fell and I turned around to help her up. She was going uphill and her friend was holding her from behind. It was a major effort to get up again.
Lee and Matt, who work in the ticket booth for the ski club cheered us on when we got close to the parking lot – that was sweet. I had already brought them a thermos of coffee so they were probably celebrating how warm and dry they were while I was lamenting how cold and wet I was becoming.
The guys who came in the top three for the 10K race lapped us right near the finish line. One of them, we noticed, wasn’t wearing socks. My boots were drenched from getting so much snow in them when I fell. Trying to get over so they could pass was an obstacle course in itself. For Jody and I, I wouldn’t actually call this racing. It was more like a really fast walk. We were stuck in the middle of the group and the people behind us didn’t want to pass so we were stuck with this pace that was a bit quicker than I was comfortable with.
Towards the end I could smell hot apple cider from the finish area. I think that propelled me forward. When we got to the finish line we weren’t even last (I was shocked!) and they had the best banana bread ever. They also jelly beans. I don’t often eat them but when I do they are heaven! I had been worried about this being super competitive and me coming in last. I realized quickly that it wasn’t like that at all. Everyone was in a partying mood and Jody and I, and all of our friends, agreed that it was awesome. We had a great time.
Why was this crazy?
I was “racing” in a sport I was an extreme beginner at.
Would I do it again?
Oh yeah, next year I might do a couple of them. It was a tremendous workout and a lot of fun. It was a challenge to keep someone else’s pace for that long and still finish with a smile.