20% COUPON CODE: HAMILTON20
My Current Stable thanks to Salming (Left to Right)
DEEP Trouble In Woodford
This past weekend, I was fortunate to participate in the Dion Snowshoes (link below) National Championship. Every four years the Snowshoe National Championships are held in my backyard (well sort of) in Woodford, VT. Woodford is in a snow lovers sweet spot, and typically gets exponentially more snow than lower lying Bennington. In the weeks leading up to the 2018 race, Woodford received upwards of five feet of snow. Race Director Tim Van Orden certainly had his hands full since he had to plan MULTIPLE races from a "Kids Kilo" up to a Marathon. The deep snow added a complicated logistical element, to marking and packing down fast racing trails. Tim, put a solicitation out and a ton of volunteers came forward to help make this race weekend a complete success! I had the pleasure of volunteering a couple of hours, which wanes in comparison to volunteers like the RD, and Silvia Cassano, a local rep for the Bennington Area Trail System (BATS) and all around outdoor bad-ass. I ran the 10K and was over-matched by some awesome talent and conditions that just whooped me! The deep snow made passing difficult, and the first 2 1/2 miles were a tough trek to the summit of Prospect Mountain. This was my first time on the rackets this winter, and in hindsight I probably should've strapped them up a few more times when I had the chance! I finished in 1:37 which put me just behind the exact middle of the 100 man field. I did find out later on Facebook that I won the military division...Yeah...I beat the other guy.
After a punishing 10k I got to stick around and talk to Bob Dion of Dion Snowshoes, who gave me a few pointers on how to maintain my snowshoes and set them up for deep snow! He suggested using candle wax on the cleats and rivets, and also upgrading to the deep cleat. Dion Snowshoes are modular and easy to customize.
Early Stages of the 10k National Championships
It is hard to look back at a "middle of the pack" performance and put a positive spin on it. I can make all the excuses in the world, but I honesty don't believe I need to and here's why; This was a hard race, with even harder conditions. The 10k had over 1,200' of vertical climb, and the snow was knee deep at some points, despite the female 10k runners stomping it down. The reason I am satisfied with a lackluster finish is because this race brought some of the strongest snowshoe runners in the country (Including some international competitors) to Vermont. I don't think being average among the fastest is too bad!
Some of the Hearty Volunteers packing the singletrack
The day before Nationals. Tim VanOrden is leading
the way on antique snowshoes, Tim would go on to
Make another National Team the following day!
I have been stricken to the cardio room at work standing several 48 & 72 hour shifts lately. It is hard to stay passionate about trail running when you simulate it on an electric contraption in a climate controlled room. I use the treadmill out of necessity, and don't necessarily advocate for it to stay in shape. Will it work? Sure.
I am currently training for the Peak Bloodroot Ultra in Pittsfield, VT. This race is on May 5th, and should be a tough one. I am doing the 30 miler, AKA "The Kids Race" while I would prefer to do the 50 miler AKA "The Slightly Longer Kids Race". I say kids race because this race is held in conjunction with a 500 miler. 500 is not, and likely will never be a goal of mine however, that's pretty radical. 30 miles is about the max I am willing to commit to with competing demands, and I'm cautiously building mileage and experimenting with some new nutrition ideas (more to follow on that, unless I vomit a lot at Bloodroot. In that case I'll talk about puke rather than my silly nutrition idea).
Luckily I am back on the dirt. My last few workouts were close to home, where I can get a solid amount of vertical gain with half mile repeats while my one year old (Brycen is one! Holy Crap that was fast!) sleeps. On Saturday I managed to get 2,300' of climbing under the stars on our dirt road, and promptly cracked my St. Patty's beer afterward.
Ran 2,300' of repeats on St. Patrick's Day in the NEW
Salming OT Comp. The Michelin outsole handled
our sloppy un-maintained road for 8.5 miles