Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Batawa Frozen Ass Snowshoe Race

Last Sunday was the Batawa Frozen Ass Snowshoe Race, the fourth race in the Dion Eastern Ontario Series, and my final snowshoe race of the season. I ran this race two years ago and really enjoyed it, and was looking forward to seeing the course again. It is an out-and-back, with the first and last three (or so) km being mostly flat, and then a big up-and-over hill to hit twice in the middle.

The snow conditions were very packed so it would be a fast race. Our friend Rebecca Turner was running, and I knew she is faster on roads so I would be hard pressed to be able to run with her today. For the first few km I ran ahead as she was being a bit cautious with not having run many snowshoe races, but by the beginning of the big climb she had caught up to me. I led into the half way point, but I knew I was working harder than her, and on the climb back up she went ahead and I just did my best to stay as close as I could.

I've really enjoyed these shorter, faster races on snowshoes as it has been a nice way to mix things up and enjoy the winter season. I feel structurally in an excellent place, and I think the addition of some regular faster running, in training and now these races, has provided the best specific strength building for the running muscles.

The final race of the series is on Sunday, the Switzerville Red Barn race. I'll be sitting this one out, but am looking forward to spectating and helping out.

Before the start

Half way point

At the finish. I'm a bit more knackered than Rebecca.

On Monday, we lost our big old tabby cat Rocky, who was almost 18 years old. He was such a sweet guy, always looking for a cuddle. He was quite an eccentric in his later years, and is legendary for standing up to the dogs and protecting his and our other cat Ozzie's turf. Our neighbour's black lab got the full treatment this summer when he visited our yard. Rocky went flying in the air and landed squarely on the dogs's back, sending him running home with his tail between his legs. No one was hurt, but one ego grew and the other was bruised.

A gentle giant

He followed me everywhere, even onto the hammock

We'll miss you, Rockums

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Westbrook Snowshoe Race

Last Saturday was the first ever Westbrook Snowshoe Race as part of the Dion Eastern Ontario Series. The morning of the race the skies had finally cleared after a huge snowstorm. The trails were very deep with fresh powder, which made for challenging but fun conditions. Unfornately the same snow was still being cleared off of many roads, so some racers were unable to get to the race.

It was a chilly morning but we all warmed up well once we got to work racing. I liked the conditions, and that everyone got to experience some deeper snow than we have had the past few years in this area. Going into the day I hadn't really felt like racing, but once I was a couple of km into it I started feeling really good and ended up being really happy I did it. You just never know.

Go here for a race recap, photos and full results.

Next race in the series is the Batawa Frozen Ass this Sunday the 17th, followed by the Switzerville Red Barn season finale on February 24th.

Race Start. Photo by Heather Spafford

Lots of snow flying at the start. Photo by Sean Hickman
Heading out to the woods. Photo by Heather Spafford

Joe Turner of Without Limits carving some snow. Photo Sean Hickman

Derrick and Heather perched for a good view. Photo Sean Hickman

Always good to be done. Photo Sean Hickman