Tag: Melissa Donais

Uta Sets a New PR

jenkins utaFor those of you who aren’t connected to Nate Jenkins on Facebook (and those that just missed it), Nate shared a story about an epic run with Uta. Nate was still recovering from being quite sick and wasn’t exactly ready for the PR that Uta ended up dropping. No, it’s not Uta Pippig, but instead the beloved pet dog of Nate and his wife Melissa. She is a very appropriately named dog because like her namesake, Uta is a beast when it comes to running. There is an intense rivalry between the two, as is evident by the way Uta has her paw on Nate’s shoulder in the pic to the left in a classic “I own you” pose. Here’s Nate’s account of this blazing, rib cracking run:

When I run with Uta, my dog, I pretty much let her set the pace. Lately I have been quite sick but after Melissa made me get an antibiotic, my first not for surgery or a tick bit since 1997, I am starting to feel better but am still coughing a lot.

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Not fooling around at all, Uta can be seen here getting in some crucial core work.

This morning Uta and I set out and she was obviously a little excited about the sun and the birds or something and we hit the mile in 6:31, quick for a first mile for her but not unheard of, then she got going, 12:13 at 2 miles, a 5:42. She rocked us through the next half mile in 2:42 but settled as we turned around and I thought she was getting tired. We hit 3 miles in 17:41, a 5:38. To my surprise or was it horror Uta rallied at this point and on the strength of two long surges we got to 4 miles in 23:06, a 5:25.

Normally Uta likes to cruise in pretty easy on this particular run and she hits the breaks at about the same spot about 100 meters before the 4 mile mark but today she had other plans and we just kept on rolling. She took it a little easy on the two small uphills in the last mile (Uta mercifully does not like most uphills), but otherwise rocked the last mile before letting up to ease across the finish in 28:22, a 5:16 final mile. I promptly followed this up with an epic rib-cracking coughing fit that must have had our neighbors shaking their heads at the stupid sap running with his dog.

I don’t think they are entirely wrong but you can’t just wreck one of your training partners multi PR run because your a little under the weather. Even if that partner is a dog and has no use for or sense of time. She still loves to run fast and free and when the spirt hits her I feel obligated to oblige it.


Learning Curve

The Horse Hill 7k Snowshoe race was to be my third official race attempt, and my fifth run overall with the snowshoes on. After the way things went at Sidehiller my confidence was on the rise. Training runs were feeling better and better and it seemed as if I was getting the hang of it. Instead of smoothly gliding through the trails and working my way up the field, I fell repeatedly,  damn near got a snowshoe where the sun don’t shine, and ended up getting Dunham’d (again) at the finish. I think some of that may need further explanation.

The day started off with so much promise. Felt great early that morning, got to the race with plenty of time for a warm-up, and then it all went down hill. My pre-race jog time disappeared once I realized that I had forgotten to switch out the cleats on the snowshoes the night before. It’s not much of anything to change them, only I had never done it before so I wasn’t exactly familiar with the process. I don’t have a separate pair of deep cleats, but my Dion back country snowshoes have deep cleats on them so it was just a matter of transplanting them. For those who don’t know, the 121′s are basically just smaller version of the back country hikers. This is an important detail because I soon realized that in my haste I just switched cleats from one 121 to the next. Damn.

Finally done, I swept the pile of snowshoe parts onto the car floor and was off and running to the start. For a warm up, the two minute jog would have to suffice.

The start was a little intimidating with over a hundred runners all lined up on the glorified single track trail. Once the gun went off the air was filled with snow being kicked about and it was a struggle to just to see where I met step down. To either side of the trail there was a bit of a slope so you didn’t want to stray too far to the sides. The snow was deep and the pace was going to be slow (for me at least).

All confidence was lost about a quarter mile into the race when we hit the first hill. It was far larger than any hill I’ve run up in a long time. Or at least it felt that way. For certain I had never tried running up a beast like that in snowshoes. For the next 3.75ish miles, I was in survival mode.

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Course map, according to my Garmin. Twisty enough for ya?

Perhaps that’s why the next seven minutes or so of running featured not one, not two, but three different full on collapses by me. It was just at the end of January where Scott Graham and I were talking about racing and falling and he uttered words that echoed in my head: “You’re time will come. There are only two types of snowshoe runners: those who have fallen and those who are going to fall.” Those who are going to fall…those who are going to fall… Damn, he was right. It seemed strangely coincidental and oddly prophetic that I would fall so soon into my very next race after hearing that warning.

Stunned a little embarrassed, I picked myself up and attempted to get going before I got trampled or tripped anybody else up. I immediately thought: Now that I’ve fallen I can go on… and before I could finish that that thought I was down in the snow again. This spill was a little more awkward and it felt like I nearly got a tree branch in the nether regions.

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Elevation, also courtesy of my Garmin.

Runners started to fly by me and I just let them go. Better wait a few seconds before the coast is clear to get going on the single track again. I turned around to see the branch that nearly pierced my keister and saw that it was in fact my own snowshoe. Good Lord. There I was, a grown man in the woods that almost got his own snowshoe stuck up his ass. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it had the deep cleats on it! No one should get cleats of any size jammed there, let alone the deep ones.

After falling twice in the first mile I started to think ‘okay, that means at this rate I should fall down eight times total for the race’. It’s not good when you set the acceptable amount of falls so high. Before I could finish that thought i fell again. Incredible. But I was still on track for only eight spills during the race.

Now I had had enough. I got up, set my focus and hardened my determination. From here on out I would be all business. The terrain never got any easier and I was going to have to rise to the challenge. The whole course was unfamiliar territory to me, and taking a look at both the elevation and a satellite map of it after, I can see just how crazy it all was. No wonder it was all so slow!

Unfortunately things were so spread out that there really weren’t many runners ahead pulling me forward, and nobody behind threatening to pass either. Out in front, so close but yet still so far out of reach, was the speedy Melissa Donais. She was one of the runners that flew by me on the second spill, and also a measuring stick of sorts for me in these races. She crushed me at Whitaker Woods but only finished just in front of me at Sidehiller. Perhaps today was the day that I took her down.

Since the terrain was all single track and non-linear, you really had to pick your spots to pass. At least you do when you’re a novice. Perhaps I was thinking about it too hard because all of a sudden I was right up on Melissa and stepped on the back of her snowshoes. There’s really no excuse for that when you’re not running in a pack. It was amateur hour in the woods. Luckily neither of us fell. I apologized, she let me slide, and then I was off trying to chase down the next guy.

There was nobody really catchable, at first, but that was okay because concentrating on my form and not falling was enough to get me through. After what seemed like forever but in reality was only five minutes, I did start to reel somebody in. Just when I was about to roll up on him, he stopped at an intersection, waited for me to get a little closer, and then asked which way to go. I said ‘to the right’, pointed, and just flew by. For some reason I felt bad about that. Is there some sort of gentlemen’s rule where you let the person go first? Not sure about the subtle nuances about off-road racing  yet.  I was fine with it mainly because had I stopped I felt like there would’ve been some type of discussion (albeit brief) about it when there was no need for it.

Finally, after all of that effort, all of that climbing, all of that falling, I had made the last climb, flew down the last decent (which was the first ascent) and was within sniffing distance of the finish. My tired mind couldn’t process anything beyond the thought of crossing the line and collapsing somewhere warm. Little did I know that I was about to be Dunham’d yet again. There it was, karma coming around to get me, all because I ate his damn cookies after the Whitaker Woods race. Dave snapped off a couple of pics and shouted encouragement as I passed by. The nerve of that guy! I wanted to say something witty but could only muster vague grunts, and possibly something along the lines of ‘ah, you got me again’. Then Dave replied “yes, you got Dunham’d”. It was pretty funny to hear him say it, but it also made it seem more real. I need to get faster!

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EJN getting Dunham’d, courtesy of Dave Dunham.

My legs and lungs burned as I willed my way over the last hundred meters or so. Seeing the line come closer and closer was a relief that I’ve only felt in full or half marathons. Result: 21st place and 45:00. I’m pretty sure I passed the line in 44:57 or so, but who’s counting? Nacho Hernando won it in 33:03. Nacho is a legit guy, and although he’d beat me in any distance over any surface right now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be a whole twelve minutes behind him in a half marathon on the roads. He beat me by twelve minutes here in a four mile race! How crazy is that? Snowshoe racing is a different world.

Shortly after I crossed, Chris Dunn came up to me and uttered perhaps the most encouraging phrase I had ever heard: “Now that was a real snowshoe race!” Thank God someone was able to verify that for me. I don’t know if I could handle anything any realer than that at the moment.

Unfamiliar with getting Dunham’d? Check out the last paragraph in this entry.

Hernando Beats Competition, Course at Horse Hill

The start, courtesy of SNAPacidotic.

Watch out: the Sweetie Pies are making a move in the Granite State Snowshoe Series. In the latest race, the Horse Hill (or is it Horsehill?) 7k Snowshoe Race, top Sweetie Pie Nacho Hernando broke the tape in 33:03. The rookie bested snowshoe vets Brandon Newbould and Jim Johnson on the way to winning in only his second ever snowshoe race.

Not only did Nacho beat the competition, but he beat the course just the same. Brandon Newbould looked to be running away with the race but had trouble navigating a couple of tricky intersections. On two occasions Brandon had to stop to get his bearings and each stop allowed Nacho and Jim to catch up to him. After the first stop Brandon was able to surge ahead and regain some separation, but the second stop proved to be too much to overcome.

Newbould wasn’t the only casualty claimed by the course that day. Also falling victim to the course was Kristina Folcik-Welts’ bid for a win (wrong turn) and EJN’s dignity (fell on multiple occasions). In this instance there were several big intersections that were marked up with flags and arrows, but in the heat of the moment during a tightly contested race it can be easy to misread an arrow in the previously trampled snow.

In the world of snowshoe running (and trail and mountain running too), the course is even more of a foe than it is in road racing. Once you start running on those single track trails it is so much easier to make a wrong turn, even on a well-marked course. This race was pretty much all single track trails, for the most part. As seen in the race video embedded here, the start area was wider but there was a decent slop on either side of the trail that forced people into a more confined space. Factor in over a hundred people on the starting line (quite possibly a record field for the race), and it’s easy to see just how tricky it could be to find your footing in the early going.

After just barely enough time to get some space and get into a groove, the race goes up the steepest climb of the day and that set the tone for the rest of the course. Trudging up that hill in the deep snow, you know it’s a real old fashioned snow show race and that it’s not going to be like the track session that was Whittaker Woods or Beaver Brook. Heck, Sidehiller was a faster course and that wasn’t even a fast course with all the sugar snow out in the fields.

Katharine Jenkins on the way to the finish, courtesy of SNAPacidotic.

The first mile and last mile were the same, which meant that the runners would be flying down the same steep slope that they climbed up going out. But the middle two miles were packed with a twisting, turning single track that must’ve had an elevation chart that looked quite roller coaster like.

It was out in that single track loop where the field thinned out fairly quickly. There were many times where you could see competitors running back in the opposite direction on another part of the trail but with all the twists and turns it made it difficult at times to tell how much further ahead they were.

Whereas Newbould had nobody in front of him when he came to those crucial intersections, Kristina knew there were people in front of her but wasn’t exactly clear as to how far ahead they were. Not knowing exactly where to go, Kristina saw some runners off in the distance and took off after them only to find out later that it was the wrong direction. The wrong turn caused Kristina to add on some more distance and ultimately lose the lead.

This opened the door for Melissa Donais to get her first series win of the season. Melissa ran a 46:11 and came in 25th overall. Looking back at Nacho’s winning time of 33:03 and things get put in perspective a little better. With over thirteen minutes between 1st and 25th it’s easy to see just how strung out the field was in this race. Kyla Brustin came in shortly after as the runner up to Melissa (30th overall, 47:18) and then amazingly Kristina still managed to get third (37th overall, 49:18).

For the masters runners, Dave Dunham was the top finisher (surprise surprise) with his 9th place, 36:04 effort. For the ladies it was Molly McHugh who ran a 52:34 for 43rd overall and was the fifth woman on the day.

With his third place finish at Horse Hill, Jim Johnson extended his lead in the series. Both Newbould and Hernando haven’t run enough of the races so far this year to qualify for the standings just yet but if they keep this up then Jim will have his work cut out for him. Even with the wrong turn, Kristina maintained her perch as the highest ranking woman in the standings and is seventh overall.

Next up is the Kingman Farm Moonlight Race in Madbury, NH on Saturday, February 15th.

Newbould Answers the Call

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Dunham storms through a downhill portion of Sidehiller, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

In a casual post race interview after the Whitaker Woods Snowshoe race, Jim Johnson started rattling off names of some of the faster runners that hadn’t made an appearance. Brandon Newbould was on that list. Maybe he heard it and was compelled to make his presence felt, or perhaps he was planning on running all along. All we know is the end result: Newbould won the Sidehiller Snowshoe Race, beating Jim Johnson of all people. Funny how things work out sometime.

The course was a bit different from years past. Normally there would be a road crossing and then a couple of miles through some trails (and through backyards) before finishing up back at the fairgrounds. There was one key thing missing this year though: snow in the trails across the street. Not enough for the race, certainly, so race director Paul Kirsch had to make due.

What Paul ended up creating was a two loop, four mile course that took the runners through a lot of ‘sugar snow’ (it’s exactly what you think it would be like) that was fairly challenging even minus the big climb on the part that was cut out.

Brandon made a break from the pack on the first loop at short but cruel little hill that was built into a small out-and-back portion. From there on in he was chugging his way through the sugar snow, the driving winds and blowing snow all on his own. Speaking of the weather, have I mentioned that it was brutal? Temps were around 6F, with a windchill that brought it down to the -12F range. People were so bundled up that it lead to a lot of “you were there?”-type conversations via social media afterwards. In fact, Brandon came up to me to say hi after the race, and I froze in a brief moment of panic as I didn’t recognize this guy who clearly knew me. Guess  a snowbeard really does make for a great disguise.

Having spent some time living in Alaska, Brandon is well-adapted to the cold. If you didn’t know about his Alaska background, perhaps you read it on his tights? Being so far behind him in the race, I didn’t notice them until looking at the pictures afterwards. Accompanying a picture of them on Facebook was this exchange between the Newbould’s, posted by Brandon’s wife Meredith:

Me: “Why were you wearing those tights?”
B: “You weren’t there to prevent me.”

Winners can wear anything, right? Bruce Denton had the spikes that never came in second, and if Brandon keeps winning in these bad boys then who are we to question them? This time around, the tights helped Brandon run a blazing 27:25 through the sugar snow en route to his win. The tights are Level approved. Jim Johnson wasn’t too far back, running a 27:37.

Following the first two were Kevin Tilton (28:11) and Bob Jackman (28:21). Or was it Bob then Kevin? I have a hard time telling them apart in these pictures. Maybe I just have a hard time telling bundled up, bearded men in glasses apart in general.

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Tilton leads Jackman…or is it Jackman leading Tilton? Either way, courtesy of Joe Viger Photo.

In the women’s race, Abbey Wood didn’t take control until much later in the race than Brandon had, but still ended up with the same result. Abbey passed Melissa Donais just before the third mile and said, “I was running scared, especially when I realized it was Melissa who was right on my heels!” Closing in 8:15 for the last mile, Abbey wrapped up the win a seven second cushion over Melissa (34:00).

Abbey wasn’t one to complain about the conditions, and thought they “were perfect”. She’s still relatively new to the sport (only one prior race) so expectations were tempered ahead of time. Not bad for a second race!

The top masters on the day were Ethan Nadeau (28:51, acidotic RACING) and Kristina Folcik-Welts (35:02, La Sportiva). Kristina is pretty fast for a 46 yr old, huh? We’re pretty sure that’s a typo in the results.

This race was a qualifier for nationals. Up on the United States Snowshoe Association page you can find the listings of all who qualified, including those from Sidehiller. Nationals will be on March 1st in Bennington, VT. We’ll be there!

Have we mentioned it was cold? Very sincere thank you to Scott Mason, Joe Viger, and MrsEJN for gutting it out in Hoth-like conditions to get photos and video of the runners in action. Please check out Scott and Joe’s work. It’ll be well worth your while.

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Joe Viger in action, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Wheeler Wins in Whitaker Woods

The Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble hosted its largest field ever on Saturday. This was especially impressive because for some, including myself, the status of the race was in doubt due to rain that hit the week of the race. I was so concerned with reports I had heard that I had to contact race director Kevin Tilton to see what the deal was. When I told him that I had heard there was no snow up there, his reply of “Erroneous!” was enough to convince me to still make the trip.

Maybe what was on the ground wasn’t quite snow, but the ice and “crunchy snow” (as heard in the video below) mix made for a very fast whip through Whitaker  Woods. Some tweaks to the course were needed so it ended up being about 3.5 miles instead of the usual 4.

Nick Wheeler pretty much skated through the icy course, looking like a natural on the snowshoes even though he hadn’t done a race in a couple of years. “I kind of forgot the pain of it, so I wanted to see what the pain felt like again.” Well, how was it after all these years? “It was exactly like I remembered,” replied Nick.

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I bent down to double knot a shoelace, which was exactly when Kevin started the race. Even while tentatively making my way out in the pack, I could see Nick and Jim Johnson shoot out to the front. “It was pretty much Jim and I from the start and we stayed together for the first mile,” said Nick. It was after that mile where Nick started to separate himself from the three-time defending Whitaker Woods champion.

Nick ended up running a 22:04, which was comfortably ahead of Jim’s 23:16. “I’m telling you that was the worst beating I’ve had in a snowshoe race probably except for Nationals,” said Jim. It’s not to say the Jim didn’t have a great time despite suffering his first ever loss in this race, but in the end it was only “as fun as a beating could possibly be.”

Kristina Folcik-Welts ran a 28:07 in securing her win, and she was about as dominate as Nick was. Kristina had a 46 second lead over runner up Melissa Donais (28:53). The battle in the women’s race, like the one in the men’s, broke open just after a mile. I witnessed it…well, part of it.

The course crested a hill and brought the runners to a point with a spectacular view of Mt Washington off in the distance before the icy turn onto some treacherous single track. You wouldn’t have thought it was that treacherous by the way Kristina (aka Dangergirl) attacked it. Kristina took off down that path like Wile E Coyote on crack, with an Acme rocket booster on his back that may or may not have had some Iranian nuclear “energy” funding behind it. It was sick. In the blink of an eye she was out of site.

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Melissa had a bit of lead going into that stretch but Kristina has a knack for those icy single tracks. One runner’s weakness is another runner’s strength, and even early in the race it turned into the big break.  ”She (Kristina) knows I slow down on the single track, especially when it’s downhill because I am so clumsy and I’m so scared that I’m going to fall and break a leg,” said Melissa.

The section contained at least one turn that was so tight it brought runners a bit off the course when trying to make it. Yet somehow Kristina was able to cruise through it and take over. “It was actually on that section I could hear her and I’m like ‘Oh no she’s going to pass me!’ and sure enough she did, right on the downhill,” recalled Melissa. Surprisingly tactics like that aren’t why Kristina is known as Dangergirl. It’s mainly because she falls all the time, according to the Dangergirl herself.

I was cruising along in the second mile and feeling good about my own race when I heard “come on, you’re the third woman!”. I turned to clarify that I was in fact a man, when I noticed Leslie Beckwith breathing down my neck. Try as I might, I didn’t have it in me that day to withstand that barrage that was Leslie on snowshoes. Leslie ended up being the third women, running a 29:15. I locked in on her and came in just after her in 29:24.

The top masters runner of the day was Dave Dunham who impressively came in third overall with his 24:59. For the effort Dave won himself a container of Tilton-made baked goods. You have to be present to win, Dave! I helped myself to the spoils of his triumph and damn, they were good. Definitely worth sticking around for.

For the ladies, the top masters runner was Robin AllenBurke of Acidotic who ran a 35:34 and placed 36th overall.

My goal for next time: don’t finish so far behind Dunham where he has time to come back and get a picture of me in the race. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know Dave does it with the best of intentions and he’s incredibly supportive in doing so. However, there’s a part of me that thinks that it’s an epic form of trash talking. It’s right up there with all of the epic trash talking in movies (American Flyers comes to mind) only it can be done without saying much if anything at all. If your rival comes up to you after a race and says “Hey I got a nice shot of you finishing” then what can you say? Well, not much besides damn. If I were to make a sports movie, I’d have to include that in there. Someone would get Dunham’d. Hopefully it’s not me next time, but I probably didn’t help my cause by eating his cookies. Damn.

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Photos courtesy of Joe Viger Photography, except for the last shot of me. That was by Dave Dunham.

Eaten By a Bear

Sixteen brave souls gathered in Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MA on the morning of January 5th for an unofficial race. Whether you want to call it the Maudslay State Park 5km Snowshoe Run or the First Annual Dave Dunham Snowshoe Spectacular, it was a great little race with an old school feel. There weren’t even popsicle sticks! We just wrote down our names on a results poster board. It was awesome.

I was excited to finally try out my shiny new Dion 121′s. The excitement was tempered because not only had I never run in snowshoes, but running of any kind was few and far between for me as of late. For such a small race, it had quite a deep field. There was going to be some intense competition (in damn near perfect conditions).

After a brief warm up that consisted of mainly doing a couple of strides and then waiting to get signal on my Garmin, it was about time to start. We gathered at the line in the snow and were out quickly on command. Since we were off road I figured it would take a little while for the pack to thin out. Wrong! The leaders were quickly putting distance on the rest of the field and I couldn’t believe how quickly they were running away with it.

I also couldn’t believe how I seemed to be kicking snow up into the air and down the back of my neck. It was going to be a long three miles for this guy.

At just about the half way point my torrid ten minute pace was proving to be too much and a little asthma started kicking in. It was at that point that Theresa Ridgway went flying by me like I was standing still wheezing. Wait. I may have been. Theresa incredibly put two minutes of space between us over the last mile and a half.

Just when I thought I was overcoming the breathing difficulties (or the mid-race wheezes), a rogue runner flew by me at about Mach III. What?! At that point I started panicking thinking that I had somehow taken a wrong turn and come out in the lead. But that wouldn’t have even made sense; it was only a three mile race and if people were running that fast then they clearly would have finished long ago. I was beginning to fear that the breathing was worse than I thought because I was either now hallucinating or just couldn’t do simple math. Remember that time I went out for a run and forgot math? Yeah, didn’t want to be telling a story like that. The rogue runner must’ve been real.

Turned out he was very real. It was Tim Mallard, a member of the Gate City Striders who had arrived a bit late. As I was coming into the last straight I ran into basically the entire field coming back out for their cool down. Ah, perfect. They even had time to pose for a lovely group shot before taking off for that cool down.

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Group shot after the snowshoe race, courtesy of Dave Dunham.

I had been out on the course for so long that Mark LaRosa assumed I had been eaten by a bear. You know what? I feel like a part of me was. That’s what happens when you show up on race day without having done your homework: you get eaten by a bear. Even if it’s only figuratively speaking, it still sucks. At the very least I increased my chances of being consumed by an ursus americanus, and really, do you want to mess around with something like that?

EJN "bears" down on the line, while the others are already fully recovered.

EJN “bears” down on the line, while the others are already fully recovered.

Predators go for the weak and sick animals that can’t keep up with the herd. There’s not much room for pride or bragging rights when your primary motivation is to eat, so why bother going for the lead pack? By straggling so far back and wheezing I was probably looking quite appetizing. Maybe training so I don’t become dinner should be my new motivation.

As for the competition up front in this race, Scott McGrath (Whirlaway) won the 3 mi race in a blazing 20:19. Mark LaRosa was just behind him in 20:54, and Scott’s teammate Steve Dowsett grabbed the last podium spot in 21:09. Race organizer Dave Dunham came in 7th place, in 24:35. Think about that. Dave’s no slouch and he only came in 7th place in this unofficial race. Pretty incredible.

Melissa Donais was the top woman on the day (26:45, 11th overall). She still couldn’t convince her husband Nate Jenkins to get on the snowshoes though. Nate was seen running around on the street in the area. Maybe next time, Nate. Maybe next time. A couple of minutes in back of Melissa came Theresa in 30:21, followed by yours truly in 32:36. There was possibly a bear stalking me, but I never turned around to look.

It was a great event put together by Dave, even if it just ends up being a different twist on a Sunday morning meet up for a training run. This one involved snowshoes and a couple feet of some damn fine powder. What’s really amazing is that as I’m writing this, only 8 days removed from the event, all of that snow is basically gone and has been for days now. Crazy. Here’s to hoping that there’s enough snow for the bigger snowshoe races coming up this season!

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Run 4 Kerri: The Level Interview Sessions

We had a lot on this one, so we needed to pace ourselves. The Run 4 Kerri four mile race was last Sunday, and as we wind down the week we proudly present our interview sessions with some of the top finishers of the 2012 edition of this must-run event.

First up is Laura Brustolon:

Followed by Nate Jenkins & Melissa Donais:

Winner Sam Alexander and Jacob Edwards:

Trish Hillery and Renae Cicchinelli


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