A moonlit night, snow covered city park trails, and a warm lodge sounds like the beginning of a wonderful romantic evening, right? Well, instead, why not take the opportunity to race over one hundred other people on snow or trail shoes? Welcome to the second of six mid-week evening races, Fleet Feet Sports of Rochester, New York’s Snow Cheap series.
Sixty-eight snowshoers took off at 6:30pm on Wednesday, January 6, with their required headlamps for a three-mile romp through Cobb’s Hill park. Joining them were seventy-eight people who opted to forgo the snowshoes and run in trail shoes, despite the 12 inches or more snow along some of the course.
YellowJacket Racing owner and designer of this evening’s course, Dave (Boots) Boutillier takes delight in creating challenging trail races. Participants can be sure there will be steep, short hills, single-track, fast flat areas, groomed and ungroomed sections to enjoy. On several levels, the Snow Cheap races are unique. Located within city limits, the park offers magnificent views from the hill top (expect to climb up and down this a couple of times, maybe on all fours at least once), trails through Washington Grove with its’ 200 year old trees and the thrill of racing in the dark, trusting Boots, the orange cones lining the course and your headlamp.
Non-snowshoe wearers should pay attention to the results, as the top 5 overall finishers were on snowshoes, led by Ryan Pauling in 19:19, followed closely by Tyler Murray in 19:23. The top female snowshoer and first masters finisher was Kellie Gregoire in 26:00.
The six race series costs just $45.00, or $10.00 for one race and includes chip timing, door prizes, series awards and a post-race meal. Snow Cheap is an excellent addition to activities one can enjoy within city limits, a great way to promote snowshoeing, and a blast to run in!