Kevin Tilton owns the Sidehiller Dion USSSA National Champ qualifier or so it seems as he has dominated once again for his fifth straight victory here in the event’s sixth year. Silver class medalist at the Syracuse 2010 Nationals, Tilton, seventh overall in that classic, missed the USSSA National Team by under 60 seconds, trailing class winner and sixth overall, Jared Scott, by 18 seconds.
Winning the first Northeast Snowshoe Federation Championship by four seconds with a tough field after the Sandwich qualifier, Tilton nails an impressive precursor to the National Championships. Aiming for the Cable, Wisconsin festivities, he blogged about the layout, “The course is going to be flat and fast. Not my strong suit, but I have two weeks to prepare, and I have a hell of a base to start with.”
There are some flat areas, like the start, but there are plenty of hills and tight turns to allow strategic moves, placing him right among the top five possible winners. His comment belies his conditioning and history racing on snow and trails and, worse yet, mountains. He snowshoed up Mt. Washington in February (see photo) describing his motivation: “One of the advantages of living up here is that if we get a nice day, whether it’s a Tuesday or a Sunday, I can usually get up the mountain. This week is my annual winter vacation with Jess, which really means I run as much as my body can take and try to ski or snowshoe with her in between the madness.” If you are not training like this, you are not going to stay up with these elite athletes. That is why I only see them at the start and well after they have finished.
His Sidehiller victory was no snowshoe in the park as Jim Johnson trailed him across the line by a handful of seconds. Judson Cake, Maine, took bronze.
Amber Ferreira, the 2010 USSSA National Women’s Champion, won the women’s race, too. For those at the Syracuse race, the extraordinarily exciting finish as Ferreira led Cheryl Paulson, Colorado, over the line by seven ticks in their back-and-forth race, lives on as a classic.
Her race here was equally tight, but for overall position, which she won (fifteenth) at 38:17 along with Ryan Triffitt, Maine, with Chris Dunn right with them. Kristina Folcik of Connecticut took women’s silver while Nancy Dubar won the bronze just seconds ahead of Kirsten Woody and Marcy Schwam of Massachusetts.
Approximately 108 finishers completed the day as Wendy and Don Yeaton finished together. Notable finisher is USSSA ultra senior medalist, Richard Busa, still applying pressure to those on the course racing him.
The snow for the day was loose creating challenging footing for this Sandwich, New Hampshire course. “We may be no frills but we’re still at the epicenter of the snowshoe racing universe. This is the only race that is part of both the famed and internationally acclaimed WMAC snowshoe series, and the quickly growing and frighteningly successful Granite State Snowshoe Series. It’s all brought to you by the Sandwich Sidehillers, Dion Snowshoes, and Hammer Nutrition.”
More Race Information: http://www.whitemountainmilers.com/sidehiller
Tilton’s Blog: http://kltilton.blogspot.com/
Dion Snowshoes: www.dionsnowshoes.com
Race photos courtesy Krissy Kozlosky
Mt. Washington photo courtesy K Tilton
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