Northwoods Snowshoe Race
Last Saturday I did the Northwoods Snowshoe marathon. This was going to be my 2ND attempt. Last year I tried and had failed. This year I was not any better at snowshoeing if fact I probably had gotten in less snowshoe time but I knew from the start I was under the gun and every second was going to count.
My daughter Kaitlyn came up to Duluth with me and we were going to stay 3 nights and try to get in some other activities.
Friday night at packet pick up it was great seeing so many running friends. Kaitlyn's camp friend went to school in Duluth so we picked her up and headed to Pizza Luce. We were very excited because they have Vegan items on their menu. We loved their vegan pizza, it was fantastic.
Anyways about the race. Knew I was seriously under the gun and I really wanted to finish and get the sweatshirt. This race has always been very strict about the time cut off. Last year I ran the first 1/2 of the marathon with Wayne, We did the first half in 3:45-which was even split for the marathon cut off, he only did the 1/2, I had gone on but quit when I was told later I wouldn't make the cut off. I am still mad at myself for not actually being dropped, who knows what would have happened maybe I could have made it.
From the start I had to push. I am such a slow start on all races and in snowshoes my slowness is worse. Wayne was off from start and I would not see him till the end. I ran alone most of race but was happy I remembered my i-pod.
The first hour I was on the nice groomed trails, then we went off into what seemed endless. The next section starts on nice firm road the goes off into deep sugar snow. It was like one movement forward one involuntary movement sideways and on and on. Sometimes to the side of the other runners tracks I was able to run on top of the snow, but then eventually I would break down into the deep. Actually this would have been very nice had I not been under the gun. It was very beautifully out there. Every walk even on this first loop was full of knowing this was the walk that could make me fail. It took me 2 hours till I got back on the groomed trail for another 1/2hour. The 1/2 took my 3&1/2 hours. I had a 1/2 longer to get the 2ND 1/2 done.
I felt like toast, took me 10 extra minutes on the first nice part and by the time I got through the worst of the sugar snow section I had used up all my extra time. Approaching the hour before the end cut off I secretly wished they would just cut me but I still pushed. I made that last cut off -I must have been within minutes or seconds but had to get the the last hour done in the same time I did the first loop. I had resigned myself to being OK with a DNF but still pushed harder than I cared to. I ended up finishing with 2 minutes to spare- 7:28. Had I known I would have two minutes left I certainly would have used them. I am very happy it was the last year because I will never have to do that race again!! No- just kidding. I am not happy it is the end just happy I don't have to do it again because I certainly would if they had it.