Lakewoods’ USSSA Championship Course: Test for a Mountain Goat!

PC Rasmussen, Lakewood’s owner, takes challenges seriously. Therefore, when Wisconsin’s John Kann the 2010 USSSA National Championship gold medalist for the 55-59 class said the course should be tougher after they laid out an initial version, PC brought in his secret weapon — the other side of “M” or, like the movie goes, Dial ‘M’ for Misery. See it here first:

As snowshoers John Delf, Kristi Speer, silver medalist in the 2010 class for 25-29, and John Kann met with PC Rasmussen, the friendly Phil-Bear of Lakewoods Resort, little did they know they would help create what might be one of the most exciting courses in the Dion Snowshoes USSSA National Championship history. “We were impressed,” John said, “by his knowledge of organizing a major event, and he definitely has things under control. With his staff and volunteers from some local clubs, we can expect a first class event.” Kristi noted, “While the inside offerings of the lodge are amazing, they are nothing compared to the vast trail systems found out the backdoor.”

If only John did not think the course needed more challenging climbs. “He didn’t believe we had enough,” said the affable PC, who secretly retreated to his evil drawing board housed in the bowels of the historic lodge and mapped out a dastardly way to get to the other side of “M” — the main road passing by the lodge’s entrance — by passing through a tunnel of doom. By keeping racers off the highway utilizing a wide culvert, while accessing fresh topography through virgin forests and single track, PC has turned the route into championship material that has the potential to create legends and legendary tales. “I didn’t know snowshoers were half mountain goats!”

Here is the map and here the highlights:

From the start, notice its position is opposite from the lodge when they race the Hot Air Balloons for Hearts event. The first section goes in reverse on the original course’s finishing approach. “There is a large, wide open space to start off, which goes slightly downhill for about 250 yards, before narrowing down to about three-four people wide, which is plenty of time for the snowshoers to thin out,” was how Kristi saw it. Traversing a course through the open golf area on its outer loop (shown by a tiny #1) and winding wooded trails sets the racers up to pass by the start area to the crowd’s delight, and traipse back down to enter the Tunnel of Doom.

From that underpass for Highway “M,” follow the arrows counterclockwise over an elongated loop featuring several steep climbs and equal declines for one’s racing pleasure. A reasonable expectation is most positions, including the USSSA National Teams, will be won or lost in this section.Returning through the tunnel, the competitor heads straight up the golf course layout, crossing over their previous path,  and completes a smaller inside loop that once again, for the final time, takes the competitors to the blessed finish line.

A key for snowshoers is, for those who are not front-runners, will have a good chance to see leaders and friends passing in the other lanes nearby. A key for spectators is that this will be one of the best courses for viewing yet devised. I suspect a strong contingent of spectators will hustle down to the tunnel to watch the competition return to the main course before they have to hustle up to the finish to catch them clicking the clock and hearing Mark Elmore’s famous call at the line giving names, hometowns, and plenty of personal information on every racer. His dialogue is unparalleled in snowshoe racing.

So, what to do? Easy! Get to a qualifying race now and get qualified to race in the Dion Snowshoes 2011 USSSA National Championship, held this year in the backyard of the infamous Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski races. Compete in several snowshoe qualifier events if possible as there is nothing like a stirring snowshoe race to make you better; race in other local events to keep your edge and conditioning. Then be at Lakewoods Resort for the fun and pageantry of a national championship!

For more information:

Lakeswoods Resort: www.lakeswoodsresort.com

USSSA: www.snowshoeracing.com

Dion Snowshoes: www.dionsnowshoes.com

Write: phillipgary@snowshoemag.com

HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life by Phillip Gary Smith www.amazon.com, www.lulu.com, and www.iHarmonizing.com

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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.