Every year that I've gone to Cedar Falls for the State Championship Snowshoe Race, I've been assured of a challenging course. Scott Gall the race director is well-known for for a unique style of using the terrain for what he calls "a true snowshoe course". Again he did not disappoint. Nature cooperated with a bit of fresh snow during the week and a new layer the morning of the race.
Here's a video from the 2011 race that helps demonstrate some of this course.
One problem with snowshoe races, especially in Iowa, is you can never depend on having snow for the races. More than once this race has become a trail race rather than running on snow. Perhaps this is one reason why participant numbers have varied greatly here through the years. This year's conditions were great and it is disappointing that more runners didn't show up for the race.
Over 30 hearty souls hit the line to start and, for whatever reason, I took off like I used-to-could only to realize, early on, that an older, wiser Curt should slow down to a manageable pace for a 60-year-old. My first 5K loop actually had me in pretty good position but I was relegated to my typical regimen of walk-running the 2nd loop because the loose snow was playing a bit of havoc with my knees. The course turned a bit to sugar-snow and I didn't get many solid foot plants.
Results. Scott and friend, Randy Bill, ran the race together to finish 1st and 2nd, with former Mason Citian, Chris Jensen, following closely in 3rd. Randy said he and Scott were a bit guarded in opening up to race each other because they're both heading to a 50K race next weekend. I ended up winning my age group and qualified for the U.S. Nationals held in Vermont again this year. I first ran Nationals in Vermont in 2006 and then again in Minnesota (2007) and Wisconsin (2011).
Calling today's total at 7 miles after warm-up and cool-down.