Truckee’s Peter Fain finishes sixth in World Snowshoe Invitational | SierraSun.com

Truckee’s Peter Fain finishes sixth in World Snowshoe Invitational

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Greyson Howard/Sierra SunPeter Fain of Truckee watches others cross the finish line of The Great Ski Race this past Sunday. Fain recently finished sixth in the World Snowshoe Invitational at Grouse Mountain, British Columbia.

Truckee’s Peter Fain finished sixth overall in an elite international field of 86 athletes in the 2010 Yeti World Snowshoe Invitational held recently at Grouse Mountain, British Columbia.

Antonio Santi of Italy won the 8.5-kilometer race with a time of 49 minutes, 56 seconds, while Fain was the second American to finish, in 51:56.

Held during the closing days of the Vancouver Winter Games, the race presented an opportunity for the athletes to showcase the sport of snowshoe racing to the world in hopes that it will soon become an Olympic sport.

“If they can do ice dancing (in the Olympics), snowshoe racing seems like a natural fit,” said Fain, 38, who also races 50K and 50-mile ultramarathons in the summer months.

Fain said because of the event’s potential to gain exposure, combined with the elite level of competition, he chose to compete in the World Snowshoe Invitational instead of trying to defend his title at the U.S. Snowshoe National Championships.

“This was the most competitive snowshoe race I’ve done,” he said. “It wasn’t the largest, but it had the highest caliber of racers.”

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As he and the other competitors quickly found out, race officials created a physically demanding course that required snowshoers to “scramble” up steep hills and through difficult snow conditions. Athletes faced rain at the start of the race and snow by the end, when they had to run for about a mile and a half through deep, untracked powder.

“It was by far the most challenging course I’d ever raced,” Fain said. “I thought I had seen some challenging courses, but I’d never done anything like this.”

Nevertheless, Fain, who represented the Redfeather Endurance Racing Team, said he was pleased with his sixth-place finish, as all the guys who beat him are professional runners without full-time jobs outside of racing.

Next up for Fain is the American River 50-Mile Endurance Run on April 10, then the Billy Dutton Uphill at Squaw Valley the following day.