After last winters “suckfest” in Eastern Ontario, it’s easy to be a bit pessimistic about what the future holds for us this winter. Then, BAM! Hurricane Sandy hit…and with it my renewed faith in Mother Nature.
Now, before you all send in hate mail for my extreme lack of sensitivity to those who may have lost loved ones, you can relax, I don’t wish this type of thing on my worse enemy. I do. however, see this as an example of nature’s way of saying: “I’m the boss and if you thought you were going to get another easy peasy mild winter, well think again.”
So, with my trusty Farmers’ Almanac Forecast in hand, I have been slowly plotting out what I want to race this season. My hope is to cover the two major race series in Eastern Ontario and Quebec as time and funds allow and hopefully qualify for the Canadian Snowshoe Championships which will be held in Quebec this year.
What started as a single race only a few years ago, Race Director Derrick Spafford has grown the sport of snowshoe racing in Eastern Ontario to include a five-race series sponsored by Dion Snowshoes. These races are practically in my back yard so it will be easy to cover most, if not all these races.
What can be said for the Mad Trapper series that hasn’t already been said. One of the oldest series in Canada it has everything a racer could want. Challenging courses in beautiful places plus the added benefit of being a little further afield making them more of a fun get away weekend from the hustle and bustle of the workweek.
The Canadian Snowshoe Championship being held in Quebec should be very exciting and Ontario’s qualifier is at the Frontenac Snowshoe Race which has historically been a fun and challenging race.
So, as I thumb through my Almanac and adjust my bindings I look outside every so often and ask my wife, “hey, does that look like snow to you?“
2013 Races (Eastern Ontario/Quebec):
- Dec 8, 2012: (AMT) The “Flatter” Course – Wakefield, PQ
- Jan 5, 2013: (AMT) The Hilly Course – Wakefeild, PQ
- Jan 12, 2013: (DSS) Summerstown Forest Snowshoe Race – Cornwall, ON
- Jan 19, 2013: (DSS) Frontenac Snowshoe Race – FPP, ON
- Jan 26, 2013: (AMT) BUSHTUKAH NIGHT RACE – Wakefeild, PQ
- Feb 9, 2013: (DSS) Westbrook Snowshoe Race – Westbrook, ON
- Feb 17, 2013: (DSS) Frozen Ass Snowshoe Race – Batawa, ON
- Feb 23, 2013: (AMT) The Champs – Wakefeild, PQ
- Feb 24, 2013: (DSS) Switzerville Red Barn Snowshoe Race – Napanee, ON
- Mar 9, 2013: Canadian Snowshoe Championships – Quebec
*AMT = The Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series
*DDS = Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series
Other important race dates and events include the Tubbs Romp to Stomp series that has two Canadian dates this year: Feb. 9, 2013 at Scenic Caves Nordic Center in Collingwood, Ontario and March 2, 2013 at Mt. Seymour in Vancouver, BC. These races not only get people out and enjoy winter they also raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
And no talk of race series could be complete without mentioning The Yeti. Founded in 2001, it’s one of the oldest in the country and continues to grow the sport out west and bolster an already strong eastern race season. As The Yeti series will again have a race in Ontario at Scenic Caves Nordic Center in Collingwood, Ontario one can maybe assume that it will continue on into the east making snowshoe racing more accessible for those that want to enjoy the cold winter months.
- Ontario – FEBRUARY 02, 2013 – Scenic Caves: Blue Mountain – (Click here for full details)
- Alberta – MARCH 09, 2013 – Edmonton:To be determined – (Click here for full details)
- BC – JANUARY 26, 2013 – Mount Washington Ski Resort – (Click here for full details)
- BC – FEBRUARY 16, 2013 – Mount Seymour Ski Resort – (Click here for full details)
- BC – MARCH 2, 2013 – Whistler Olympic Park: Callaghan Valley – (Click here for full details)