Kahtoola Gets Big Kah-SNOW-la for Flagstaff USSSA Qualifier

A major innovator in snowshoe products and microspikes for running shoes used in snow, nearby Kahtoola has thrown its weight behind this United States Snowshoe Association Qualifying event for the National Championship. That race is March 8th, 2008, at the Snowbasin Resort, Ogden, Utah. Eleven snowshoe racers at the ‘Snow or No’ ran qualifying times.

The word is getting out as race participants nearly doubled this year and, with competition expanding, all course records fell.


Tim Allen, describing the competition course, said, “I spoke with one snowshoer who said our courses are always the most difficult, something we always hear at our summer runs. We actually decided not to use the most difficult terrain that we could on this course. As the race grows, we hope to make the 10 km route truly epic.” Some of those mountain climbing products Kahtoola creates might come in handy at this race someday soon.

Besting his own course record by several minutes, Sylvester Coons, Reno NV, scorched snow with a 48:27 mark for the overall gold, the only finisher under 50 minutes. Mark Ulm at 55:52 and John Bogen, 57:52, took a well deserved silver and bronze respectively but couldn’t handle the Champs’ pace. Sylvester owns these mountains.

Laurie Lambert, after the long commute from Red River, NM, broke her own standing record by more than two minutes, to take the Women’s gold and finished fourth overall, seconds behind John Bogen, in the best race of the day.

Laurie was also a poster girl for Kahtoola as she won with her FLIGHT system snowshoes . . . 90% of the snowshoers used the innovative FLIGHT system. I wrote in the article, “Is Snowshoeing Ready To Go Primetime,” the need for innovation in snowshoeing and Kahtoola was already in the process of introducing the breakthrough FLIGHT systems. Industry leaders like Kahtoola are always pushing the innovation curve.

In a day for anyone named Maureen, Maureen McGee won women’s silver and as the most senior racer in any class or length today. Following closely was Maureen Hurley.

Fifth overall was Steve Ilg at 1:01 followed by Bob Hall, Tobin Purslow, David McKee and Jut Wynne.

Close observers of the USSSA website will recognize the name Steve ILG, “el coache,” says Tim Allen. “He lives here in Flag and competes in many of our races. A few of his students also raced. Coach Ilg is going for the full but very unofficial ‘Flagstaff Winter Triathlon’, which consists of racing in the snowshoe race, and two cross country ski races, a classic and a skate style. Last year, Steve was the only athlete to complete all 3 races.” His books are famous in the sport such as the classic “The Winter Athlete.” Visit his website at http://www.WholisticFitness.com


Adam Gaines broke the coveted 30 minute mark to win the overall 5 km championship at 27:53, setting a new course record by three minutes, followed by Abe Springer for silver and Mark Thurston’s bronze run.

Coleen Williams won the women’s overall and missed by a few ticks fourth overall as Brian Tinder crossed ahead in another exciting finish. Sabrina Becherini won women’s silver as Sarah Hudelson took the bronze.

Unique team race of the day was nine year old Taylor Stack leading dad, Vince, across the finish line.


Kahtoola, displaying and having demos of the unique and innovative FLIGHT system winter travel system, also showed a prototype of their next FLIGHT model. This snowshoe will allow winter athletes to clip in and out of the FLIGHT deck while only wearing one’s favorite running or hiking shoes.

Kahtoola is leading the way in guerilla marketing at these USSSA National Qualifiers

The Flagstaff Nordic Center, home of the ‘Snow or No’ Snowshoe Race, can proudly boast of their Record 2008 edition. No rain in Arizona, but enough snow to make even the cactus less prickly.

More Information:
Flag Staff Nordic center http://www.flagstaffnordiccenter.com
Kahtoola Snow Travel Systems http://www.kahtoola.com
United States Snowshoe Association http://www.snowshoeracing.com
Phillip Gary Smith’s Ultra Superior http://www.ultrasuperior.com

About the author

Phillip Gary Smith

Phillip Gary Smith, Senior Editor, published "The 300-Mile Man" about Roberto Marron's historic doubling of the Tuscobia 150 mile endurance snow run. He publishes "iHarmonizing Competition" on various forms of competition, including drag racing, his favorite motorsport. Earlier, he wrote "HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life" as a manual for life with chapters such as Winning by Losing, Can God Pay Your Visa Bill?, and a young classic story, The Year I Met a Christmas Angel. His book, "Ultra Superior," is the first written on the Superior Trail ultra-distance events. He mixes writing with his profession--the venture capital world--a dying art. He is a creator of CUBE Speakers, a group espousing themes in "HARMONIZING: Keys" in a unique way. Currently, he has two books in the works.
Write to him at Phillip@ultrasuperior.com, or find him on Twitter or Facebook @iHarmonizing.