"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt
Atkinson, NEW HAMPSHIRE-- Frosty's Dash for a Cure is one of the longest running snowshoe races in New Hampshire and routinely raises thousands of dollars for cystic fibrosis. As the 4th race in the Granite State Snowshoe Series the usual cast of characters were present and accounted for including Jim Johnson, Bill Morse and the Dungeon Rock Racing group, and of course my teammates at acidotic RACING including Ri, Jay M, Steve S, Chris E, Gary, Liz & Ted, Michael, Steve W, and Scotty G (who by the way has the whitest legs I've ever seen...and displayed them proudly today). This morning I headed toward Atkinson early anticipating a 90 minute drive (or at least that's what Google maps had me believe). Pleasant surprise #1 of the morning was the fact that my Garmin said it would only take an hour. Pulling out of the driveway I quickly glanced at the car thermometer and was greeted by pleasant surprise #2, it was 45 degrees. My mother always told me that good things happen in 3's. Actually she always said that bad things always happen in 3's but I'm taking a little creative liberty 'cause it's my story. I arrived about 2 hours before the race, met the RD Deb Fudge, and began to make the circuit talking to many of my new snowshoe racing friends. I think the small "community" vibe is something I really like about snowshoe racing. Everyone seems to either know or recognize everyone else and is very willing to stop what they're up to and share a moment or two of their time with you. Yesterday I wrote that today was my first ever racing double. But as I sat to write this today I realized that like many things as I get older, my memory is beginning to dull around the edges. In fact, I do have experience with racing multiple times in short periods of time. My teammates and I have raced the Reach The Beach Relay for the past three years. Those of you who've raced the 200+ mile relay know that the 3rd leg of the relay is as hard as anything you'll do in endurance sports (with respect to Ri and his incredible feats of aerobic strength). Sizing up the field before the start I felt like I had a legitimate chance of a Top 10 finish. When the "GO" command was given I quickly established my place in the top 5 and attempted to make note of the condition of my legs. Pleasant surprise #3 was that my legs felt good despite the mashed potato consistency of the snow. It didn't take long to get into a rhythm and settle in behind my much stronger (and older) teammate Steve Wolfe. Today was a little different story from yesterday when the gap between us was much too wide to get any hooks into him and feel a pull. It's likely that he's still not back to 100% because I raced on his heels for most of the race. He actually let me slide by for about a 1k and pull him a little, which I happily obliged. It wasn't long however before he tired of my plodding and regained the podium spot that we were both racing to attain. I stayed with him as we worked together to put a little more distance on the 5th place guy. We both kicked a little with 50 meters to go and crossed the tape in 3rd & 4th. I was glad to see him get the podium finish as he's battling for one of the top 3 spots in the GSSS standings. For me, two very solid performances in a row have helped me regain a little confidence in my fitness that I had lost at the gruesome end of '08. Next up on the schedule is GSSS race #5 Horse Hill 7k Snowshoe Race coming up this Saturday in Merrimack, NH. That race will probably end my snowshoe racing for '09 so I'd like to log one last strong showing.
"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction." - William James