Race results for the 1/5/2020 Return of Get Rec’d Somewhat Less Than 10k Snowshoe Race can be found here.
Thank you RD Mike Owens for pulling this race together after being told that the original venue wouldn’t be hosting the race after all and finding a way to make the so-so conditions work when every other snowshoe race in the region was cancelling or postponing.
by Laura Clark
For years I had always assumed that rec.’d had meant something along the lines of get rec.’d at your local recreation center. But in the interest of journalistic truth, I decided on a superficial investigation. According to Professor Google, rec.’d could have any one of ten possible meanings, most prominent being “received,” which in terms of a snowshoe race makes little sense. Runner-ups include recommended and reconnaissance. I rather like reconnaissance as in scouting out a route…but still. After five minutes of prolonged searching I cast my ballot for get recreation, leaning heavily on the homophone, wrecked. For the uninitiated, homophones are two words that sound the same but are spelled differently.
And so ends the educational portion of this account. The rest is true-to-life storytelling….
Four of us optimistically set out for Get Rec.’D Snowshoe Race and Hike at the Town of Stratton Recreation Center, perched as it were across the tracks from the Disney-cloned Stratton Mountain Ski Resort. For most of the drive Maureen Roberts, Jen Ferris, Matt Miczek and I had our doubts as we drove seamlessly next to browned fields. Our vehicle, Sir Thomas was getting bored, having encountered nothing worthy to challenge his new, spiky studs. I was concerned he was going to fall asleep. But as we neared our goal, Maureen suggested yet another of her famous shortcuts which would fortuitously bypass Stratton’s congestion. Obviously, she had never tried this in the winter. The limited access road reared straight up over an icy, rutted lane that had never seen a plow. Sir Thomas had a blast; me, not so much. Actually, up was OK but I outright refused to drive down lest we did get truly wrecked.
Despite being in a different state and in a different month, GR has much in common with ARE’s Brave the Blizzard which had migrated all over the Albany area before settling in Tawesentha. This was the second time GR had touched down at the Stratton Rec Park. Other venues included Lowell Lake State Park and the laid-back Magic Mountain Ski Resort.
The race was billed as a hopeful 10K USSSA qualifier, with the possibility of an 8K downgrade if conditions warranted. What we got was the euphemistically termed hard-packed route frosted over with a few inches of hopeful snow. Still better than anything else around.
If you have ever participated in the classic WMAC snowshoe races with his and her snowpiles, in-car registration and barrel heating, you will appreciate GR. But at least Stratton had a state-of-the-art outhouse and a three-sided shed. And while many won maple syrup awards, we all need to work on our fire-building skills as we left with that smokey, woodsman scent. But at least for the Rich Busas among us there was no possibility of singeing our snowshoes.
At the start, RD Mike Owens was thrilled to announce that the route was indeed a legal 10K journey. I suppressed a groan, not sure on the week’s transition from 5K to 10K racing form. The course was truly maze-like but competently marked with different colored taping and flagging. I did get confused at one point but that was only because I couldn’t believe I was successfully navigating such a complex trail. Featuring the same huge uphill twice, the original title “8K Snowshoe Race and Hike” took on new significance. Still…there I was almost at the end. I knew it was the end because I could spot Maureen’s bright yellow jacket just ahead of me at the finish line. I was ecstatic! Here I was in the first 10K of the season and I felt like I still had more to give! Truth was, I should have, as the route turned out to be short in distance. But not short in effort as the steep hills would attest. All in all, a satisfying attempt, preparing us for the upcoming Cockadoodle, 10K in length but not nearly as formidable as those legendary Vermont hills.
— Laura Clark is an avid snowshoer, trail runner, XC skier, race director, 2017 World Snowshoe Federation Championship 70-99 Female Age Group winner, and 2018 National Championship Half Marathon 70-99 Female Age Group winner.