Sunday, 21 February 2016

My second Snowshoe race - Dion Ganaraska Forest - a win!

   My second snowshoe race was yesterday.  I am so excited to write this report! After a few more practice runs on my Dion Racing Frame Snowshoes, I was looking forward to racing again.  The kids slept over at their Grandma's and Grandpa's house, and my husband and I were set to have a day away together to compete in the Dion Ganaraska Forest Snowshoe Race, near Port Hope, Ontario. This is the 6th race in the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series.

   We woke up early to make the 2 and a half hour drive to the race.  The rain overnight had melted all the snow in Cambridge, so we were expecting to see increasingly more snow as we drove closer to the race site.  Nope.  The neighbouring farmer's fields right beside Ganaraska forest were completely clear.  Greg and I couldn't believe that there was enough snow for snowshoes.  But there was.  Inside the forest the snow was abundant. Most was deep, packing snow, but in some spots it was the kind of snow that's so much fun as a kid - the snow that you step in and it splashes apart and gooey, slushy-mush is underneath.  The deeper snow was harder to race in than the last race, but I was just glad that there was enough snow for a race, because I knew that I wouldn't be wearing my snowshoes again back home for a while.

   The race course was beautiful.  8 kilometers of heavily forested trails.  It was single track for the first part, but widened for the majority of the snowshoe trail loop.  I ran with Greg, and the lead female runner, and another runner for the first 2k.  Greg decided to pull ahead, so I followed.  The trails were rolling, with a large climb in the middle of the race.  It was a tough climb.  I slowed right down and worked hard to get up it with any kind of speed.  It was nice to only have to do that climb once :)  I had the 4th place male runner in sight for most of the race.  We would switch positions and I would take the lead (mostly on the downhills - which I run like an animal), and he would pull ahead on the ups.  It was nice to have someone to run with and I could stick to him.  He slowly pulled ahead at about 6k.  Since 2k, I knew I had the female lead in the race.  I was pushing as hard as I could go, and hoping to hold my lead, knowing the 2nd place female runner was a very strong competitor.  I was approached in the last 200m by another runner.  I was relieved that it was a male runner, but I also didn't want to lose a position at the end of the race, so I pushed again and ran with him.  We crossed the line at the same time - he squeeked ahead of me by 0.7 of a second.  I thanked him after for the push at the end.  I finished in 6th position overall, and first female!  Greg had his best race of the season too -placing 3rd overall. Those were fun results to text to my coach Derrick Spafford.  Full results can be found here:
The top 3 at the Dion Ganaraska Snowshoe race - Greg, Justin, and Gonzalo

Me, at the awards presentation with RD Joe Turner
   I wasn't expecting a win.  That was a nice surprise.  Greg and I ran our cool down with the overall winner of the race Justin, and 4th place Eric.  Cool downs always feel really good after a nice strong race.  We were all very happy with our races, so discussing our experiences was fun as we relived parts of the race.  Justin's win was an interesting one.  He's a teacher and had a parent/teacher interview on the morning of the race, he didn't arrive until moments before the start - he jumped out of his car and onto the starting line.  Amazing!  Greg and I are new to the snowshoe racing scene, so it was nice to meet more people.
Greg getting his granola from Joe :)
 The awards ceremony was fun - lots of draw prizes (thank you RD's for sourcing those out).  My first prize award was an entry to next year's race (awesome! I'll be back), a Running room gift card, and some granola from Living Primal.  Greg won a bag of granola too.  My sister joked through text that we should be throwing that stuff around like confetti to celebrate our races.  It's tempting, but this granola is too delicious to toss around :)  Thanks for the awards. Our next race is the series finale Dion Red Barn Snowshoe Race.  We're looking forward to it.
 Thanks to Race Directors Joe Turner and Erin McDougall (and their volunteers) for all their hard work in putting on the race.  The course was well-marked, the race was well organized, and things ran smoothly.  Thanks to my sponsors Dion Snowshoes which you can order in Canada through Spafford Health and Adventure's Online Store, and to CLIF Bar for your delicious CLIF bars, CLIF shots, CLIF Bloks, and CLIF Builder's protein bars that I use during my training and racing. Thanks to my coach Derrick Spafford for helping me prepare for the race. Thanks to Greg for sharing another great race with me - I always try to catch him, but he keeps getting away! And huge thanks to my parents for having "Sleepovers at Grandma's" which the girls look forward to. Thank you very much.


  1. Congrats although it turns out that I was cheering for the 3rd place female. I learned this week that the singular form of confetti is confetto. I figured this was knowledge that I would never get to use and impress anyone, but I already got my chance here with granola

    1. I would expect that you would have a strong bond with 3rd place :) Confetto eh? I'm very impressed. Thanks for reading. I'll share some of the granola confetti with you and Sharon at coffee on Saturday morning!

  2. Congrats on an awesome win Lisa! It was great battling with you out there!

    1. Congrats to you too Eric! It was fun trying to catch you. Hope to race with you again soon.

  3. Way to go, Lisa! And excellent work to Greg as well!

  4. Thanks Holly! It was a fun race. Greg had a great day too. Thanks for reading.