Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hoot Toot and Whistle Snowshoe Race

The morning started out relaxed and fairly warm. My wife and I met my friend, Greg Hammett, at Bickford's Restaurant in Brattleboro for a good hardy breakfast. After breakfast Greg and I headed West into Readsboro for the 1st annual Hoot Toot and Whistle Snowshoe Race. The first thing that we noticed was that about every 6 miles the weather would change drastically. One minute it was sunny, the next there were flurries. The road went from bare, to snow covered. Luckily we were in Greg's truck which had 4 wheel drive. On one of the hills headed into town we lost traction and fished tailed back and forth. I was impressed with Greg's driving skills because he kept the vehicle in the correct lane, and after four very scary seconds had everything under control. A few minutes later (and after are heart rates were back to their normal rates) we arrived. Initially we were disappoint because we seemed to be in the heart of town and couldn't figure out where we would race. After we signed up at the Readsboro Inn and jogged to the start we were pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful Catamount Trail tucked in between the road and the river. Everyone toed the line at 10 am and we were off. It was a rat race for about 30 yards to get into position on the single track trail (which most of the race seemed to be). I got through first but for less than a half mile. Greg seemed to have enough snow being thrown into his face and made a move on me which I didn't answer. Greg and I have a history of battling out 5k's and he knows my weaknesses (the first 1/3 of the race). It takes me a bit to get into it and get my breathing in a good rhythm. He started to pull away and I knew if I didn't stay within 10 yards I would lose it mentally. About a mile and a half in, my heart rate seemed in sync and all systems were a go. I pulled left into the deep snow and prepared a surge to take the lead. It worked and I soon found myself blazing the way until the trail broke into two. I guess I missed the very obvious, stay left arrow and stopped just past it. Greg soon was there and like a good sport pointed in the right direction. The next part of the trail seemed to get deep and less traveled. Although, it was my favorite part of the course. The trail was very winding and rolling. It was very exciting to be leaning into the turns right and left. The course was sort of like a lolly pop. Out, loop, and back the same way. So I soon found myself heading back against very supportive traffic. My right snowshoe was getting loose and really bothering me. So much so that I stopped, tore my gator off, and quickly adjusted. I didn't have much time because Greg was right there. He was nice enough to pick up the gator and return it to me later (his second good deed for the day). I knew now that I had to surge the finish line to fend off Greg. The race was finally over. I can't get over this sport of snowshoeing. The amount of effort it takes to run a 27 minute 5k is unbelievable. I love it! It becomes a personal battle against the terrain and elements. The post race festivities were held at the Readsboro Inn and was put together very nicely. They had some very good veggie soup (stew?). I had a great conversation with Greg and Dave Dunham over a Long Trail while we waited for the awards. Actually, Greg and Dave did most of the talking, but I had fun listening. I talked Greg into joining CMS which is huge news (I have been bugging him for awhile). I think the icing on the cake was the $2 discount that CMS runners get next week at Northfield. He is a very talented and dedicated athlete that will benefit the team immensely. He showed interest in the USATF NE 10 miler and the New Bedford Half Marathon. We need to gear this guy up! Since Greg is CMS blood now our team took 1,2, and 3 (Dave Dunham being third). Anyway the race was fun and I enjoyed being a part of it. Here are the results for the top ten:
1 Justin Fyffe 27:30
2 Greg Hammett 27:53
3 Dave Dunham 29:18
4 Ken Clark 29:32
5 Paul Bazanchuk 30:38
6 Brian Northan 32:50
7 Edward Alibozek 33:39
8 Rick Pacheco 34:24
9 Jay Kolodzinski 34:49
10 Erik Wright 34:52
I hope to see everyone next week at Northfield (including Double-J who stayed East. Go West young(?) man, Go West).

1 comment:

  1. Justin
    Nice write up. Hope the Smith track meet went well for you.
    Paul B