Winter Wild #4 at Mt. Sunapee, New Hampshire took place over the weekend. The morning started off very abruptly as my alarm failed to go off. So after some muddled 4 a.m. phone conversations about to do, I literally threw on my clothes (almost forgot my running shoes!) and headed out the door to find slick snow and ice-covered roadways. Why is it that it always snows and ices on the morning of the races?
I met Bridget for a treacherous drive to the mountain where we saw cars off the road along the way. So rather than being able to travel at mach speed (in our still somewhat incoherent sleepiness we had an in-depth conversation about mach speed on the way to the race) we had to travel at a snail’s pace. The arrival time on the GPS kept creeping up until it said 6:15 which was the time registration ended (note to self pre-register for the championship)! When we got to the mountain the adrenaline was pumping as we raced to throw on our spikes and head to the starting line. There was no time to think before the race which as it turns out is sometimes a good thing.
Since this winter has been lacking in the snow department, the course had been changed yet again so that on the way up we would be racing up a trail aptly named “Blast Off.” A warm-up would have been useful prior to the start of the race but, oh well!
The race began and I found the trail covered in a nice mix of corduroy and hard crunch from the earlier sleet and also some loose powder. I ran about half way up and then it was a POWER hike! The key was to get in a rhythm and also to work on following someone else’s tracks for a stronger foothold. The energy was awesome on the way up. Strong sounds of breathing and exertion and the scraping of skis on the snow. I am amazed by all of the powerful competitors and especially by the super strong women runners and awesome kids on the course! The kids are fast and determined! The race director Chad Denning of Team AMP has partnered with Let’s Move! to provide free entries for all kids in the area. What an awesome, healthy adventure to introduce kids to so early on. Plus they all look psyched to be a part of it!
When we reached the summit and turned to head down you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief. The descent was quick but the footing was great. The groomers had just hit the trail and the beautiful corduroy runway down to the finish beckoned, “RUN FASTER!” Time to switch gears and stay loose and let your feet fly. The endorphins hit me full force on the way down and I felt like superwoman bounding over a cluster of trees (which by the way I used to pretend to do when I was a kid!) I think I was grinning from ear to ear at the finish . . .well ok maybe not . . .perhaps a small grin, sucking wind, and feeling slightly nauseous from the exertion.
Another great Winter Wild adventure under my belt! Post race we headed out for breakfast to refuel at my new favorite diner in West Lebanon, NH-Four Aces Diner. The food at this diner is amazing. This time I chose the Stuffed French Toast with Blackberries and sweet cream cheese, one egg over medium, and some bacon of course. And Captain D. ordered “The DONUT” for the table which is a donut that is about the size of your head.
Next weekend is the final race of the series at Bretton Woods. If you think you are up for the challenge here is a YOUTUBE video courtesy of “huckNr0ll” from this years race at Ragged Mountain. The video is shot from the perspective of a snowboarder which is super cool. You can even check me out at around 1:57 in to the video.
As an added bonus for participating in these races is raffle at the end which includes excellent prizes such as skis and snow shoes and Cannondale biking gear. Plus our family farm will be providing our Pete &Gerry’s Organic Eggs again as well as some other sweet prizes!
Happy running and see you at the race!
- Sore feet, sore shins, sore buns (organicrunnermom.wordpress.com)