I had a fun weekend helping out Derrick with the Dion Frontenac Park Snowshoe Race. On Saturday it snowed all day, and in the afternoon we went up to the park to stomp down and flag the course. There was a section that we changed our minds about after it was all flagged, so Derrick raced against nightfall to unflag it and reset an alternative section. Besides not bringing headlamps, we didn't bring any water or food either, so in our hurry to get home we didn't bother changing out of our wet clothes. The heater going full blast delayed the chill setting in, but it was good to get home and get ourselves looked after! All in a day's fun; what weirdos we must be.
Race morning was a blur of last-minute frenzied activity, then it was time for Jack, Brennan and I to head off to our places on the course. Those two had the important job of marshalling the most critical intersections of the course, and I was setting up an aid station at the half way point. It was a perfect day, and we were glad to have snowshoes to make the going a little easier. I found a little patch of sunlight by Big Salmon Lake and stomped out a square in the deep snow beside the snowshoe track. I had fun setting up cups in the snow - water on one side, Gu Brew on the other - and then in no time the racers started running by.
It was so fun seeing everyone, and as usual it was very inspiring. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, despite the soft snow which made the going very tough. I love the park so much, so I enjoyed seeing other people appreciate it. It was very pretty in the new snow - everything was so pristine. Right after they left my spot, the runners had the biggest hill of the race to negotiate. I tried to tell people to 'Recover Up the Hill', which is something I always tell myself to do in a race. It doesn't make any sense, but if you believe it hard enough, it actually works.
Once everyone was through, Taylor came by on his cool down lap, picking up flags. We ran for a bit together (me setting the pace, which was Taylor's walking speed, or maybe not quite even!) and then I suggested he go at his own pace to not miss the awards. He ended up removing most of the flags - thank you!
I heard on the radio that today is Blue Monday, the official 'most depressing day of the year'. (Who comes up with these things?) No Blue Monday for me, I haven't felt so happy in weeks and weeks. I desperately needed a good dose of fresh air, being in the woods, and exercise. And of course, when you need it the most is when you least feel like doing it, so it worked out well that the race was this weekend.