Dare Mighty Things

"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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Warm Coat

Strafford, NEW HAMPSHIRE--aR is very excited to announce a new partnership with One Warm Coat to help get warm coats to local people in need. At each of our snowshoe races we will collect coats to be given directly to local agencies who have been identified as willing to accept these donations and get them to people in the most need. Donating a coat couldn't be any easier. aR will be collecting clean, gently used coats and jackets as part of the One Warm Coat community service project. Coats of all shapes sizes are welcome. One Warm Coat is dedicated to distributing reusable coats, free of charge, directly to local children and adults. The program is an easy way for you and your family to pass along coats and jackets that you no longer need. “More people than ever need help these days. I am proud of the thousands of coat drive organizers whose creativity and generosity of spirit are making a real difference in their own communities.” commented Sherri Wood, President and National Coordinator for One Warm Coat. Our first coat drive will take place during our January 23, 2010 Pooh Hill Snowshoe Scramble at King Pine & Purity Spring Resort. You can drop off your donated coats right at our pre-race registration. Please join us in our effort to make sure everyone has a warm coat this winter.

One Warm Coat is national non-profit organization that supports and encourages coat drives. It helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute the coats free to people in need. More than one million coats have been provided to those in need at no cost since its inception in 1992.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beaver Brook (Unofficial)

Hollis, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- A significant early December snowfall last week resulted in a very pleasant surprise...a snowshoe race before Christmas! This was way too tempting to pass up. We've only had adequate snow cover for snowshoeing for less than two weeks here in southern NH. I had been in my snowshoe's a grand total of three times this fall (it's still technically fall isn't it?) but undeterred I headed southwest to Hollis, NH this morning for the Beaver Brook 5k Snowshoe Race hosted by Michael at 3C Race Productions. The objective today was twofold; 1.) get recon on the course (it's the first race in the GSSS) and 2.) assess my early season snowshoe racing-specific fitness. Despite the race being announced as a snowshoe race less than 4 days ago there was actually a pretty decent turnout (27 snowshoers). aR was pretty well represented with training partner Geoff Cunningham making his debut after more than a year off from the sport due to injury, along with newcomers Mike O'Connor and Leah Kovitch. Rounding out the aR crew were veteran 'shoers Gary Reuter, Scott Graham, and Michael Amarello (who raced the course yesterday...his typical strategy as RD). Before the start Geoff and I warmed up with 2009 GSSS Champion Jim Johnson. The race was shaping up as a two horse field with everyone else bidding for the last spot on the podium. At the start command Mike O'Connor jumped the field and ran hard for the first tight right hand turn approximately 100 meters uphill from the line. With Jim and Geoff hot on his tails the rest of the field quickly got in line. Within 400 meters of the start Geoff and Jim had reeled Mike in and spit him to the back. I quickly got behind Mike and let him pull me to the turnaround on this out and back course. As we made the turn around the cones he stepped to the side and let me pass. I encouraged him to let me pull him for a while and off we went. The trek back to the start was slightly uphill but I felt comfortable and managed to find a rhythm. I glanced back over my shoulder during the final climb but didn't see Mike or Scott who were racing for 4th & 5th. I finished the roughly 4.5 km course in 19:32 and 3rd overall behind Jim and Geoff. Mike was only :30 behind me and Scott :30 behind him. Great racing all around. As far as my objectives, 1.) downhill to the turnaround and uphill on the way back and 2.) I've got some work to do but I'm very pleased with the effort today.

Results from Coolrunning.com.

NEXT UP: Beaver Brook 5k (GSSS #1)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2010 Preview

I enjoy irony. There's something wonderfully ironic (and beautiful) about a winter sunrise. I'll let you figure it out. The time for reflection is over. Last week marked the beginning of my 2010 preparation. My ambitions will be tempered in volume only. Twenty-one races in 2009 was a lot for me. The plan for 2010 is to race less and focus on three objectives; 1.) age-group podium at the US Snowshoe Championships, 2.) PR at Pineland, and 3.) win King of the Glen. The benefit of nearly 20 years of training and racing is an intimate understanding of my ability. I'm rarely disappointed at a performance because I typically know exactly what to expect. I'm excited at the possibility of pursuing these three varied objectives. This is how I plan to do it;

1.) Age-group podium at US Snowshoe Championships
The expansion of the Granite State Snowshoe Series was a blessing for me athletically. I plan to race seven (7) events including six (6) in the series;
1. Beaver Brook 5k Snowshoe Race
2. Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic (*non-Series)
3. Feel Good Farm Snowshoe Race
4. Sidehiller 4 Mile Snowshoe Race
5. Exeter Snowshoe Hullabaloo
6. Horsehill 7k Snowhoe Race
7. Frosty's Dash for a Cure

This will be the most aggressive snowshoe racing schedule I've ever attempted and should prime me for the March 6, 2010 US Snowshoe Association National Championships.

2.) PR at Pineland
My favorite race of the year is the Pineland Farms 25k Trail Challenge. It may also be the most physically challenging as well. Preparation for the May 30, 2010 event will begin in late March after a 2 week transition period following the snowshoe racing season. The one important race leading up to Pineland will be the Big Lake 1/2 Marathon which I intend on racing again. I have no performance expectations for this event, it's simply a great motivator to put in the necessary mileage for both Pineland and the longer challenge planned later in June.

After Pineland the focus will shift briefly to the Ultimate XC Challenge-Quebec in late June. This will be my second time at Ultimate, but first time in Canada. This is my "epic" event of 2010.

3.) Win King of the Glen
This really doesn't mean anything to anyone other than me. My 24 Hours of Great Glen teammates understand the accomplishment that this "inside" award represents and frankly that's enough for me. I was third in the KOG at the '09 24HOGG and I know excatly how to shave a couple of minutes here and there and seriously contend for the title at the August 7-8, 2010 event.

Although my training will be focused on these objectives from now until the 24HOGG in August, there's still three months of racing left in the late summer and early fall of 2010. Karen & I are very excited to join the "1000 Mile Club" at the Reach The Beach Relay in early September of 2010. This year will mark our 5th time at the event. In October, the last two events on my calendar will likely be the Pinnacle Challenge VI and the MNT Epic. The Pinnacle is a great aR team event and the MNT Epic was a fantastic late season gem. There's some talk that the 2010 MNT Epic may include a team category which will make even more exciting.

Now there's a great deal of work to be done.

"The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions." -William F. Scolavino