Feb 122012

by Jamie Anderson –

Bradbury White Out Snowshoe Race Report

One of the things I like about racing is hopefully giving it my all while pacing myself properly and executing a sound race strategy. It’s oh so satisfying when everything works out. I love the feeling of exhaustion when I cross the finish line and if I have to puke afterwards, that’s a nice bonus because I know I gave it my all. It’s a healthy and fun way to push and challenge myself. If I succeed…great, I relish it and look forward to hopefully doing it again. If I fail…it leaves me hungry for the next challenge, and I attempt to figure out what went wrong and try to correct it. And while I prefer to succeed, either way it ultimately results in a positive direction.

But what really makes the racing scene special here in Maine is the people. The runners, race directors and volunteers are almost always incredibly positive and friendly folks who also tend to be intelligent, have great senses of humor and enlightened outlooks on life. As a result, the camaraderie is fantastic. The spirit of competition is well harnessed, but equally mixed with an incredible amount of good sportsmanship and genuine joy for every runner of every ability who reaches his or her goals. It’s very supportive. There’s nothing like it.

I had no plans of truly racing today. Just participating. My body felt a bit spent from the past week and I was afraid of overdoing it. The plan was to use today’s snowshoe race as a tempo run instead. So with that in mind, the above first paragraph was out the window and the second paragraph came into sharp focus.

I warmed up for a few miles on the road shoulder of Route 9 with Jeremy and Zak, and we chit chatted about life, races and whatever else. Then we got our snowshoes ready and lined up at the race start. After the pre-race instructions, we were off.

I hung behind Zak the entire race, from beginning to end. For one, I like Zak. He’s a really good guy. So, that was cool. Secondly, he was also setting the exact pace I was looking for. Zak also wasn’t going full tilt, so the both of us had a lot of fun out there while still moving at a relatively fast pace. We just ran together, because running is what we do.

Thankfully, there was just enough snow. It was packed down and fast. A bit icy at times and there was the occasional rock or root to dodge, but Ryan and Ian did a great job coming up with this alternate route (the original one was not snowshoeable).

We zipped through the course and came up on the finish line. Zak came in 9th and I came in 10th. I only mention that because I was kind of surprised we placed so high since we weren’t really pushing it. It’s not like we were totally taking it easy, I’d call it a tempo run after all, but still. However, I also know of at least two really fast guys who didn’t make it today because they were sick. I’m sure there were more.

I also crossed the finish line with a smile on my face. No puking necessary. It was nice to just be able to run the race for the fun of it and not worry about full-on cranking it. I wouldn’t want to do that every time. I like pushing myself hard too much to do that. And while competition is great and fun in itself, there’s a lot more to races that make them enjoyable. Today underscored that. The only regret I have for today is not putting sunscreen on my face.Big thanks to Ryan, Ian and the volunteers for a very fun day.

Courtesy: Maine Running Photos. Zak and I at the finish.
w/u #1: Ran 2.0 miles @ 9:53/mile pace. Roads.
w/u #2: Ran .3 miles @ 10:11/mile pace. Snowshoes.
Bradbury White Out Snowshoe race: Ran 4.0 miles @ 9:01/mile pace.
Time: 35:56
Trails, packed snow and icy.
Moderately hilly.
Mid teens, sunny.
Dion 121 snowshoes w/ New Balance MT110, long tights, sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

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