Back for its second year the Muskoka Loppet Snowshoe Event was a huge success. Indicative of the growth of our sport, we had 43 participants this year, compared to four last year.
We changed the course this year to the 3km Hardwood Hill ski trail at the beautiful Arrowhead Provincial Park, just north of Huntsville, Ontario. It proved to be the perfect choice with its hills and wide trail, and provided spectators with more opportunity to cheer everyone on because of the multi-loop format.
Added this year was a 9km relay for two or three person teams. The catch – each team had to share just one pair of snowshoes! It provided spectators with some great entertainment as team members frantically switched over ‘shoes. Our goal was to attract more people to the sport, even if they don’t yet own snowshoes. We had seven relay teams which accounted for almost half of the total entrants.
The 3km solo saw Joanne Merkley in at 24:12 and Kevin Farthing finishing in 18:13. Joan Smith was first woman in the 9km solo event in a time of 55:03, with Troy Cox leading the men at 41:43. The fastest relay team was that of Benjamin Brzezynski who stopped the clock at 49:36.
Following the races, everyone was treated to a delicious hot lunch, and then gathered around for the draw prizes. Key to the success of this event was the amazing support we got from ten different sponsors. Included in the draw were two pair of GV Cat Trail snowshoes. GV also kindly loaned us seven pair of snowshoes for the event. As well, there were poles, gaiters, gloves, gift certificates and much more.
As we watch the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, we wonder when the games include snowshoe running? Inevitable. Along with other keen groups of snowshoers, we will continue to host events to an ever growing number of people who love both running and snowshoeing and welcome the opportunity to gather for a fun day.
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