picture taken by Mark Dzikowicz
I woke up early for my 5K race because this was my first snowshoe race of the season, and I didn’t know what to expect.
I shared a ride to Oak Mtn. with 3 legends: Karen Provencher, Mo Roberts, and Laura Clark. On the way, they eagerly discussed the 10K race that awaited them.
Karen drove us to Oak Mtn. with plenty of time to spare. Both the 5K and 10K races started up what officials called the bunny slope, but I wouldn’t classify most of the hills I encountered as bunny.
The snow was deep enough to make any snowshoer happy, but the snow was slippery at times. I fell backwards twice, but I don’t think anybody saw me. So did I really fall?
At one point, I wondered how far I had gone, so I asked a volunteer, and she said, “About halfway.” That wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear. I wanted her to confirm the suspicions of my aching legs and hoped the end was near.
After the early jockeying for position, I stepped aside and let 7 people pass me the rest of the race. I had no choice for 4 of them; they were going twice as fast as I was. But several of the others who I let pass were reluctant to do so. One woman said my yellow jacket made it easy for her to follow.
The last downhill to the finish should have been the easiest part of the race, but my legs were so beat up it seemed like an eternity to get to the bottom.
This might sound like I didn’t have a good time, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Where else can you push ourselves to the max, and share that experience with friends and complete strangers who think snowshoeing is normal?
by Pete Finley