Heretofore, Mark Elmore and the Years of Service to Snowshoers

Writers come across a lot of words. Sometimes one hits the mark. I’ve found one that stands tall to best describe an individual.

That individual and snowshoe advocate is Mark Elmore.

The word is: superdedicated.

two men holding snowshoe award

Mark Elmore served as the snowshoeing community as Sports Director of the USSSA for 20 years. Here, Mark is pictured with the owner of Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wisconsin, at the 2011 Snowshoe National Championships. Photo: Phillip Gary Smith

Decades of Service

After a remarkable run as the Sports Director of the United States Snowshoe Association, and 20 years of national championship events, Mark recently turned those duties over to ever-effervescent Jackie Hering. Jackie not only won the race in the 2022 championship but kept alive the streak of never losing a national snowshoe race (3) she entered. Furthermore, Jackie won the 2022 Cindy Brochman Snowshoe Person of the Year 

Mark earned his Brochman Award in 2010. One might argue he could’ve been selected for all 14 years the honor has been presented. But what he did allowed competitors and supporters–through local, national, and world snowshoe events–vie for this humbling but most-important prize in the sport.

Read More: Snowshoe Magazine Interview: Mark Elmore

An Olympic Visionary

Mark’s vision to elevate snowshoe racing as a category for the Winter Olympics lives on, still driving a devotion in the years to come. With courses for Olympic Biathlon competitions already available and for television access, too, it seems natural that snowshoe racing fits. The leg work to accomplish the steps required comes from snowshoe associations like the World Snowshoe Federation (WSSF). Mark will also stay involved with the WSSF. Why? Superdedicated to the core.

“There are no limits to what we can accomplish,” Mark wrote in his final letter to USSSA members. “If you believe it can be done, it can be done.”

As Performance Medicine’s Jeff Kildahl, Ph.D., writes, “Nothing stops you but your mindset.”

Read More: Why Snowshoeing Should Be an Olympic Sport

Mark and Abraham at 2020 US Nationals

Mark with snowshoe racer Abraham Kosgei at the 2020 Snowshoe National Championships in Leadville, CO. Photo: Kerry Cottle

Each Race

Everyone may find their personal commitment by flying in Mark’s jet stream of activity.  He’s an example of the energy that appears, for example, when a national championship appears on the calendar. From the day we gather to register and practice the course until all is wrapped up post-race, he knows no gear other than fast-forward.

Listening to him at the welcome dinner at the Syracuse nationals years ago, I became absorbed in his call to action and fun for the weekend of snowshoe racing. Racers felt appreciated and so glad to be there. That’s Mark.

Then, listening to him as racers come by for their start and loops at Lakewoods Resort, Cable, Wisconsin, he calls out each competitor’s name while offering small details on that person with the same excitement for those in the pack as for the leaders of the race. Every single racer. He knows your name.

Standing on a platform eight feet off the ground, facing the wind, suffering frigid temperatures, Mark stays on the speakers, calling results for the whole race. Not only the crowd hears it, but so do the competitors, too, particularly in the last lap, where the finish line stretches just ahead. One thinks, “He called my name; better look good.”

You’re already gasping for air those pesky last big climbs suck out of you. It’s hard to seem in control. But competitors leg it in for a sweet crossing of the timer’s mat.  Then one can stop, celebrate a medal, or just the finish itself. And Mark will celebrate everyone’s accomplishments right along with them because? Because he is super dedicated right to the end. Ahh, your friend, the finish!

Read More: How To Transition from Running to Snowshoe Racing

Mark Elmore: man at Podium announcing race results

From each welcome to the race results, Mark’s energy is contagious, and his kindness and appreciation of each snowshoer never go unnoticed. Photo: Susan Wowk

A Special Day

The 2023 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships in scenic McCall, Idaho, raced at Jug Mountain Ranch on February 4, 2023, “where world-class mountain biking trails are transformed” into a snowshoe layout that challenged a field of the best in the sport. Afterward, Jackie Hering presented a special award to Mark Elmore: “For his dedication and service to the sport of snowshoeing while recognizing his work with the United States Snowshoe Association from the year 2000 thru 2021.” Though with fewer hours of involvement, his presence will continue the ultimate vision he has for the sport.

As Dr. Kildahl emphasizes, “Growth has no endpoint.”

It must be how Mark feels now: super dedicated.

HERETOFORE

“No more

Thou little winged archer,

now no more

As heretofore . . . ”

(from Richard Lovelace’s “Sir Thomas Wortley’s Sonnet Answered”)

Read Next: Cindy Brochman Memorial Person of the Year Award

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5 Comments

  • Mark is a true pioneer. He was there from the very start. Snowshoeing is where it is today because of Mark’s hard work. In fact, he was one of the first people I contacted when starting Snowshoe Magazine back in 2003. I salute you, Mr. Elmore! Thank you for your contributions to the sport.

  • A most eloquent Tribute, Phillip. And kudos to Mark Elmore for his outstanding contributions to the sport of snowshoeing. Snowshoe racing in the U.S. would not have evolved to its prominence today without Mark Elmore’s leadership, organizational skills, and camaraderie. Wishing you relaxation in your retirement from USSSA…however, you will always be a part of that valued organization.

    Jim Joque, Snowshoe writer and enthusiast

    • Your kind words to me are humbling, coming from one of the best outdoor writers out there. Your analysis of Mark Elmore’s impact on the sport of snowshoeing says so much in just a few words, a trait of a true professional like you.

      • Thank you so much for your generous compliments. I have always felt the same about your exemplary snowshoeing articles as well.
        Jim

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