Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Series Wrap-Up

Well, we certainly had a fantastic winter for snowshoeing this year, which allowed each of the five races in the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Series to go ahead as scheduled. I was starting to think our years of having any significant amount of snow in this region were over, but happily this year proved me wrong.

It was fun to be a part of the races this year in different capacities. The three races I was able to run - Summerstown, Westbrook and Frozen Ass - were very satisfying from a participant point of view; and the other two - Frontenac and Red Barn - were fun to volunteer and spectate at. The best thing about the series was that so many people came to multiple races, so it was like a little reunion each time out. We very much celebrated that fact with a special gathering at Red Barn to wrap it all up last weekend. 

I was fortunate to be able to have some consistent results and win the women's series. Congratulations to Joe Turner for winning the men's series. 

Some of my favourite memories:

Summerstown Forest
- A super quick lead group of runners set an impressive pace on the beautiful trails. With soft snow and a back loop that was surprisingly hilly, it wasn't an easy course at all. 
- Gilles Parisien did a fantastic job with this first year event, and it will definitely get even bigger and better in the future. 
- It was awesome to do my first snowshoe race in two years. I had forgotten how much effort they take!

- Derrick had to scrape together a modified course, as unfortunately this was the race which had the least amount of snow. Still, we were fortunate to able to have it go at all, and hopefully next year we can route people back into the lovely single-track. 
- It was cool to have Mihira and Dean from Canadian Running there to do a video report on the race. 
Sebastian Warner running in shorts....again!
- One of the finishers made me choke up at the finish. I love that.
- John McAlister's joy at finally getting a pair of coveted Gramma Rosie socks was about equal to having won the race.

- Oh the snow! So much snow the day before, and a perfect, sunny February day to race.
- Marco Smits and the gang at Westbrook Golf Course showcasing their beautiful property and putting on a delicious chili lunch for us
- Keith Iskiw learning his lesson about going out too hard at Summerstown and putting together a win this time.
- The conditions suited me well and I was able to pull out a win too. Always fun.

Frozen Ass
- Sandy Musson and her crew know the trails up in Batawa better than anyone. I love the course, which is fairly flat until coming upon a huge hill, which they take full advantage of by having us run completely up and over it before turning around and doing it again on the way back. It's a challenging course, and with the hard-packed snow this year it required some fast gears. 
- Rebecca Turner toying with me the first half and then pulling away for the women's win. The most impressive part was she didn't even seem tired at the end. 

Switzerville Red Barn
The Turners rounding into fine snowshoe-translated-from-road fitness in time to dominate the Red Barn race, both having convincing wins.
- Keith and John finishing together after running each other into the ground (er, snowbank) early on. On the starting line I told them 'don't kill each other out there', but they didn't listen to me.
- Nephews Matthew and Michael entertaining in professional style.
- Hanging out around the fire with family and friends.

Snowshoe Racing is FUN!
Next up: Bear Mountain 50 Miler in early May. And for some strange reason I went and registered for a ROAD half marathon in April. I thought I only talked about doing crazy shit like that.


Buttons said...

Wow Sarah I only attended the Switzerville race and it was s much fun I think next year I am going to try my best to make it to more of these races. I love seeing the racers jump out of the starting line with such enthusiasm and crossing that finish line completely exhausted and excited about completing something so challenging.
I will probably never race in any of these races but I do know I admire the strength those of you who can and do so well.
I am so happy John won a pair of Gramma Rosie's socks. I so enjoyed my time at the Red Barn race and look forward to next year and experiencing more of these moments in racing.
For now you will find me out in the bush snowshoeing for a couple of hours most days hoping the snow lasts for a long time yet.
Good luck on your races Sarah and you know you will always sign up for that S....:) B

Derrick said...

Was a great season of snowshoe running for sure, and nice to see you have such a solid season.

Will be fun seeing how your half goes. I'm happy to crew for you on that one.

EJ said...

Is that the Limestone Half? I was wanting to do that this year...last year. You've have some good speed training for it with these shorter races. Congrats on a great snowshoing season.

EJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

Limestone is too close to Bear, only 6 days before.