The annual YETI snowshoe race series kicked off it's 2011 series at mt washington and 7 superstar ELM'ers took to the hills for a little snow rompin, but kicking, snowshoe racing!
Team ELM included some experienced Yeti racers and some brad newbies - to this crazy breed of running. BIG Props go out to Team ELM for stepping up to the snowshoes and battling this challenging race course today!
- Deb Berg
- Debbie Wright
- Lynn Swift
- Kathy Campbell
- Pascale Houde aka Diana Olsen
- Sarah Burell aka ELM Bandit
Thought we were oh so organized and actually arrived early to race central at Raven Lodge. Next thing you know it is 9 minutes until race start and we are still sitting around the table inside yacking. Time to go warm up! Not a team to take ourselves too seriously, seriously, we shuffled outside to try and figure out how to strap on our shoes again (every year:) before trying to walk or even jog a few steps to say we warmed up. Second thought- let's save it for the race!
LOL 10:59am and we squish our way into the start chute just before the gun goes off. A friend comments on my headphones and I suddenly remember my master plan! I had completely forgotten that I intended to try a new style for this race- my first race listening to music! Normally I am a completely in the moment, working on all my senses racer. But for this 'race' my goal was to get a good workout in and have fun...as I am not training to be a snowshoe runner OR 5k racer for that matter I thought - what the heck?
3...2...1...GO! Oh crap! My iPod, right! Pulled out the iPod while running in the pack off the line and worked on navigating to a good mix before popping in my earbuds and stashing my pod in my bra. Where else was I going to put it? Our ELM Sugoi race jerseys don't have pockets- come on Sugoi, who doesn't make shirts with little hide-and-seek pockets on them these days?
So, I found a good fast mix by Calgary DJ Mikey Da Roza and began munching my way through the pack, through the snow and up up up the crazy off the line hill.
The first 10 minutes are the worst. Everyone who does this course will say the same. Well...the fraidy cats on the downhill may disagree...but that hill off the start is brutal!
Not sure what is worse- knowing the hill is coming and enduring it or not knowing and wondering when it will end? Newbies? Deb? Lynn? Thoughts on that?
And so...10 minutes into the race you are cresting a hill, entering the single track and loving life.
Pain and suffering are the way to higher levels of pleasure young one...this could be true.
Running the flats never felt so enjoyable as they did after finishing the super summit!
After the calf crunching, quad searing climb (get the point yet?), it was a mix of undulating single track through the glades on the bench above Raven Lodge. Winding up and down, back and forth and loving the rhythm and challenge.
Music was GREAT! The beats completely distracted me and really pumped me up when I needed it. I didn't connect with other racers or volunteers as much as I like to, but in a 5k sprint how many race friends can you really make? Downsides were minor: Didn't pick my fav mix at the start and had to pull out the unit to navigate to a new one during the race (gloves off, pod out, wipe tears out of eyes, navigate with sweaty fingers, look over shoulder for competition, avoid tripping etc, iPod batteries started to die at the end, I got water in the screen and the pod actually fell out of the bottom of my bra and ended up dangling near my knees at one point. I know. You don't have to say it.
Other than that having music was great fun!
The course was changed slightly this year and I LOVED this version! At the end we got to run out on a super fast decline cat track which meant ripping it up and kicking up snow to the finish line. Racers love to run fast! So, this was a nice bonus to the new course.
Came through the finish line near the lodge, yeah! Grabbed a drink from my stash then headed back out on the course for a 'bonus lap'. Team ELM was registered for the 5K sport course and I considered heavily stopping after 5k but...meh. What the hell? I went for another and joined that crazy Sarah B for the 10k.
The second lap was actually WAY more enjoyable! I got the right mix on my iPod, slowed down, relaxed and found a more enjoyable pace (6 beats per minute more enjoyable I noticed on my new Garmin after). The best part about lap two is there is no one around! You have the hills and the tracks to yourself so you can spread your wings and get into your personal groove. I like that, anyways.
Team ELM ROCKED. But most importantly we made some new memories and had some FUN!!
THANK YOU to the race organizers and to the stellar volunteers for putting on such a fantastic race once again!
Look what you could win if you are really fast! And the winners are...complete results here... and here
Kathy Campbell takes 3rd place in her category!!
Diana Olsen snakes 2nd in her category! Wait...that's not Diana!?
After the race and awards Kathy and Lynn were kind enough to take me out for my very first attempt at cross country skiing.
WTF was that? Seriously! When is the last time you tried something that you felt like a 3 year old child attempting? I just kept saying- "but what do I do? how do i move? what do i do with my feet? what do i do?"
Lynn and Kathy were so patient and forgiving and had excellent instructions for me:) Thank you girls for holding in your giggles! Kathy don't you EVER post that video or else...
I am not quite sure why so many people rave about this sport. OK OK I know, the DO make it look so smooth! I have a hard time imagining the FUN part but that is because I am completely lost with the whole 'skate' thing. Last time I 'skated' I was about 11 and I remember having to use one of those big metal cart things. No joke. I am going to call my mom and give her heck for not making me learn how to skate...
Parents: Make your kids try every sport. Save them the humiliation of adulthood co-ordination regression.
There are no photos from this adventure:)
Not sure if I have the hours in a week to learn to master the basics of this sport. Maybe if they ever ban mountain biking...