Mt. Washington has received a huge amount of snow this season and is currently boasting one of the biggest snow packs in North America tipping the scales at 460+cm base. But it has been some time since they have received fresh snow so conditions were a bit of a mixed bag, soft, hard and everything in between. This makes for an interesting race as you might not want to be leading the pack but that did not seem to deter some of the top runners from breaking away. The conditions speak for themselves when everyone in the top ten set faster second lap times on the packed down trail. The course remains much the same as 2010 but we always like to add in a few changes keeping the interest and fun factor high. In brief, the course starts out with a false flat for about 500meters, then it goes up for at least another 500m of trail which leads into the meadow section which is beautiful rolling open terrain. At the end of the single track you are rewarded with a big downhill all the way into the start finish area.
Looking at the start list for Mount Washington, a lot of the big guns in the snowshoe running world were absent but the line was not lacking in talent. At the start of the race Justin Mark went out hard but this did not seem to worry local Island runner Shaun Nelson. As the first lap unfolded only mere seconds separated Shaun, Justin and Eric Findlay, “look out” we have ourselves a race! It was Shaun’s first snowshoe race, so was the experience seasoned snowshoe runner Justin Mark going to hope for a rookie mistake or was this going to play out a one, two, three punch. Going into the second lap the course had been packed by the 250 participants. As the finish line grew closer the clock revealed a 48:02 for Nelson as he cruised in under the arch. Justin looked strong taking a solid second with a time of 49:06 and just seconds behind him rounding out the top three was Eric with a time of 49:21.
In the ladies field we saw 2 women break into the top 10 overall, from Team Yeti Tamsin Anstey took first place in 51:06 and Care Wakley was not far behind in 52:06. Rounding out the top three was Kristenn Magnusson finish strong with a time of 57:08. Each year we continue to see great performances from so many participants in all our categories .Worthy of a mention is those that participated in the Winter Duathlon for the first time in the Yeti 10 year history. For those who are not familiar with our new format. You begin with one loop of the 5k snowshoe course, you then transition onto cross country skis and ski 10k then once back in the start finish area you transition back into snowshoes for one final lap. This can be completed as a solo or team of 2. Although participation was not huge, it was great to see everyone really enjoy the new winter multi sport category. The Yeti XC wants to continue to promote winter sport and provide an opportunity to learn new skills and challenge oneself. We look forward to our next event at Whistler Olympic Park on February 19 where we hope to see some real interest in the winter Decathlon.
The Yeti XC would like to thank Mt. Washington for having us, what a great way to kick off our year 10 celebrations. We would also like to thank all the volunteers that came out and made this day possible, YOU ROCK! And to all the participants, thank you for your support, we hope you had a great day and we look forward to seeing you again soon.