Moose Tracks in the Snow! Minocqua USSSA Qualifying Snowshoe Race

A three-inch fresh coating of dry, drifting snow greeted racers at the third Moose Tracks Snowshoe Race on Sunday,  January 4, 2015. Winter wonderland conditions existed anyway with 18 inches on trails and much deeper in the woods. This 10 km race opens the new season of qualifying for the United States Snowshoe Association’s national championship just 160 miles away in Eau Claire.

snowshoe 2015 Moose tracks 10k WI

Amy Laxton, Rhinelander, and Sarah Steele, Woodruff, celebrate a tag-team finish as each won her class while finishing together in 1:41:01.

Mike McPherson, Michigan, scored the win in 51:21 as fellow Great Lake State resident Kyle McGurk followed a minute-and-a-half later for the silver. The Braveheart “Mc,” Jim McDonell, Minnesota, took third in class. Moose Tracks is one of the Braveheart Snowshoe Series, one of the country’s largest.

Braveheart Race Series, Jim McDonell, paced the day with a third overall finish

Braveheart Race Series, Jim McDonell, paced the day with a third overall finish

Michigan’s Michelle McCarthy won her class and wrapped third overall as only one of three under-one-hour performances of the day, 58:55. Andrea Mueller, Athens, edged Jonnah Perkins, Black Earth, for the silver by just 25 seconds. National medalist and race director for the Phillips qualifier, Kristi Speer, won her class. Other notables included popular national medalist, Roddie Larson of Menasha qualifying for Eau Claire’s national race.

In the men’s race, national medalist Jim Graupner, Minnesota, won his class in a “10” performance: 1:10:10. Another national competitor, Dave Sykora, Green Bay, crossed 32 seconds later.

In the 5 km event, Woodruff’s Jim Fieck led all for gold with a stellar 24:49. Joe Fieweger, Boulder Junction, edged Dorchester’s Dave Rau by seven seconds for the silver win. Joanna Pace, Madison won the women’s class in 37:32, while Elicia Erickson, Phillips, and Kitty Rau, Dorchester, gave chase.

Up-and-coming national racers, Daniel Strasse, Sophie Fieck and Pheobe Fieck finished the 1 km Mini-Moose Tracks Kids Snowshoe Race, a new addition for this 2015 race.

snowshoe 2015 Moose tracks logoMinocqua Winter Park rates tops in activities for outdoor winter fans. With 3,200 acres of forested winterscapes, activities for the entire family abound. In addition to snowshoeing trails—a 7 km “Snowstomper” loop plus the 4 km “Breaking Free” loop—the park offers cross-country trails, races, hill tubing with loads of conviviality. Follow Braveheart’s lead around Yukon Swamp, then along the Squirrel River, searching for those moose tracks. Stop by the new Tea House for refreshment then land at the Chalet to call it a great snow day.

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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.

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