The Yeti Snowshoe Series and Grouse Mountain are set to host the World Snowshoe Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 27. The snowshoe race is expected to invite several Olympic athletes, national champions and world record holders. Among the competitors is Jonathan Wyatt, six-time World Mountain Running Champion and two-time Olympian.
“I have been part of the Olympics both as an athlete and as a spectator,” said Wyatt. “I know how important it is to try and get snowshoe racing into Olympic competition. Just look at what has happened to triathlon. If I can be a small part by helping a running event be included in the Winter Games, then I am happy to be here.”
Also set to compete is Joseph Gray – the 2009 U.S. Men’s National Mountain Running Champion and U.S. Runner of the Year. In all, nine top men and women from the U.S. will be on the line at the World Snowshoe Invitational.
International competitors from Italy, France, Finland and Switzerland are confirmed to attend the race. In addition, Toru Koide – the Japanese Men’s National Snowshoe Champion – will also participate in the race. Also in attendance will be Katsuhiko Harada, founder of the Japanese Snowshoeing Federation and vice president of the International Amateur Snowshoe Racing Federation.
Not only is the World Snowshoe Racing title up for grabs, but also the Canadian National Championship. For the first time, both the 2008 and 2009 Canadian champions will be attending: Jason Loutitt and Jimmy Gobeil (defending his 2009 title).
“Clearly, this is one of the most high profile races that our sport has ever seen,” Mark Elmore, president of the United States Snowshoe Association. “We are making history with such an international field – racing alongside the Olympians. I can’t wait!”