I stepped out of my car at 6:30am, it’s still dark. The crew starts to arrive on Cypress Mountain for the final race of the season. It’s cold, clear and windy. I kick my boot into the fresh snow to get a feel for the depth. Although it’s not a lot the 5cm to 10cm will make a difference. On Friday conditions were hard pack, while out marking the course I could have run it with just my Montrails. The fresh had freshened it up and old man winter was still around for our final event. Cypress is always a good one, the trails that loop in and out of the Nordic Ski area are rolling sweet single track. All the runners that compete it is a great way to finish up the season as this would be considered the most forgiving courses of the Yeti Series.
The course was set and so was the start line as competitors began to assemble for the 5k . Ryan Irvin from Team Yeti was on the line and looking for another win. Ryan set a punishing pace at the Seymour event and things were no different at Cypress, he ripped up the track coming in at 26:09. Ray Barrett was just behind him in a time of 29:32 and finishing in 3rd place was Darrin Penner in a time of 29:37. In the women’s field the pace was also hot with Suzanna Ritchie coming in first with a time of 35:32. In second place was Lin Skrivanos 36:18 and rounding out the top three was Alexia Drz of North Vancouver with a time of 36:20.
The 10k event was up for grabs as Jason T Loutitt was unable to attend due to preparation for the Rock and Ice Ultra in Yellowknife on March 21-26. The Rock and Ice Diamond Ultra is a 225km 6 day Snowshoe/run up in Yellowknife. The Yeti would like to wish the current Canadian Snowshoe Champion best of luck. If you would like to follow Jason’s progress or learn more about this event go to www.rockandiceultra.com
The men’s field still had plenty of pace packed in it, so it would be anyone’s for the taking. And in the end it was taken by a long shot as Shaun Stephens Whales took off from the start and never looked back. This junior runner was looking like an experience pro setting the fastest time on the day in 49:19 in second place from Team Helly Hansen was Justin Mark 52:10 and in third place was Jacek Doniec with a time of 54:15.
The women’s field was missing Tamsin Anstey from Team Yeti. Tamsin has had a great first season with some solid top 3 finishes. Carey Sather from team Helly Hansen has been a regular to the podium this season and was able to finish on top with a time of 1:04:25. In second place a familiar last name appeared with Marisa Norona sister to Dave Norona having a great day out on the snowshoes crossing the line in 1:06:17. Penny Lidstone is not a new comer to the sport or the podium rounding out the top three in a time off 1:06:37.
Thank you to all the staff at Cypress for your support and hard work. The Yeti Series has once again rocked the snowshoe world this season with another big year. We have some exciting announcements for the up and coming 2010 season. From everyone at the Yeti thank you for your support, we hope that you have all had a great snowshoe season and we look forward to having you back next year.
For more information on the Yeti Snowshoe Series, visit www.theyeti.ca. Photos are courtesy of John Crosby.