Smugglers Notch Resort Nordic Center marked a big date with its tenth annual snowshoe race and family snowshoe festival. The compound has long been identified for its family feel, even named by MSNBC as “The Granddaddy of Family Resorts.” With their 24 Km of snowshoe trails, snowshoers can walk and race to heart’s content . . . and eat, too. For example, a unique snowshoe trip includes the “Top of the Notch Snowshoe Adventure Dinner,” at the summit of Sterling Mountain, one of three peaks making up this second snowiest area of the state.
After riding up via the lift, the snowshoer enters the mountain eatery lit only with candlelight. After a gourmet dinner, one has a beautiful snowshoe of 30 to 60 minutes back to the Lodge. Other events catching ones eye included the high elevation snowshoe tour where one learns about Bacon’s Run and enjoys the views famous smugglers enjoyed hundreds of years ago as they transgressed through these mountains and woods.
The winner has some history, too . . .
Keith Woodward, Stowe, Vermont, 60, overcame a big age gap — well, okay, just nine years — to edge Doug Hazeldon, 51 of Paul Smiths, New York, by coincidentally nine seconds to win at, yes, that’s right, 53:09. Woodward, well known in snow events, excels in the powder such as winning second in the Stowe Nordic Outing Series for the 2010 year. He also finished second on paved trails at the Lisbon, New Hampshire Lilac 5 km, edged by a runner young enough to be his grandson. Then there were the 2010 USATF Mountain Running Championships with some of the top names in the country gathered at Mount Washington. Competing in the 55-59 group, Woodward finished second in his class and 74th overall. His time in the 60-64 set, by the way, would have won that class by six minutes.
Kathy Pedtke, 21, Paul Smiths, was the first woman finisher at 72:04, just edged for 11th overall by Josh Fitzgerald, also 21 of Paul Smiths. Kathy is one of 12 who qualified for the Dion Snowshoes USSSA National Snowshoe Championships from the college, including the second place woman, Ashley Comeau. The school was out in force for the 2010 Nationals competed in Syracuse; here is hoping they can all be in Cable, Wisconsin for the 2011 championships.
Other notables in the finishing list were John Pelton, 71, West Rupert, Vermont, edged for eighth by Robert Homola and Eric Kowalik, both of Paul Smiths.
Jerry Barney of Swanton finished with an outstanding 77-minute finish for the 78-year snowshoe veteran.
In the 3.5 km event, John Remy won in 20:25 over the first woman finisher and second overall, Michelle Bruso of Fairfax. Ten-year-old Ben Bruso captured fifth overall with a 34:15 clock. Betty and Don Lacharite of Winooski were the most senior finishers with Betty edging Jan Provost, Essex Junction for 11th overall, while Don and Bob Provost tied. These two couples must have had a fun down snowshoe racing together. No doubt that everyone did at this historic tenth anniversary race.
For more information on the resort: www.smuggs.com
The USSSA: www.snowshoeracing.com
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Phillip Gary Smith’s book: HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life