Sunday, 1 March 2015

Some Like It Hot

What better way to stay warm in winter than to work up a sweat on the mountain?
I spent last night running around in the dark and snow on Tod Mountain, Sun Peaks.
Brian & Icebox

Another beautiful evening for a snowshoe race.  Temperatures hovered around zero all day, dropping to -5C after the sun began to go down.  The growing moon in the sky lit things up above us and winds stayed light.
That moon lit my way during technical difficulties on trail.

A field of near fifty runners/walkers came out to take part in the final Dirty Feet Snowshoe Race of the 2015 season.  Once again I stuck with the 5km distance, no sense messing with a good fit.
Just before the race began I made sure to start my Suunto and turn on my headlamp, the sun had just gone down but before this would be over the skies were going to get significantly darker. The route led participants from the Clock Tower to the west over the village, followed a snowshoe trail along a gentle incline behind some homes at the base of the ski hill then enjoyed a lovely downhill run for about 1km.  I got off to a good start along here, could see the first 3-4 men taking off into the distance ahead of me like deer on the trail.  With them the lead female runner and a small staggering of half a dozen other runners trying to keep up.  I was in this little 6 pack.

Hmmm...what goes down, yup, must go back up again.  Especially since the race brief at the beginning informed me that I would be making my way across the face of the ski hill above the start and coming a long way down the fence line at the end.
Sure enough the down ended and I found myself on the Burfield Outrun going the opposite direction that any skier would go.  Up, Up, and slowly up some more.  Along the groomed wide ski trail that turned corners and continued to climb for 1.5km and gaining 100m elevation as it climbed. I watched helpless as the second place female passed and disappeared into the distance along this hill, wow she really conquered that mountain.  About this time I was noticing my headlamp wasn't performing to expectations, checked for a beam to find it was without. Really, okay maybe I didn't turn it on, reached up and held the button down, nothing.  Okay, so no light...better finish before it really gets dark.  Run 60 strides, walk 60 strides, repeat.  Wow this is a long hill.
So relieved to see course arrows and flags beginning the descent to the finish line.  With a view above the village and aid of gravity I followed the blinking lights of glory saying "come this way, it's all downhill from here!" 

Came across the finish line at 32:52 (my Suunto) after 4.5km of snowy fun times, 3rd Female in. 
Even with the long hill poignantly in mind, the whole run seemed to be over fast.  Snow conditions on trail were good, not a lot of slippage and no wet snow packing into the bottom of the shoe to slow you down.
Racers in Sun Peaks Village

The remainder of the field was quick to cross the finish line and site clean up was accomplished rapidly with many hands, so off to awards and prizes.  Burgers & Beers.  A bronze medal.  GC from the prize table to a local outdoor store.  Another great event and evening spent with friends.
That's it, the snowshoe series is all over.  Time to heat things up and usher in spring!
Bling and swag

I'm happy to see the warmer temperatures of recent weeks. Spring and summer are my preferred seasons.  Where do you stand?  Is it hard to say goodbye to winter or are you just as ready as I am to put on shorts and t-shirt to run, not gloves and jackets?