Snow­shoe Rac­ing

Great Year for Com­pe­ti­tion in North Amer­ica

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Chris Red­den

For snow­shoers in Eastern Canada, the At­las Mad Trap­per Snow­shoe Se­ries is back to sat­isfy rac­ers for an­other sea­son with the re­gion's old­est, big­gest and best snow­shoe events. Tak­ing place at the Ark Con­fer­ence and Out­door Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre lo­cated near Wake­field, Que., all events fea­ture a 5km or 10km op­tion, as rac­ers ac­cu­mu­late points in the com­pe­ti­tions for the over­all se­ries ti­tle. New for this year is a 3km op­tion as well. For the 2017 sea­son, there will be three races that will make up the se­ries. Rac­ing will be­gin on Jan. 7 on a hilly course and Jan. 28 in a night race. The se­ries fi­nale takes place on March 4.

Dion Snow­shoes is spon­sor­ing a seven-race se­ries in Eastern On­tario be­gin­ning on Jan. 14 at the Fron­tenac event, be­fore it heads to the Ig­nite the Night, a night race that takes place on Jan 21. The Brighton Race is up next on Jan. 29, which is fol­lowed by the Win­ter Goose Chase Race on Feb. 4. The Sum­mer­town For­est Race is the next event on Feb. 11, fol­lowed up by the Ga­naraska For­est event on Feb 19. The Se­ries fi­nal is the Red Barn Snow­shoe Race on March 4.

The World Cham­pi­onships comes to North Amer­ica to Saranc Lake, N.Y. in the Adiron­dacks on Feb. 25. This will be the first time that the World Cham­pi­onships will be con­tested in the U.S. There will be a 5km ju­nior race, while the se­niors will do the 10km. Com­peti­tors from around the world will be com­ing to race for the World ti­tle.

On March 3, am­a­teurs and elites will gather on the Pen­tathlon site in his­toric Que­bec City to par­tic­i­pate in the WSSF North-amer­i­can Snow­shoe Cham­pi­onships. Catch the spirit and snow­shoe un­der the stars on the his­toric Plains of Abra­ham, where rac­ers will com­pete in ei­ther 5km or 10km races.

There is a new O Cup race se­ries in On­tario this year that cul­mi­nates in O Cup #3, which is the Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Craigleith on Feb. 19 with races in 5km and 10km. O Cup #1 takes place at Fen­lon Falls in the Kawarthas on Feb 5. O Cup #2 is at Al­bion Hills on Feb. 12 and in­cludes fat­bike races as well. The fi­nal event in the se­ries, O Cup #4, takes place at Hard­wood Hills in Oril­lia on March 5. All events fea­ture both 5km and 10km race dis­tances.

Touted as the world's largest, the Pen­tathlon des neiges events run from Feb. 24 to March 4, and its Que­bec Win­ter Triathlon con­tin­ues to be part of the In­ter­na­tional Triathlon Union (ITU) Win­ter Triathlon World Cup for the sec­ond year in a row. Start­ing off with an ITU 10km sprint on Feb. 26, then the Elite races go off af­ter that. The Elite race is a 25km event that in­cludes 5km snow­shoe, 11km speed-skat­ing and 9km cross-coun­try-ski races. There is also a long-dis­tance race as well as a school-chal­lenge race.

The Gatineau Lop­pet, one of the largest cross-coun­try-ski races in Canada, is also putting on the Que­bec Pro­vin­cial Snow­shoe Cham­pi­onships. The event takes place on Feb. 19 and is known as the Bar­begazi Chal­lenge. There are two cour­ses of five and 10 kilo­me­tres in the Gatineau Park, and the snow­shoe races are part of the week­end of cross-coun­try ski­ing.

Feb. 4 sees the Mam­mouth Race bring­ing the Abom­inable Marathon and Half-marathon snow­shoe races to Que­bec City. There are also 5km, 10km and 15km races, along with fat­bike races and trail-run­ning events as well.

March 11 is the date for the Defi Mam­mouth Win­ter Chal­lenge at Parc de la Chute in Mont­morency, Que. There will be 5km and 10km races.

Western Canada sees the ad­di­tion of rac­ing at beau­ti­ful Lake Louise, Alta. on March 11. There will be both 5km and 10km races tak­ing place right on Lake Louise. The 5km course is a scenic, flat, packed route across the lake, then back along the shore­line trail. The 10km course of­fers more of a chal­lenge and veers off and up into the trees on deep snow and packed trail sec­tions with an el­e­va­tion gain of 295 me­tres.

There is also the Sil­ver Skate snow­shoe races on Feb. 11 in Ed­mon­ton. This new event takes place at Wil­liam Hawre­lak Park and will have a 1km fun walk, along with a 5km race.

The U.S. will play host to the Dion Na­tional Cham­pi­onships that will be head­ing to Bend, Ore. for March 24-25. The 17th edi­tion of the United States Na­tional Snow­shoe Cham­pi­onship pro­gram will cul­mi­nate in the Na­tional Snow­shoe Cham­pi­onships. For 2017, there will also be the Na­tional Marathon Cham­pi­onship at 26.2 miles and the Half-marathon Cham­pi­onships. Other Na­tional ti­tles will be chal­lenged over ei­ther 5km or 10km dis­tances. Ath­letes of all ages may qual­ify for the event by be­com­ing a USSSA mem­ber.

Touted as the world's largest, Pen­tathlon des neiges of­fers mul­ti­ple ski­ing, skat­ing and snow­shoe­ing events, in­clud­ing an in­ter­na­tion­ally-sanc­tioned world-class win­ter triathlon.

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