Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday, March 9 - Granite State Snowshoe Championships

13miS.S./1:26 - I drove to Bear Brook State Park with Mark. We were both looking forward to good competition and racing in the gorgeous weather. At the start, JJ took off fast. Mark and I followed closely. After about a minute I was hurting and realized that JJ was going to win. You can't fake that kind of start! He was fit! Mark and I gradually fell behind. After about 10 or 12min of racing I started to crack. It wasn't long before Kevin Tilton passed both Mark and I. I was blowing up. The early fast pace was getting to me. JJ was well out of sight and Kevin was quickly putting distance on us. Mark and I leap frogged a few times and I was hurting bad. Soon I could feel the presence of Jim Pawlicki and Dave Dunham. We hit a snowmobile trail that was brutally slushy. Mark dropped back and I tried to stay in front of Jim and DD. Jim caught me on the snowmobile trail and we battled back and forth a few times. We went back into the single track with Jim leading. We were moving well and making up ground on Kevin whom was now firmly in our sights. We wound through the forest with Jim really hammering. I was exhausted and he kept opening small gaps on me that I'd fight hard to close. Jim was killing it! We wound through the switch backs and I knew we were getting close to the finish. We dumped out of the single track to see the finish about 30 yards away. I sprinted as hard as I could and tried to move around Jim but he held me off in a photo finish. I wound up 4th in a strong field with a time of 46:30. We ended up only 5 sec behind Kevin, but we were a mind blowing 3min behind JJ. He annihilated the competition and proved he is the top dog this year in New England on snow. After the race I had mixed feelings about my effort. On one hand, I went out too hard and blew up which was dumb. On the other hand, I'm glad I at least tried to go with JJ and I did rally a little after cracking. I also really just loved the course, the weather and the strong competition. It was a blast and I'll be back next year. Thanks to Ryan Welts for putting on a great event.

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