The 5k, 10k, amd 25k all started a little after 9 am with what looked to be 70 or so people. It was a bit crazy with everyone wearing snowshoes but the start was fun. The whole park was socked in with fog and it was gorgeous. It was fun running the first lap with a bunch of 10k runners yet I kept reminding myself I had a long way to go. I kept a steady pace though and felt great. When they were finishing I was just getting started yet I think I still placed 4th or 5th in the 10k! However, my race was far from over.
The mtn loop was up next and it was incredible! With 1211 ft gain on a beautiful 3.1 mile 100% singletrack trail, it was brutal. Most of it was a burly hike up and and semi-wild downhill rumble filled with fun and snow. I kept thinking that I had a long way to go and tried to pace myself but I just kept feeling great and cruising along. I felt from the start there would be little if any competition since the entry list for the 25k was so low and I was right. I loved the 5k mtn loop and I was excited to take off my snowshoes for the last 10k (the race mandated snowshoes for the first two laps).
The 3rd lap might just have been the easiest. Without the snowshoes and still feeling great I cruized. I had put on a pair of Yaktrax for traction and I motered away passing 50k runners and otherwise having a great time. I pushed hard but even 24hrs after the race I feel fine except for my hips are a little sore from having to alter my gait while running with snowshoes. My final time was 2 hrs and 55 minutes over a 15.5 mile course. I finished in first place although I would have rather had some competition because I felt I could have gone faster. It was my first race in a long while so I was very happy with how I raced. The 25k distance is perfect for this time time of year and I hope next year to see a larger group of runners with some deeper competition as this race rocked! Thanks to Kahtoola for coming out and demoing all their snowshoes. I sure had a great time.
Mileage total for the week of January 26th through February 1st- 41 miles, 37 of which was on trails.