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The Yeti Strikes Again

The muscles are sore. The gear is dirty. The pictures are taking a while to upload. My mind is still buzzing from all the activities. All signs of a good weekend.

The dust is settling from a great weekend trip to Mount Washington for the Yeti snowshoe race. For the last 3 years we’ve made the trip up to the mountain to “compete” in the only snowshoe race on Vancouver Island. For the past 2, a bunch of friends and I book a cabin on the mountain and make weekend of the event. My birthday falls around the last weekend in January as well so it works out well for me as well. An exciting event, a beautiful venue and a bunch of awesome people makes for memorable birthdays.

The race is more fun than business for most of the participants which makes it even more appealing. There are regularly large teams that dress up in themes. One of the longest running is the snow queens who have fantastic queen costumes every year. Most of the costumed runners elect to spare themselves some pain and participate in the 5 km race. If you’re looking for scenery, you won’t need to go any further than 5 km the 10 is only 2 laps of the same track.

This year the track felt short. I was chatting with a girl that was doing the 5k for the first time as we neared the finish and she couldn’t believe that it was almost over. I was a little surprised when we got there how short it had felt. I had my Garmin 405 tracking the entire time (and accidentally for an hour after) and it didn’t look like the track was 10 km. I can’t point pinpoint the exact finish because I forgot to top my watch when I finished but it looked like it tracked out 8.6 km for the race. It was a little disappointing paying for a 10km race and then running 8.6 but I wasn’t going to go run another kilometer and a half to fill it in. You can see my track here on Yeti snowshoe race track on Garmin Connect.

The results aren’t in at the time of posting this but they’ll show up on Race Day Timing pretty soon. I’ll add in a link straight to the results when they get uploaded.The weather was perfect for the race, if a little cool. Most people had pants or tights on which was right for the weather. In years past, I’ve been ok temperature-wise with a short sleeve poly-propylene shirt. I have run into problems with the t-shirt though not because of the temperature but because of the snow. It depends on the type of snowshoes you have but when you run, they tend to flick up a lot of snow.

The Atlas snowshoes that are rented out at the Yeti are particularly bad for this. Because the Atlas snowshoe bindings are attached to the snowshoe by an elastic band of sorts, the flick up when they’re unweighted, bringing snow with them. This airborne snow usually ends up on your back, neck and arms, making for a bit of a chilly race. The wet didn’t bother me on my clothes but on bare skin it stung a bit. The back of my arms were red from getting barrages with snow pellets and near the end of the race my neck suffered from the assault as well. I don’t think I’m going to be wearing a collared shirt for snowshoeing any time soon but a long sleeve definitely helps block the snow.

Another thing I learned quickly in the race, and nearly every time I snowshoe, is to not kick your ankles. It hurts. I don’t recommend it.If you haven’t yet done a snowshoe race, I highly recommend it. If you’re not up for the not-quite-10 10 km race, you can sign up for the 5k, and don’t forget your costume.

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