Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Winter Exploration

Some of the nicest winter runs are in areas that aren't easily accessible in other seasons. Last week we had a run like this, where we followed snowmobile trails north of where we live into an area that we'd never been before. The trail meandered through woods, over numerous marshes and crossed lakes, so we were always discovering new landscapes.

As I write this a storm is raging outside with bitter wind and sideways snow, but despite this immediate evidence to the contrary, winter is winding down. Hopefully we'll have a few more weeks to enjoy some more runs like this one first.









 






Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Red Barn Snowshoe Race

The final race of the 2014 Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Series was the Switzerville Red Barn race on February 23rd. It is always my favourite race in the series, and this was my first year to run it which made it even more fun. Derrick's parents, Jack and Rosemary Spafford, host the race on their beautiful property and have a welcoming bonfire area set up for everyone's comfort while watching the race or hanging out after.

The day truly has a family feel for us with Brennan, Heather and Tasha doing a ton to help with the logistics, Paul taking care of the race timing, Matt and Michael providing the live music, friends and relatives showing up to watch or run, the many racers we have gotten to know over this season and past coming from near and far, and generous neighbours helping out, taking photos, allowing the course to run over their properties, and grooming the trails multiple times. This made for a memorable morning.

My race went pretty well, I took advantage of the short single-track sections to try to gain ground, but the course was generally very packed and runnable so I just tried to chop away the best I could. Emma Saaltink won decisively again, while I worked on trying to gain a bit on Deborah Berry but she remained firmly in second, and just behind me was Katy Murphy getting the feel of the sport with her first snowshoe race. Next was Jenn Ross as first master. The men's winner was Katy's husband Charley Murphy, followed by Mark Williams and Graham Ross, with Erin McDougall as top master.

Full Results and more photos

All photos by Sean Scally Events Photography. Full set here.

The Cabin, a highlight about two-thirds of the way along the route.

Race Start

Up the last hill

Loving the woods


Jack and Rosemary

Matt performing his tunes

The cook's not eating

Race director not too stressed out

Great day for a great couple: Graham and Jenn Ross 3rd overall and 1st masters woman
 
Fun in front of the Red Barn

OMG (Oh Me Geeky)


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Westbrook Snowshoe Race


WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER Road Race

OUT past the streets
Off of the asphalt
CAN'T run the same old route THIS TIME
WE ARE the ‘Shoers
THE first GENERATION
WE ARE all tired of that grind
No one even thinks we’re all that strange
Running out into the woods ‘til no street lights remain

WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER Road Race
WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW THE mile splits
ALL WE WANT are snowy trails at
Westbrook DOME

LOOKING FOR trails 
WE CAN just play ON
SOMETHING BETTER to give this long winter a lift
Snow and exertion
Come try out our version
Without snowshoes you’d be headfirst in a drift
No one even thinks you’re all that strange
Running out into the woods ‘til no street lights remain

ALL THE ‘Shoers SAY
WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER Road Race
WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW THE mile splits
ALL WE WANT are snowy trails at
Westbrook DOME

SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR time
WE LEAVE ONLY A trace
When we loop back to the start
With a quickening pace
Or maybe just our heart rate

WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER Road Race
WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW THE mile splits
ALL WE WANT are snowy trails at
Westbrook DOME

~ Tina 'Deep Cleat' Turner





Scally Event Photos



Scally Event Photos



Scally Event Photos




Sean Hickman/Low Light Photography



Scally Event Photos


Scally Event Photos



Sean Hickman/Low Light Photography



Sean Hickman/Low Light Photography



Sean Hickman/Low Light Photography


Scally Event Photos




Scally Event Photos



Monday, January 13, 2014

Kicking off Another Year at the Summerstown Forest Snowshoe Race

On Saturday we traveled to the Cornwall area for the second year of the Summerstown Forest Snowshoe Race which kicked off the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Series for 2014. Thanks very much to Gilles Parisien and all of his volunteers for putting on another great race. The trails were in great shape, and it was a very fun and pretty course. Rain eventually started falling on us, but the super delicious chili at then end kept us warm. 
          
Derrick handing out demo Dion 121 snowshoes for racers to use

Race start
Cool finish line rocks

Talking snowshoes with Deborah Berry (3rd master)
 
With Emma Saaltink (1st) and Lise Meloche (2nd) for the awards





Thursday, December 26, 2013

Arrival of Winter

After the storm

Sparkly world

Lost in the ice

New trail

Faster than a speeding Siku

Jesse screeching to a halt

Iced in

Half full?

Training buddies

Looking East

Heading West

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Batawa 25K, Last Race of the Season


I was excited to return to this race after running it last year, and with Derrick being in Peru for a few weeks it was a good target to have while he was gone. It had rained a lot the night before, so I knew the trails would likely be a bit slick in places, but even with that I hoped to run it faster than last year as I know I'm fitter than I was then. To handle the mud I decided to wear my Anakondas, and they proved to be amazing in the mud. People were sliding around like crazy in the slick sections but I didn't have any problem at all thanks to the ridiculous traction I had.

A taper can be dangerous though, which I found as I started off and my legs felt ready to fly. Proving that execution trumps fitness, by the end of the first 7.5 km loop I had already started paying the price. By dialing down the effort I recovered a bit and then went into 'ultra mode' and reeled off the remaining distance to the finish. It was a bit disappointing, but there was a lot more to be happy about as it is a really fun race on awesome trails, and I was proud of myself for hanging in there as best I could. I still finished 2nd, though well off Leslie Reade's winning time. In ultras I get ticked at myself for going out too hard, but in a race of this length I'm more forgiving of myself as the pace isn't something I'm currently very familiar with so it is tricky.

Next up is a bit of a pause in training before switching it up for snowshoe racing. I'm feeling a bit burnt out, so a few weeks of just running when I feel compelled to will do a world of good.