Plans for a New Snowshoe Race

Yesterday, Derrick and I organized a running race in the nearby town of Sydenham, just north of Kingston, Ontario. It was a five-kilometer race along the shores of beautiful Sydenham Lake, with most of the route using the Cataraqui Trail (the event’s beneficiary).

Derrick is a seasoned pro at putting on events, but this was the first race organized under the umbrella of his new company, Spafford Health and Adventure ( The day went extremely well, thanks to enthusiastic runners, generous sponsors, big-hearted volunteers, and a welcoming community. Over celebratory Guinness and fish ‘n chips just a few hours after wrapping up, Derrick and I started discussing plans for hosting the first snowshoe race in the Kingston area.

Kingston is home to an impressive number of runners, ranging from beginners to national-class athletes. Sidewalks and paths along the city’s Lake Ontario shoreline resemble a busy track on nice days, with so many runners out strutting their stuff. Plentiful trails and quiet country roads in the surrounding area are perfect for those who seek more solitude.

This winter, we feel it’s time to introduce a new challenge to the runners of Kingston, and all of Eastern Ontario! We’re currently finalizing a venue for this upcoming race, talking to interested sponsors, working to secure a fleet of rental snowshoes, and hammering out the rest of the details.

Snowshoeing is such a fun way to get out there and enjoy winter, and we’re excited to be involved, both as runners, and in helping to develop the sport in our area.

The thing I hadn’t expected was that organizing races is even more tiring than running them!



  • Derrick and Sara are trail runners from Eastern Ontario who discovered that running on snowshoes in the winter months is a great way to enjoy their favorite trails year-round. They competed in their first snowshoe series (The Mad Trapper Series in Low, Quebec) in 2005, each finishing 2nd in their respective divisions. Plans for 2006 are to return to the Mad Trapper, to take in some races in New York and Vermont, and hopefully cap their season with the U.S. Snowshoe Championships in March, as Canadian guests. Derrick runs a company, Spafford Health and Adventure (, which specializes in coaching and event promotion. He is currently planning an annual snowshoe race to be held in the Kingston area, starting this winter.