Glacial Park Dion USSSA Qualifier: Five Times a 2K Adventure

Glacial Park enters the Qualifying list for the USSSA with a welcoming tough course to challenge those willing to enter its historic gates of ice.

This new qualifier, 55 miles northwest of Chicago, offers groomed trails sprinkled with rocks, roots, steep ups and downs, uphill switchbacks, exposed open fields, and technical climbs.  In addition, in the 10 km qualifier, you get to travel those obstacles twice!

The First Annual 5 km Stomp romps through geologic history with a landscape once covered by 3200 kilometers (give or take) of Pleistocene ice. Racers get to travel these sculpted grounds that some 22,000 years ago — it seems like yesterday — were visited by the Wisconsin Glacier. This crown jewel of a park of some 2800 acres is located in the Nippersink Creek valley between two moraines, the Fox Lake and the Cary. All that is to say, it is a wonderful place to have a snowshoe race and so near millions who can — and should — buckle up their snowshoes and go racing!

Those toeing the start line were treated to a tight first place-qualifying race as Peter Witucki won the inaugural with his fast 43:33 closely chased by Chris Setzler back about 20 seconds. Steven Daut took third place followed by the woman’s overall class winner, Blossom Marimpietri who hands down wins best snowshoer name of the year. She posted, “The race was a lot of fun. Thanks to all who helped organize it.”

2009 Snowshoe Magazine’s Snowshoe Person of the Year, Jim Graupner (photo top, leading No. 603), a multi-year USSSA championship medalist, followed Marimpietri to the finish.  He may be the one person who has raced more individual race sites than any other ; that he inaugurated Glacial Park’s race is a real compliment to him and the event. Graupner told me, “The participants in both racing and touring divisions were very enthusiastic, and the excellent crew that attended to our needs was great.  Champion Peter Witucki, from Chicago, whomped his challengers in this, his first snowshoe race.  Blossom Marimpietri had a similar story, coming in I believe from California, to win Women’s Championaship. I’d vote this race to be the ‘most promising to have quantum growth’ in racers next season if the snow favors it again.”Gerald Cameron was the last to nail a finish under an hour, but Carla Stoner, second woman, came close. Finishers Ian Connor and Steve Sleider followed her.

The one loop distance took John Lorenz only 27 minutes less one second to cover — and win. Back one minute was Derrick Anhalt finishing second, followed by an exciting third place dual as Michael Cohn edged Stephen Maier by just 11 seconds.

The overall woman’s winner, LaBracke, easily captured gold with her 31:47. Silver was a close race as Robbin Anhalt missed passing Sarah Porretta by those same eleven seconds, and won bronze.

The best race of the day had to be between the Budden family, as racing together, Dustin and Lucas finished in 51:03, leaving Paul trailing three seconds back.

The awards at the impressive Weidrich Education Center featured “tons of food,” you learn, and beautiful wooden snowshoes, too. The 2k Adventure Gear organizers, Richmond, have added another quest in their world of kayaks, canoes, camping, and equipment way too long to list here.Their motto: Unsurpassed performance. Achieving it once is luck. Achieving it for 40 years is legendary.  learn their choice of a wilderness snowshoe.

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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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