Monday, February 21, 2011

Yukon Days Race Report

It's time for a very late Yukon Days race report. The thing I like about the Yukon Days races are the novelty of it all. This year I decided to run my first snowshoe race--6 miles of pure fun. I also signed up for the 3 mile no-snowshoe race. The 6 mile snowshoe went pretty well--the 3 mile race not so much.

The 6 mile race was an interesting course--and none too exciting. They had to change the course from the planned three mile loop due to fog. Their change consisted of a one mile out and back along with a half mile out and back--each run twice. It was kind of cool running in the fog, but also very monotonous with zero to look at besides snow and fog.

Before the race started the director announced that there would be awards for the top three men and the top three women. There were 12 of us at the start line and we look around and kind of chuckled because half of us would be getting awards. Then, when the race began I took off at what I believe to be a reasonable pace. After a few seconds I got a little worried that I'd run off in the wrong direction because no one was next to or in front of me. I turned around and I was already about 40m ahead of the rest of the snowshoe runners. That was pretty much how it went for the rest of the race.

At the turn around of the one mile out and back I was about a quarter mile ahead of the next runner and by the end I believe I was about 12 minutes ahead of the second place finisher. I wasn't exactly blazing fast--this was the first year of the 6 mile race and with only 11 other runners I don't think I was facing the top snowshoe runners in the area. It didn't matter though--I still had a nice time.

The thing that probably made the race the toughest was that 15 minutes into it the snowshoeless 6 mile race started. On the first part of the course I was able to run in the tire tracks of the pickup that drove the course. Then, all the six mile runners had the same idea and with all their passing each other and such the surface was much tougher to run on following them.

I was also signed up for the three mile snowshoeless race, but after the 6 mile my IT band was really acting up. Anytime I've run on an uneven surface it's really given me trouble, so perhaps trying a snowshoe race in the midst of training for Boston wasn't the brightest idea. Oh well.

The three mile race was the same course and after stretching out my IT band and running a mile warmup I decided I'd try it. If running the snowshoe race on an uneven surface was stupid this was an even worse idea. My knee was killing me from the start and running without snowshoes made it even worse as I slipped and slid all over the place. Me knee was killing me so after the mile out and back and didn't even bother trying the half mile out and back. My knee was telling me I was finished.

They gave out a nice medal this year--it looks pretty much the same as the Resolution Solution one. My wife put it with the dress up clothes for our future children along with the other medals I've one. Now I can look forward to the day when our kids pretend to be Olympic athletes as they wear medals from prestigious events like the Resolution Solution 5k.

There were also several runners from the Minnesota Running Wild there as well. It's a fun group of people and it was cool to get together with them between and after the races.

The exciting start to the 6 mile snowshoe race:

The sweet fog:

Finishing with my eyes frozen shut:

The crew from MN Running Wild:


Anonymous said...

I don't know if I could ever run in snowshoes! Nice job, Nate!

Nitmos said...

I'd like to bust my snowshoes out for a race. One day.

Ever consider taking the ribbon - if there is one - off the medals and making Christmas ornaments. I haven't done this but...considered it.