They traveled from as far away as Australia to compete in the international division of the 2014 Dion Snowshoes United States National Snowshoe Championships.
However, it was our neighbors from the north who dominated the field, taking home the two best times in the men’s division, while capturing two top 20 times in the women’s division.
The flat terrain of Quebec, where both David Le Porho and Joël Bourgeois train, did not seem to deter them in the mountainous climb to the peak of Mount Prospect, as both racers stayed in the lead pack before pulling away on the downhill.
“I loved the race,” said Le Porho, who separated himself from Bourgeois and U.S. champion, Eric Hartmark on the descent in clocking a time of 41:51. “You work real hard for about half the race and then you get to go down.”
Although the downhill played to Le Porho’s strength, he acknowledged that it was not smooth sailing in trying to navigate the single track down the mountain. “The trick of it is to not fall down,
said Le Porho. “If you misstep one or two inches to the right or left, you’re deep in the snow.”
For the woman, Canadians Melanie Nadeau and Jolyane Bérubé both clocked times under an hour with Nadeau taking home the international title and 13th overall finisher with a time of 56:49. Bérubé was not far behind in her 57:56 finish.
What is apparent in looking to next year’s Nationals is that a friendly rivalry has arisen between U.S. and Canadian snowshoe racers, a competition that is sure to yield further top-notch athletes in the years to come.
For additional coverage of the USSSA Nationals, click here.