Snowshoeing The Great and#8216;Skiand#8217; Race |

Snowshoeing The Great and#8216;Skiand#8217; Race

Greyson Howard / Sun File PhotoAuthor Peter Fain of Truckee watches people cross the finish line of The Great Ski Race from the Cottonwood Restaurant last year. This yearand#8217;s race, a fundraiser for Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, is scheduled for Sunday, March 6.

Iand#8217;ve heard it before: and#8220;Itand#8217;s a ski race not a snowshoe race.and#8221; And theyand#8217;re right. But this fun event is also a fundraiser for Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue. They snowshoe, donand#8217;t they? And your donated registration funds are just as needed, so I say take on the challenge.

Eighteen miles in snowshoes may seem daunting, but itand#8217;s not. Unless you have other snowshoe runners out there you intend on racing, I suggest you get the thought of racing out of your head.

I get caught up in the race and charge hard all the way to the top of the climb only to be passed later on the downhill. Itand#8217;s inevitable. So let the course, the elements and the run be challenge enough.

Since youand#8217;ve already been toying with the idea and now youand#8217;re committed, here are some crucial points to finishing this race:

and#8226; Your average trail marathon time should be a good indicator as to how long it will take, or three to three and a half hours to be safe (four to six if youand#8217;re going to walk the whole time).

and#8226; Carry plenty of fuel. There are only two stops on the course. Youand#8217;ll need a lot more than that to finish feeling good.

and#8226; Dress accordingly. Itand#8217;s going to be a wet one this year so make sure you have layers. It may not be a bad idea to carry extra layers that you can change into once you soak through.

and#8226; Do not snowshoe in the middle of the groomer. Skiers donand#8217;t like very much. Besides, the sweet spot is immediately to the inside of the striding lane. Youand#8217;ll be stepping where the striders pole, and youand#8217;ll be out of the skatersand#8217; way.

and#8226; Run the flats and downhills, and power hike up. If youand#8217;re feeling good, run up.

Thatand#8217;s really it. Like Iand#8217;ve said before, if you are a runner, you are a snowshoe runner. Good luck, be safe and enjoy the party that The Great Ski race brings.

and#8212; Peter Fain is a Truckee resident and 2009 National Snowshoe Champion. He may be contacted at

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