Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Winter Exploration

Some of the nicest winter runs are in areas that aren't easily accessible in other seasons. Last week we had a run like this, where we followed snowmobile trails north of where we live into an area that we'd never been before. The trail meandered through woods, over numerous marshes and crossed lakes, so we were always discovering new landscapes.

As I write this a storm is raging outside with bitter wind and sideways snow, but despite this immediate evidence to the contrary, winter is winding down. Hopefully we'll have a few more weeks to enjoy some more runs like this one first.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Red Barn Snowshoe Race

The final race of the 2014 Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Series was the Switzerville Red Barn race on February 23rd. It is always my favourite race in the series, and this was my first year to run it which made it even more fun. Derrick's parents, Jack and Rosemary Spafford, host the race on their beautiful property and have a welcoming bonfire area set up for everyone's comfort while watching the race or hanging out after.

The day truly has a family feel for us with Brennan, Heather and Tasha doing a ton to help with the logistics, Paul taking care of the race timing, Matt and Michael providing the live music, friends and relatives showing up to watch or run, the many racers we have gotten to know over this season and past coming from near and far, and generous neighbours helping out, taking photos, allowing the course to run over their properties, and grooming the trails multiple times. This made for a memorable morning.

My race went pretty well, I took advantage of the short single-track sections to try to gain ground, but the course was generally very packed and runnable so I just tried to chop away the best I could. Emma Saaltink won decisively again, while I worked on trying to gain a bit on Deborah Berry but she remained firmly in second, and just behind me was Katy Murphy getting the feel of the sport with her first snowshoe race. Next was Jenn Ross as first master. The men's winner was Katy's husband Charley Murphy, followed by Mark Williams and Graham Ross, with Erin McDougall as top master.

Full Results and more photos

All photos by Sean Scally Events Photography. Full set here.

The Cabin, a highlight about two-thirds of the way along the route.

Race Start

Up the last hill

Loving the woods

Jack and Rosemary

Matt performing his tunes

The cook's not eating

Race director not too stressed out

Great day for a great couple: Graham and Jenn Ross 3rd overall and 1st masters woman
Fun in front of the Red Barn

OMG (Oh Me Geeky)