Times of negative temperatures for this enduring Dion Snowshoes USSSA National Championship qualifier must be in the past as this year these hardy Alaskan snowshoers enjoyed a cozy ten-degree temperature and temperament. Ten days later, it is back in the cooler with overnight lows commonly at -25, enough to test one’s mettle to enjoying their snowshoeing for pleasure.
USSSA age-class medalist from 2007, Chad Carroll, led the field for the 2011 Classic with an overall win, finishing under 52 minutes by two seconds, winning over Eamon O’Regan by three and a half minutes. Andrea Dubenezic led Amy Breen and Susan McDiarmid for her finish to win the women’s category.
The Fairbanks Snowshoe Classic is one of five events of the famous Finnish Line Snowshoe Seriesin its fifth year sponsored by Dion Snowshoes . The calendar launched with a noontime start on December 4, a Saturday, with the Heart of Darkness 7 km. Sharing its name with the famous Conrad novel, the only darkness on these trails was a fading sun and daylight hours. No darkness of spirit here, as Carroll won followed by No. 2 in the points throughout the season, Kevin Brinegar. And, a warm ten degrees, too.
Dubenezic and Breen swapped positions on the first of the season, with Amy winning by nearly five minutes with Jane Lanford landing between the two.
The Almost Solstice Snowshoe Shuffle, not part of the series, was added a year ago for more fun shuffled out to a start one week later and with temperatures now a strong minus. Carroll won over Brinegar by fifteen seconds, with Elizabeth Anderson taking first with Jane Lanford second in the women’s class.
Another Moose Mountain race, this one on snowshoes, was the first in 2011 and 12 degrees, too. There are over a million and a half hits for the Moose Mountains of the world and all of the pieces that make them up. This snowshoe race, 8 km, had the two leaders tying at the finish. Elizabeth Anderson won by seven minutes over Breen.
Emily’s Memorial enjoyed more normal temperatures, – 15, for this start. Carroll and Brinegar finished at the top again, while Anderson and Breen were one – two for the women.
Ballaine Ridge, a 9 km, opened February with Brinegar and Carroll once again with a tie. Heather Best snuck in at the top with her impressive win over Liz Anderson, 61:11 versus 61:15.
After the Classic comes the Ester Dome Single Track, a five and ten km on March 5. They groom the trails the classic way, inviting all participants to bring their six-foot snowshoes to help pack the trails. Carroll and Breen are leading the men and women’s point’s races leading into this final race.
Carroll let me know, “Over two feet of snow has fallen in Fairbanks in the last ten days, which is an extremely rare event. The upcomoing Ester Dome Single Track race should be interesting. We broke in the trail last week, but more snow and 50 mph winds will make the trail hard to find. We have a pretty hard core group of snowshoers and look forward to getting a group to the national championships.”
Each event also has a shorter distance option, too.
Snowshoe Fairbanks is an invigorated group running this series every year. They take their snowshoeing seriously.
More results and pictures:
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