Travis Macy Teaches Lesson in Snowshoe Racing at Dion USSSA Colorado State Championship

Travis Macy snowshoed away with the Colorado State Snowshoe Championship, a race that is part of the Pedalpower Snowshoe Adventure Series, with a commanding win at 52:49. His deep snow performance lays down the gauntlet for the DION Snowshoes  USSSA National Championships February 24-26, 2012 in Frisco, CO. The fight for the 2012 title promises to be epic.

The Pedal Power Start

Macy has a long history of competing at the highest levels globally in multi-sports such as mountain biking, trail running, adventure racing along with snowshoe racing. Perhaps even as challenging, he teaches English at Evergreen High School where his lifestyle and fitness set a high example. Unlike my old high school, there are no smoking breaks necessary in the teacher’s break-room.

Racing for the forest where the real fun begins at the Colorado State Championship

Mark Burgess’ 58:24 won the overall silver and the honor of being just two who finished the difficult terrain under one hour. “Smokey,” no slouch himself, finished last fall’s famed Leadville 100 Ultra in 28:01. He was named on Snowshoe Magazine’s “The Hot List” for the Dion USSSA National Championships held in Cable, WI., March, 2011.

A virtual tie for the bronze finish occurred as Peter Maksimow finishing in 1:01 nipped senior master, Dan Niesen, by one tick of the clock.

Notably, three 70-year-old competitors—Bill Faulkner, Bob Merck and Bill Moyle—all
Earned their finishes.

Anne Pence enjoying a Colorado Day

Sara Tarkington had a commanding lead as she won the women’s class, finishing fifth overall. Following was Mariah Blayr in 1:06 and Colleen Ihnken in 1:07.

Tarkington is the thinking person’s snowshoe racer with her Boulder practice providing athletes aid in addressing sports performance problems while reaching potentials in life and on the trails of life. She finished as the first American woman in the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii, 2011. One can expect to see her Atlas Snowshoes at the Frisco Championships.

Notable finishes were Patricia Tolleson, 63, and Rose Schler, 66, both garnering finishes.

Jeff Kayson took the overall 5 km win in 44:07, followed in a few seconds by Mark Ayers.

Taking the women’s win and third overall in 44:45 was Anna Pence followed in 15-seconds by Sue Bardsley.

Pence’s experience at ultra distances such as Leadville 100 and the Collegiate Peaks 50 provides the grit to race and win these snowshoe challenges.

As you have read this far, here is a surprise. I discovered from the blog “Explore, Compete, Live,” a reprint of a 2008 interview with Macy offering five training tips. Some you will recognize, others may be new, but what to look for is the confirmation of what you are doing from one of the world’s elite. Visit the blog for more information.

1. The 5:00 a.m. Rule
When you make a plan for a training session, particularly those early/late/cold/wet/miserable ones, create the plan ahead of time and stick with it.

2. Carry a Backpack on all Bike Rides, Year-Round
I have found that carrying a pack of 20-30 pounds on all mountain and road rides increases strength and stamina in the legs, back, and arms.

3. Speed Work
Long, slow distance is crucial to any regimen, but high-end sessions and races are very important to increasing strength, stamina, and speed. In the winter/spring, in addition to a race every two weeks, I generally shoot for one session of uphill running fartleks per week, four-five by three minutes on with one and a half minutes off.

4. Snowshoe and Nordic Ski
If possible, spend time in the winter running on snowshoes and nordic skiing. These low-impact sports provide excellent cardiovascular training and full-body workouts. You’ll probably be even fitter than you were at the end of the summer.

5. Be Prepared
Since Danelle Ballengee’s accident in 2006, I have been more conscientious about telling someone where I’m going, carrying some type of connection to society (cell phone and/or Spot device), and bringing along contingency gear, such as a space blanket, medical kit, and waterproof jacket.

Now, grade yourself on the above. If you score higher than Macy, hey, you’ve got a chance to compete for the win at the USSSA Nationals.


About the author

Phillip Gary Smith

Phillip Gary Smith, Senior Editor, published "The 300-Mile Man" about Roberto Marron's historic doubling of the Tuscobia 150 mile endurance snow run. He publishes "iHarmonizing Competition" on various forms of competition, including drag racing, his favorite motorsport. Earlier, he wrote "HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life" as a manual for life with chapters such as Winning by Losing, Can God Pay Your Visa Bill?, and a young classic story, The Year I Met a Christmas Angel. His book, "Ultra Superior," is the first written on the Superior Trail ultra-distance events. He mixes writing with his profession--the venture capital world--a dying art. He is a creator of CUBE Speakers, a group espousing themes in "HARMONIZING: Keys" in a unique way. Currently, he has two books in the works.
Write to him at, or find him on Twitter or Facebook @iHarmonizing.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.