Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Snowshoe Race: Beaver Brook 5K

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On Saturday I did my first ever snowshoe race. It was the Beaver Brook 5K Snowshoe Race in Hollis, NH put on by 3C Race Productions. I have had my Tubbs 10K racing snowshoes for maybe 10 years but I have never raced in them. I hate the cold! In fact that was the first time I used them this year. I used them twice last year and then it has been a few years since I have taken them out. I did have fun. Fortunately it was a fairly straight, easy, and packed down course. Unfortunately, I was hoping that being 50 years old and in a new age category that I might be able to win my age group. Nope, in this race the age group is 40-55.

It was very cold in Hollis but the air was pretty much still. I wasn't sure if I was going to be dressed right but I was clothed perfectly, except for my socks. I just used cotton socks and my feet got wet as I was wearing an old pair of racing shoes.

Almost 50 people entered the race and I was hoping to finish in the top 10. The start was about 150 yards to a 180 degree tight turn. It was also run in an open field and thus the snow was not packed down. At the gun the top guys sprinted for position and they were kicking the snow so that it was falling up and making it hard to see. After the turn we were on the packed down trails. I was about in 20th place and was curious about how to expend energy in a race like this.

As things settled down I looked around and decided I should try to pick off people slowly. I saw Kara Haas just a couple of people ahead and knowing she is a very fast runner I decided not to go too hard because maybe I was going faster than I should. I started going by people and making my passes staying the same distance, about 20-30 yards behind Kara. After about a mile, a group of racers were packed together, I had to weave in and out and put in a burst to get clear of them and I did it quite easily. Then on a short downhill, I got my legs tangled and went down face first into the trail. I felt like a doofus, but got up and no one passed me, but I never passed anyone else again either.

All of a sudden, the lead racers starting coming back. It was an out and back course. Quickly I hit the turnaround and realized that I wasn't that far behind the leaders (maybe 30-40 seconds). There weren't a whole lot of people ahead either. I didn't count but I figured I was top ten. The return trip on the course was more uphill. I was running the whole thing by myself. There were two people ahead that I could see. Finally the finish line came. I was glad to be done, without crashing. It was a very fun race.

I ended up finishing eighth overall. I was not even the top 50 year old, as Scott Graham was two places and 23 seconds ahead of me. I ended up 1:27 seconds behind the winner, Rob Smith.

You can view photos and a slide show of the race here.

Next week 3C Race Productions puts on the Feel Good Farm 7K Snowshoe Race in Lyndeborough, NH. January 31 has the Cobble Mountain Snowshoe Classic in Gilford, NH. On February 14, there is the Horse Hill 7K Snowshoe Race in Merrimack, NH. I may do two or three of these races. I know the Horse Hill course will be a bit more technical and hilly as I did a couple of workouts last year on my snowshoes there with Steve Wolfe.

This morning I got up in the falling snow to race the "Freeze Your Buns" 5K, but when I got there it had been cancelled. Oh, well I felt that this weekend I should be able to win my age group in a race. I didn't! The 50's sure are hard!

Here are the results of the snowshoe race. The course was short of a 5k. It was advertised as 4.5K.

1 19:05 Rob Smith 41 M
2 19:20 Christopher Smith 42 M
3 19:22 Benjamin Keefe 27 M
4 19:30 Dave Hannon 37 M
5 19:43 Kara Haas 38 F
6 20:09 Scott Graham 50 M
7 20:14 Nathan Hausman 30 M
8 20:32 Jim Hansen 50 M
9 20:48 David Katz 47 M
10 21:06 Austin Stonebraker 29 M
11 21:08 Jay Myers 38 M
12 21:20 Bob Hill 41 M
13 21:27 Mike O Connor 44 M
14 21:36 Paul Funch 58 M
15 22:02 Ron Bedard 44 M
16 22:15 Peter Floss 45 M
17 22:31 Brian Bigelow 49 M
18 22:56 Brian Crockett 50 M
19 23:07 Warren White 51 M
20 23:31 Tim Rothfuss 39 M
21 23:39 Jennifer Shultis 40 F
22 23:48 Brian Gallagher 58 M
23 24:02 Bryan Wiemann 46 M
24 24:16 Laurel Valley 46 F
25 24:39 Norman Collard 50 M
26 25:03 Allen Beebe 59 M
27 25:10 Mary Smith 26 F
28 26:06 Tim Dunn 35 M
29 26:12 Michael Amarello 45 M
30 26:21 Diane Levesque 55 F
31 27:00 Gary Reuter 69 M
32 28:22 Mark T Lorden 51 M
33 28:34 Joe Kidder 48 M
34 29:25 Carlos Hernandez 41 M
35 29:37 Ed Bacher 53 M
36 30:41 Chris Twardowski 37 M
37 31:49 Thomas Callahan 48 M
38 32:56 Davia Moore 25 F
39 33:24 Donnie Funch 58 F
40 33:26 Joan Callahan 49 F
41 34:01 John Goldrosen 58 M
42 34:21 Frank Pisano 52 M
43 35:16 Emil Chiauzzi 54 M
44 41:16 Ben Bacher 12 M
45 44:13 Stephanie Kaminaris 32 F
46 1:25:52 Tina McCoy 45 F
47 1:25:53 Anony Moose 45 M


Scott "PHAT" Graham said...

Hey Jim,

Just read you blog and what's up with that 40 - 55 age category? You would think that turning 50 would get you something.

You're right about the Beaver Brook course not being representative of a typical snowshoe race course. I've found every other course has reduce me down to a snot bubble blowing, drooling, cow pie and I would end up walking some part of the mountain I was climbing.

Great job on your first snowshoe race. One thing is for certain, they hurt more then any type of race you'll ever do.

I'm going to miss this weekends race but will be at Cobble Mtn race. Notice the word Mtn in the name of the race, NOT GOOD!!! That was the first snowshoe race I ever did and it hurt like H3ll. I was using the same type of shoes as you the Tubbs racers. After I finished I looked around and noticed all the top guys were wearing Dion snowshoes. There is a reason...They are lighter and you can run in a more natural stride with them.

Good luck in your next race!

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Scott,
I had fun at that snowshoe race and now you are trying to scare me away with how "tough" its going to get if I try a few more! I look forward to trying one or two more this year and see if I can get that full experience you mention. I don't like the cold and I don't like hills, so Cobble Mountain sounds real fun! Hope I see you out there again. We have to do the 50 year old thing and show them we're not over the hill just yet.
The Dions look real nice, but I have to get my moneys worth out of the Tubbs first!

MooseMan said...

Jim & Scott --- Horse Hill will have more normal divisions - 10 year age groups. I had programmed Beaver Brook down to 4 age groups since with 13 days notice I was only expecting 25 entrants max. See you at Cobble Mtn!!!