In line with my favorite goal from last year, where I tried something new every single month, I wanted to do that yet again this year and kicked it off as a bunny socialization volunteer in January. This month, I signed up for the Twin Cities Snowshoe Shuffle and thought I’d be able to experience my first ever snowshoe run! How fun, right?
Well, Mother Nature had other ideas. We barely have any snow here in Minneapolis, so the organizers made a decision to turn it into a trail run instead of a snowshoe run.
I picked up my packet on Friday, where I got my money back from my snowshoe rental and picked up my bib. In addition to the two emails they sent, the woman there reminded me that the trail was going to be icy so be prepared. At this point, I was feeling a little apprehensive about it because the last thing I want to do is get injured while training for Boston, you know?
I prepped for the race by running 17 miles that morning, taking a 10 minute break and then driving the 20 minutes to the park where the race was going to be held. I have some running ice spikes from Kahtoola on the way to try out, so I opted to run in my trail running shoes from Brooks — the Mazama — they have really great grip and I knew they would be helpful for this:
I had to park a few minute walk away (they had a shuttle) and showed up for the 9:45 race at 9:40. I walked up to the start and they were already counting down! I’m not a fan when races don’t start on time (either early or late), but it also meant that I didn’t have to stand around outside for long, so that was fine.
The race ran down a hill where there was a mix of ice and a little bit of snow with some tall weeds, and then we hooked a left to run along the railroad tracks before we went into the woods. It turned into a single-track trail run and on that track, pure ice. We were running quite slow, about 10 minute miles, and I was concentrating really hard to not wipe out. A woman in front of me did wipe out and I got really paranoid because I did not want to get injured.
About a mile in, we made another left and ran across a frozen pond that had about 1-2″ of powder covering the ice, and it was beautiful. Probably my favorite part of the course.
From there, we were back in the woods, climbed up and down a snow-covered hill and the hooked a left back on the rocks by the railroad track. I couldn’t believe we were already heading back because we barely covered 1.5 miles and were headed back to the start area? I didn’t know the course, so I didn’t really know what to expect.
Anyways, they led us straight to the finish —> I finished in about 22 minutes because it was a 2.15 mile course. Since I still had a bit to get in to get to my 20 miles for the day, I grabbed my shirt (cute design, but not in love with the tan/brown color shirt) and kept on running to get an extra mile in.
I know that the organizers were doing everything they could to make sure this event still happened, but I personally think they should have cancelled it when they knew that it wasn’t going to be a snowshoe run. It sucks because it was a fundraiser for a local organization, but it is what it is. I think it was dangerous to run on the ice for the majority of the race (which, even wearing trail shoes with extra grip and seeing other people struggle with their ice grippers, was still icy) and cutting the race short by a mile was also annoying.
I will definitely try to sign up for the Twin Cities Showshoe Shuffle again next year, but will wait until it’s closer to the race to make sure that there’s snow, because there were a few other straight 5ks I would have rather run if I was going to work it into my training.
Have you ever run in showshoes? What did you think?
What’s your winter weather like you by you?
Anyone else race this weekend? What did you run?
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