Nescopeck State Park hosts this sixth annual snowshoe fest in Pennsylvania, as the yellow brick road for traveling to the DION USSSA Nationals here is traveling Honey Hole Road, the park’s main access road.
19 miles of trails for snowshoeing and XC skiing make up the layout for this fairly new park (2005) located on the western end of the Pocono Mountains in historic Pennsylvania. It is a protected habitat for over 140 bird species, a couple of dozen reptiles, and hundreds of plants, thus no mountain biking is allowed. The park is an enthusiastic supporter of snowshoeing with their snowshoe loaner program, “extremely popular” the Park Staff told me, available most every Saturday (Tubbs for children and Atlas in adult sizes). Check the park’s calendar first. Registration for the race occurred at the Raphael Musto Environmental Education Center.
Nescopeck Creek, whose bridge is integrated into the race loops, feeds a key feature of the park, Lake Frances. The 10 km is a two-loop version of the layout, and enjoyed a ten-inch base of snow for the race.
The race starts at a volunteer friendly 11:00 A.M. and draws both elite and new snowshoers to the sport from five different states; in addition to Pennsylvania, there were New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Maryland represented. USSSA competitors at Syracuse’s national championships in 2010, Ed Myers and Denise Dion racing in her favorite pair of Dions, qualified today. Also Stephen Blacklock, Brian Thomas, Janice Morra, Lisa Beck, and Jerry Bonfiglio earned a spot for the 2011 championships at Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.
However, it was Quakertown’s Johan Anestad, 40, a native of Sweden winning the race outright with his 46:13 finish, nearly four minutes ahead of Glenside’s Sean Clark. Jared Freeman captured third overall.
Janice Morra (photo) won the women’s group with her 56:07, missing Dave Sheldon’s seventh overall by a few ticks over 30 seconds. Allison Pottage took second overall, just four seconds behind Tali MacArthur’s 57:28 for 12th, then Denise Dion took third in the class.
In the one loop 5 km race, Evan Daney, East Stroudsburg, age 22 won in 22 minutes (and 46 seconds). Jonathan Stoshick finished second, less than 30 seconds ahead of third overall, Gregory Luna.
Rebecca Myers won the women’s class, followed by Bethany Gunther. Bob Dion, already qualified for the Dion Snowshoe USSSA National Championships in Cable, Wisconsin, chose this distance today, just in front of third woman finisher, Susan Dillmuth-Miller.
Frank Gaval of Insta-Results does the hard work of the race director: organizing and presenting the Pennsylvania State Snowshoe Championships.
The Pennsylvania State Snowshoe Championships donates proceeds to the American Red Cross.
2010 Photo courtesy: Brian Thomas, Visual Stimulants Photo
Check the park calendar:
Dion snowshoes: www.dionsnowshoes.com
Read: HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Keys of Life by
phillip gary smith www.iHarmonizing.com
For a free email subscription of Snowshoe Magazine: https://www.snowshoemag.com/subscribe.cfm.