Snowshoe racing has begun! Genuine winter weather has finally blown in, and with it, the chance to get out there and work WITH the season (think scampering along snowy wooded trails, winter sky twinkling overhead, and hauling lots of extras – warm layers, snowshoes, and a big grin) – instead of AGAINST it (think brown, slush-covered road).
We had our first race last weekend, at Mendon Ponds Winterfest in Rochester. The people of Rochester are way-above-average friendly, and we always have a really fun time there.
The course, winding around Mendon Ponds Park, offers rolling terrain, well-marked trails, and cozy lodge facilities, making it an ideal venue for off-road events. Our races went well, and, as always, it was a pleasure being out there with other snowshoers. Race directors Mort Nace and Tim Ratowski bill the race as a “no-frills” event, but with such a good course, the number of valuable draw prizes, and a delicious hot meal after, we felt more than adequately frilled. We even got a decent stand-up routine from the duo as they handed out the goods.
Throughout the year, Mort and Tim co-direct an entire series of trail running and snowshoe races, so there is no lack of interesting events in the area to try. They even hold a six hour snowshoe race (solo or relay) in early February, and an impressive field of 50 took part in 2006! All event info is at www.roadsarepoison.com.