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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble

Top 20 finish at
Whitaker Woods!
"The problem with payback is, when does it ever end?"  -Trent Lott

North Conway, NH -- My fourth snowshoe race of the season would be the second race in the Granite State Snowshoe Series.  The Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble was a first time race hosted by one of the top mountain runners in the northeast and perhaps the US, Kevin Tilton.  By the way, he's no slouch on snowshoes either.  Having kicked around a cold for the entire week my training had been pretty lousy but I felt okay in the morning, picked up Timmy Lindsey, and headed to the Mt. Washington Valley.  As the sport continues to grow, my opportunities to podium in the masters division are few and far between.  And Whitaker Woods would be no exception.  Although the overall field was modest, the depth in the masters division was incredible; Dunham, Snow, Principe, Bazanchuk, and my teammates Wolfe and Erwin.  Throw in a few guys I don't know and a Top 10 in that division would be a honest day's effort.  With the "GO" command we were off to tackle the 4 miles of groomed nordic and snowshoe singletrack that Kevin had expertly designed.  Right away the class of the division disappeared out of sight.  Playing to my strength the first two miles are a net elevation gain as we climb to the high point of the course.  Wolfe and I were shoulder to shoulder early on and had both Paul and Phil in sight.  [NOTE: it should be mentioned that the current US Women's Champion and teammate Amber Ferreira took off like a shot at the start and immediately started to put the hammer down on all of us!]  As we climbed I started to reel in Amber but couldn't seem to close on either Paul or Phil.  And I shouldn't have been too surprised, Paul had put the screws to me at MNT EPIC and Phil probably would have beaten me at the Broken Boulder Dash had it not been for a missed turn.  As I climbed by Amber she predictably gave a word of encouragement.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, races with a more positive attitude then Amber.  She is amazing.  Just before we crested the high point I pulled up to and by Phil.  The course constantly seemed to switch from groomed nordic to virgin singletrack.  With the tons of powder we've received in the last week or so the singletrack section was incredibly laborious.  As we bombed down the powerlines on the groomed nordic the course took a hairpin turn to the right into a section of singletrack.  I spied Paul turn in and followed him as quickly as I could.  As we dumped back out onto the same powerline descent (just down hill) I noticed a group of runners heading straight down the powerlines toward me.  For a moment I was confused as to the direction of the course.  I should have taken another hard right back onto the groomed nordic but instead the two-way traffic momentarily confused me as I started diagonally across the course to a point where I saw the field ahead of me racing.  Within seconds I realized the error and doubled back on the correct path but had given Phil back the gap I had earned.  We raced side by side for a few moments as I attempted to determine why so many snowshoers who had been racing behind me were all of a sudden racing ahead of me!  Figuring they must have inadvertently jumped part of course I set my sights on picking off as many of them as I could.  By this time Paul had put a gap on me that couldn't be narrowed but I still had to work to keep Phil and Wolfe at bay.  Knowing they were back there and incredibly talented motivated me to maintain my effort to the finish.  As we entered the final loop around the field once again there seemed to be some confusion with snowshoers racing toward me from the right.  I did my best to hold off anyone behind and finished in a time of 31:11 good enough for 16th place overall and 7th master.

Masters Results (40+)
(1)  6.  Dunham, Dave
(2)  7.  Snow, Sean
(3)  10.  Hornney, Scott
(4)  11.  Bazanchuk, Paul
(5)  14.  Massa, Jason
(6)  15.  Principe, David Sr.
(7)  16.  Dunn, Chris J. (aR)
(8)  17.  Erwin, Phil (aR)
(9)  18.  Tighe, Martin
(10)  19.  Wolfe, Steve (aR)

NEXT UP:  Sidehiller Snowshoe Race, Center Sandwich, NH


[Photo courtesy of Gianina Lindsey]

1 comment:

  1. So, there were people who cut the course and we're still scored ahead of you?! Hmmm? Doesn't seem right to me.

    Nice run anyway. See you at Sidehiller. At least until the first hiller.