Khatoola 25K Snowshoe Slosher 2015

I knew this was gonna be no good snow. We had not had much snow this Winter and I was a bit reluctant to run this race this year, but since my buddy Adam was in for it and I was looking forward to doing better this year I mustered up will and went for it.

I started up front and after John said “go!” I took off. One dude ran in front of me and kicked up wet snow in my face, so I passed him. And ran on. It was quickly apparent that indeed the snow was soft, wet and mushy. The first lap was not too terrible but as the day warmed up and more tracks went across it got worse. Think running in sand. Double your effort, double your fun. Somewhere up on the first 10k loop I passed a couple of girls doing the 50k (craziness). They saw me and thought I was a 50k lapping them. I informed them that I was the first of the 25ks and then they disliked me less.

The Course and some splits.

The Course and some splits.

Running down was actually rather fun as it took a sort of sliding technique. I tried to land on the ends of my snowshoes and slide a bit into a full foot landing. On the way up the 5k loop I passed a couple marathoners and felt really good, knowing that I was close to hitting my peak goals, despite the rough conditions. As I began to descend the 5k loop I felt some tightness and cramping in my calves from the hike up but it subsided as I got back down. I again enjoyed the fast and sloppy downhill and almost tripped twice but luckily I stayed up.

2015 25k WInner Acceptin Trophy form RD John Bozung

2015 25k WInner Acceptin Trophy form RD John Bozung

Final 10k lap and I had no idea how far ahead of the 2nd place I was but felt good, ate some salty potatoes, swigged a bit of Red Bull and kept pushing along. This last uphill loop always puts the dagger in my heart, but I was determined to keep running this time. And thus I did. A few of the more steep sections I power hiked through but as I reached the peak and started down I felt a surge of the victory, how sweet it was. Last year I came in 2nd place (2:59) after a leap-frogging battle during the first 18k. But in the end I ran out of steam. Three years ago it was all about actually finishing. So when I won this years race coming in at 2:57, somewhere around 10-15 minutes ahead of 2nd place, I felt the pride of a race well run. And a personal best accomplished, plus I got some good swag!

Good times were had by all, Adam came in 4th – nice job brotha’! After the race I chatted with DJ who took 2nd. He is training for a 200 miler! Dangnation! I ate some good ‘ol Tomato Bisque and crackers provided and enjoyed the cozy fire as I waited for Adam. We’ll see what next year brings (if any snow at all).

Gallery

Another Snowshoe Race is in the Books

The famous Bigfoot

The famous Bigfoot

Before Start with Adam

Before Start with Adam

IMAG0941

nice selfie

nice selfie

sweaty

sweaty

perdy

perdy

with John the Race director

with John the Race director

Another snowshoe race is in the books. This year I ran the 25k again along with Adam “SlimJim” Hurricane-Buster. The weather and conditions were about as good as I could have asked. The trail (10k loop) was nicely groomed. But I digress, the fun began at 9:10 a.m. with a”go!”. I ran the first 10k loop at a descent pace but not too fast. I walked a fair amount of the steep hills. First -place winner (Kandice) and  I passed and re-passed each other often through-out.

I ate a few gu’s and Sports beans, checked my name in at the loop end and headed up the steep 5k loop. Quite the climb, and most of it in shade. That caused me to cool down a bit. About the top the calves began cramping (no!). But I trudged down as fast as I dare. I had my pockets too full and had to cinch up my pants at the bottom. I tried to adjust my snowshoes as well since the left kept turing pigeon-toe. But whatever I tried never worked so I just went with it.

I checked in before my last loop, filled me bottle with heed (sick) and sat in the snow for a while, until I saw Kandice coming,then I hopped up and scooted away, I knew it was only a matter of time before she caught me. I also knew we were sitting at #1 and #2 respectively. She did eventually catch me on a slight 8% grade hill and I tried to stay with her for a bend or two then gave up. She was tough as nails running up every hill.

I got to the aid station and grabbed a Red bull and some potatoes. As I went on I thought that there was no way I would catch her, until near the top when I saw her, I kept track and saw I was about 4-5 minutes behind her. But I had little steam for the downhill and never saw her again.

The last 2 miles I knew I was close to my goal of sub 3 hours. But I had to put the hurt on and dig deep. I tried hard not to walk much but the exhaustion was killing me. The last .5 mile I just gritted my teeth and finished it off. Getting an official time of 2:59:55! Although I looked at my Garmin watch and it says 2:59:51, but whats 4 seconds?

End result is I got 1st place Male, and 2nd place overall, woopt-de-doo! I can’t wait to suffer all over again next year. But really this year was much better. I kept my feet dry for 75% of the race and cut 26 minutes from last years time, so who’s complaining?

Here is the exciting map #”s : http://www.strava.com/activities/108979759

Gallery

I Went for the 25K Distance this Year

For my third year at this event I opted to run the 25k distance. Previous two years I ran the 10k. Here is last years photos report. This year I was accompanied by my friend Adam who ran the 10k. As you can see in my last year pictures I wore shorts and had forgotten gloves, so I was rather cold and under prepared. This year I was going to be better prepared. I began by picking up a Airhole face mask, which was light enough that it worked well for running. Although I found I was warm enough with out it about 4k into the race. Next I acquired some super-light, nice race snowshoes from Northern Lites. These shoes were awesome and delivered to me expectations. I noticed a few other competitors rocking the Northern Lites, in fact at one point there were three of us in a row, all in the top five positions wearing them, go team!

My big mistakes were, one, not wearing waterproof shoes and /or gaiters. I knew this would be an issue and I thought I had prepared well, by brining two pairs of running shoes and three pairs of socks. But alas my feet were wet about 75% of the race. It was good to have gloves however and pants to keep my legs warm. The only other thing I would have done different is to get more calories at the aid stations, I think I kept my self just under the level I needed to be at to keep going strong.

As for the race itself, the course consist of a 10k loop and a brutal 5k loop, so for the 25k I did one 10, one 5 and a final 10. I likely pushed to hard on the first 10k as I was around a top five finisher of that. Then the 5k was a punishing climb (I forget the elevation). I enjoyed the chance to chat with a fellow competitor up the climb.

I have to give mad props to the marathon and 50k runners, I felt so out of shape I could not have gone another 10ft further then the 25k distance. A couple of dudes doing the 50k helped me pull through my last 10, so thanks to them. I look forward to next year where I plan to compete much better.