Somerstown is a first year race in the Dion Snowshoe series. It was held just outside Cornwall, which is a bit of a drive for me but well worth it. I have become addicted to this activity without a doubt!
Gilles Parisien did a great job at putting together this race and building a course that was both challenging and fun to manoeuvre. It went off so smoothly, it was hard to believe it was a first year race. As always, Derrick Spafford and his wife Sarah were there smiling and welcoming the newcomers to a sport that has literally become my winter addiction. Derrick the main driver behind this series in Ontario and also the dealer for Dion snowshoes.
The weather was warm, and the snow was beginning to melt which made the base a little mushy . If you have never ran on shoes before, to say you heat up quickly is an under statement. I peeled off as many layers as I could tolerate but some did go in their shorts.
My strategy from the start, was to try and get out front quickly so I did not get blocked behind. What I found in 2012, was that once you get placement, it gets very hard to change position. Having to overtake someone and step off the trail is not easy. It can quickly leave you depleted and anaerobic wondering what the hell just happened.
We started up the trail about 200 meters, which allowed room for us to file out before heading into the bush on the narrow trail. The race started and I managed to get locked into 6th place behind Chris Belair. Chris is phenomenal athlete, and I set my sights on trying to stay on his heels the entire race. The pack separated quickly with some smaller climbs up front and some sharper turns. The top 3 guys pulled away early and I never really saw them again. Natasha Elliot, Chris and I stayed almost constantly in synch the balance of the race. It was tough, because at the back end of the course, there are a lot of up and downs with some corners thrown in. I’m not going to lie and say my heart rate was not pushing its limits a few times. But this is also what I come to expect from Snowshoe running.
More then once, I was questioning my sanity as I came down one hill just to turn and go up another. I believe there was profanity thrown in, and Chris made mention of it after the race.
Chris pushed me hard, but I managed to stay with him, and he held onto Natasha. We finished just like we started…Natasha, Chris and Myself. “4 – 5 – 6”
My final time was 44:52, 6th overall and 1st Male Masters.
Distance – 7.5K
Technical Challenge – 8 out of 10
Scenery – 9 out of 10
Race Atmosphere – 10 out 10
Probability to do it again – Definitely
Elevation profile from Derrick of Somerstown.
My Garmin profile – notice the elevation difference between my Garmin and what Derrick shows? What the hell Garmin..you suck!