In any event, after numerous wake-ups last night, we were finally up for the day around 7:00 am. It's nice to have an 11:00 race start, at least for me! A leisurely morning, time for the grandparents to arrive, and more than enough time to get to the race with time to chat a bit and get in a short warm-up. Sam was very excited to have Grammie and Grampie come play with her for the morning! I arrived at the park around 10:15. It was almost 40 degrees out! Crazy. Actually, it meant it was fairly comfortable standing around before and after the race, and warm enough during the race that I even shed my hat, so really it wasn't all that bad of a deal.
After a bit of chit chat and getting myself ready, I did a short 0.75 mile warm-up out onto the end of the race course, just to get an idea what the last 1/4 mile or so would be like. Then it was into the snowshoes and ready to race! I knew that the course narrowed quickly down to singletrack so I put myself pretty far up in the starting line. It may have been a mistake as once we turned off the Link, I was suddenly leading a chase pack to the front pack! Aie. Not the way I like to race, but it sure was good motivation to move! We quickly dropped off from the lead group, but I was still working pretty hard. There was great snow coverage along the Island Trail, but the twisty turny singletrack was extra challenging in snowshoes. Tough to get a rhythm. I got passed by two people on the singletrack - Jennifer, the eventual women's winner, and another guy. The Garmin beeped 2 miles just before we arrived back at the Link, at which point I was swiftly passed by 4 people, including Leslie, who was moving well despite being sick. I really wanted to keep up the pace, but was starting to realize I was pretty tired! I kept my eyes on Leslie and attempted to reel her in. I think I closed the gap a bit, but that was it :-)
Photo by: Maine Running Photos
The snow coverage was a bit thin once we turned off the Snowmobile Trail onto the next stretch of singletrack, and I struggled a bit on the uphills, but knew there wasn't too much more to go. I was glad I had run the last bit of the course as warm-up, as it was a relief to pop out of the woods onto the Knight Woods Trail. I willed my legs to go faster, but the energy just seemed to get sucked right out of me with every snowshoe step. I sadly was passed just before the final curve to the finish by a guy who had been on my trail through the singletrack stretch. I just couldn't push it any more to fend him off. Ah well. I still managed to finish as 3rd woman in 33:53, and 19th overall out of a record 62 finishers! So not bad in the end, although I do wish I'd finished a bit stronger. I think I need to get out on my snowshoes a bit more in the next few weeks before the White Out. All in all, a fun, if painful, race and just as snowshoe racing should be :-)
Some great races by my Trail Monster friends today! Yahoo. And of course, a huge huge shout-out to Ryan, who once again put on a great race, and to all the volunteers who helped him out! The Trail Monsters certainly are a great group of people, and it always shows in our races. I'd call this one a success for sure!
While we were gone, Sam was having fun...
Taking a walk, and getting a balloon, downtown
...and we finished up the night cheering on the Pats! :-)
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to bed! I'm whooped!