Monday, January 27, 2014

Race Recap: White Rabbit Snowshoe 5km

I took part in my first race of the year this weekend. I haven't really been doing much in the way of running training (OK - like 4 miles since the end of November!) but I have been doing a fair bit of winter cross training. A combo of Insanity (which is high energy cardio HIIT training) and Supreme 90 (which has a better balance of cardio AND strength). This year we've also got out a lot to snowshoe - handy training for this particular race as it happens!

The White Rabbit Snowshoe race takes place every January at the Crystal Mountain Ski Hill in West Kelowna. It's in it's ninth year and this was our 3rd time participating. It's a super small race, but that equals friendly - mMy race pack was pulled out and handed to me before I'd even got a chance to say hello!

We were met at the ski hill by thick cloud/fog but very reasonable temperatures hovering around -5. I've finally gotten the hang of what to wear snowshoeing - our frequent hiking this season really helped with that! I always have to wear waterproof pants as for some inexplicable reason my gait means I flick snow up my legs and backside like crazy - but underneath I wore some thin running tights and on top was just an Icebreaker baselayer and my Arctyrex lightweight jacket.

As always Chris and I both were both doing the 5km. We got a chairlift ride to the top of the mountain and then raced our way back downhill. As we were waiting around for the start the cloud at the top of the mountain started to lift and by the time we were racing it was under gorgeous sunny blue skies!

I managed to set off quite near the front, Chris left me behind and I settled myself into my rhythm - though I have to say I don't find that easy when snowshoeing. The first 1-2km there's a sneaky ravine so more uphill that you would think and then the little extra altitude and cold air makes getting in the groove more challenging than my usual road running.

Whenever I run trail races I always seem to find myself alone. Literally I could not see anyone ahead or behind me after a couple of kms. What is it with my pace that no-one else seems to match it?! But in this pristine winter-wonderland I was hardly complaining!

Once the ravine was out of the way we left the high-ground and made a fairly steep descent through a thick forest. I have the good fortune to be quite comfortable on my downhills and I could really take advantage of the gravity assisted power and I motored along, so much so that on the last 1/2 km flat stretch I had to take a walk break to catch my breath (because you can't possibly get in sight of the finish line and be walking!)

Unfortunately I could hear the finish line before I could see it. That thick fog at the bottom of the ski hill?....yep, that was still there! I crossed the finish line 39 mins after I set off! 8 minutes off of last year's time and finishing up as the third female!

SO I was third female! I've never been on the podium of a race before! I was super pleased - this little race has the cutest medals shaped as old fashioned snowshoes and a little crystal-thing dangling between them, with embroidered ribbons - and they are only given out to the podium finishers!

As always with this amazing race they have a door prize draw at the end of the awards. I drew a really early ticket and scooped up my first choice prize (after scouting them all out beforehand) - a snowshoe tote (for Chris, since he in fact won one for me last year, the least I could do was return the favour!)

I can't say enough wonderful things about this race. I look forward to celebrating their 10th year next year - only 51.5 weeks to go!

I'm linking up with Katie from Healthy Diva Life and her 'Marvelous in my Monday' feature.


  1. Wow- congrats! that's an adorable medal :) Sounds like the crazy fog we had in Whistler. It was sure beautiful at the top!

    1. That's always the upside to fog I guess - it's always so magical when you can get above it!!

  2. I love that race; such a good vibe every year!

    1. Such a great vibe! I hope their 10th anniversary race will be bigger and better! it certainly deserves to be!

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