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<br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">This was the first race of the year and it’s been over two months since my last race. Needless to say, I was eager. My first snowshoe race was in 2002 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve seen novices do well and expert foot racers not do as well as we’d expect. Before the race we talked with Rodney and Kathy. Matt showed up. Last year he finished 63 races. His goal was 65 but wound up with a stress fracture. This year he has 20 scheduled. It will prolly be more. Greg and Kris showed up with a new puppy. El Scorcho is a class snowshoe racer. My goal has always been not to let him lap me. He moved to Santa Fe.</span> <span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><span style="font-family:Wingdings;">L</span></span> <span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">He often races in a cape.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="" src="http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t117/smpankowski/SnowMonkey.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Last year this course was tough and tore the carp out of my snowshoes. This year I rented a pair. I choose a pair of Tubbs. Race time was 10:00 AM and the starting temp was 10F. The skies were clear and there was no wind, we expected it to warm up quickly. I was the only one there in a black ribbed Batman tank top, though there were several men in tights and Matt wore shorts. This had been the most snow I’ve raced in. I told DW I’d be about 40 min.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="" src="http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t117/smpankowski/SnowMonkeyStart.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">There were about 75 racers at the start. The first part of the trail was across a field. Every time I pushed off the snow, I’d sink some. Uh oh. I looked around and other racers were in the same boat. The first hill forced us into single file and there was an opportunity to catch out breaths. At the back side of the hill I picked up the pace and made opportunities to pass…….Then the bindings on the right shoe came undone….You gotta be kidding me.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">At least six people passed as I fussed with the straps. After I got back on the course, I pushed and passed four people. We had to duck under branches heavily laden with snow and looking out over the valley on the left was breath taking. For a race, there was a lot of serenity going on. On the way up the third hill, the darn binding on the right shoe came loose again!!!! This time really really bad. I had to rethread the straps through the buckles as racers passed and the adrenaline was pumping. Placing in this race was out as well as a 40 min finish. Well, even if I were to finish DFL, I was going to finish well.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Up and down more hills than I can remember, as well as sharp turns and low branches kept me pretty warm. I was staring to think that shorts were a good idea. There was a straight away along a frozen lake and the trail turned to follow the base of the hill. I didn’t see anyone in front of me…..Worse yet, there was no one behind me. The course turned up the hill and back to the start. I finished the first loop in 24 min and some change.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I bolted back across the field that started the race. 75 runners went across the field at least once. Many others had gone across twice and the trail was still spongy. I’d push off and sink…land and sink…push off and sink and my bindings came undone again. I pulled them tight as I could and tried to knot them. I hit the second loop as hard as I could and started passing other racers!!!!! Though the binding was digging into my foot, I kept hitting it hard. When I got back along the lake, I lapped other racers who had not finished the first loop. Sweet…. The last stretch brought me with in striking distance of a racer. One glance to the side and at my DW’s smile, I hit it and passed the guy. 5K 44:34. 41/50 OA. 26 people only did one loop. I thought about being one of them. I would have liked to have seen the finish. Matt, in his shorts, tried catching a woman on the final stretch and wound up face planting into the snow.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The first finisher over all was a 49 year old Master. This is the first race I can remember where neither Greg, Matt, or Rodney placed. All of them have a consistent sub 20 5K. All of them finished over 30 min.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">This race was just plain fun, except for the bindings of course. I’ve got a good sized blister from the over tight binding. The spread afterwards was a delight and non racers were invited to partake. The chicken chili was melt in your mouth greta. DW and I were enjoying the fare. I told her I felt over dressed. A young woman heard us and said she was El Scorcho’s sister. He told her to look the guy in the Batman shirt up. He’ll be moving back in September. We met Doug who came from the other side of the state for this race. I have a feeling this will not be his last snowshoe run. If you want to put your endurance to the test, come see us next year.</span></span>
 

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Oh goodie,<br>
I've been waiting on this report for a year. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
And in no wise was I disappointed.<br>
From overcoming the multiple challenges of ones shoes coming off<br>
in a foot race, to the post circuitous mouth watering chicken chili, it was <i>par excellance</i><br>
And the tank topped snow scene - how <i>à propos</i>.<br>
What a superbly surreal gathering of insaniacs.<br>
Thank you for restoring my faith<br>
in the daft futility of<br>
human endeavor.<br>
jjj
 

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Hi Steve! Wow what a fun adventerous race. I would really have liked to have participated in that. You certainly did a good job inspite of the difficulties with your equiptment. Great race report too. I got some atlas snow shoes this winter that are pretty sturdy with good bindings and with the stainless steel crampons and rails works pretty good on all surfaces.<br>
Thanks for the great report, Larry
 

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Your great spirit always comes through, Steve!<br>
What a fun event and so much fun to read.<br>
Thanks!<br>
This, I'd like to try.
 

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I loved this report! I love the tank top picture, too! Git 'em, spankowski! I liked the part about the guy face-planting, heehee!
 
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