This race is part of the Dion Ontario Snowshoe Running Serries. It is held in Summertown Forest near Cornwall, about a 90 minute drive from Ottawa. Susan, Harold and I did the Dion Ignite the Night Snowshoe at Upper Canada Village in January. Susan and I both won prizes at the event and left without realizing. They mailed me mine, but Susan was told her prize could not be mailed.
We enjoyed the first event so we solved the problem by signing up for the Summertown Forest event where Susan would be able to collect her mystery prize. We also talked Yvonne into joining us, by reminding her that doing a snowshoe race when you have never actually run on snowshoes before would qualify for something new for a 2022 RunK2J Award.
On Saturday morning we arrived at the event to find friendly volunteers directing traffic at the Summertown Trails. They have 20 km of groomed ski trails, 20 km of snowshoe trails and 10km of groomed Fat bike trail with ski, snowshoe and Fat bike rentals available onsite.
We picked up our bibs and Susan collected her prize which turned out to be a bottle of Markers Mark with glasses and some very fine handmade soap! We all got to pick a race souvenir and a door prize. I scored a headband and a pair of socks (you can never have too many pairs of running socks).
Yvonne had rented snowshoes and she was having some difficulty figuring out how to put them on. Susan and I were not much help, as we have different snowshoes, so we just made encouraging noises.
There was a 7.2 km and a 4.2 km race both started together on a groomed ski trail which was easily wide enough for passing.
After the first 500m the trail became single track. With the soft snow conditions passing once we were on the single track was only possible if you asked the person in front of you to let you go by. This is quite common in snowshoe racing and people will let you pass but it’s important to place yourself correctly at the start, so you do not have to pass or be passed too often. Battling through the soft untracked snow is a lot of work. I started towards the front but not at the front. My plan was to keep the winners in sight.
The course was pretty flat (total elevation change of 5m), twisty and scenic. Mostly in the woods with volunteers to point us in the correct direction when needed. It was warmer than it has been and there was one guy in shorts!
I ran strategically, keeping the front group in sight and passing when and where I could. Experience paid off and I was able to win the women’s division but only by a small margin!
There was post race chilli and hot chocolate for all, which you had to eat outside or in your car due to COVID-19. I won a cool wooden medal made from trees in the Sommertown Forest and a really nice gift basket from Henderson’s Grocery in Lancaster.
We stopped at a small local dinner on the way home for second breakfast! Well earned after a morning of snowshoe racing.
This was another well-organized event which was enjoyed by all. Lots of helpful friendly volunteers, a well marked course snacks for all!. We also discovered the trails of Summertown Forest. Definitely recommended and it will be even better next year if we can be more social once COVID restrictions have been lifted.
Congratulations to Susan on another great race and to Yvonne on her RunK2J Award first!