AROUND THE REGION NEWS BRIEFS
US National Snowshoe Championships
WOODFORD, VT – The U.S. National Snowshoe Championships have rotated back to Woodford, Vt. for the weekend of March 9-11, once more with race director Tim VanOrden. The venue at the Prospect Mountain Nordic Ski Center, just outside of Bennington, lies in a magical Brigadoon where snow falls early and often. The original 2014 course has been completely redesigned, featuring a mix of groomed trails, wooded singletrack and spectator sections.
Saturday includes a Kids’ Kilo, a combined Junior Men’s and Women’s National Championship 5K and Citizen’s 5K, and a separate Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s Championship 10K. This separation will mean that women and men will know that everyone in their 10K is a person to beat, guaranteeing an additional level of excitement and effort.
Sunday features a first-ever Snowshoe Marathon and a Half Marathon National Championship, as well as the customary four x 2.5K team relay – offering a unique opportunity for spectators to view three events at the same time. Tim VanOrden is especially proud of his new routes, “I’ve cut some beautiful new singletrack for the half marathon and marathon courses, that will let people feel ‘lost in the woods,’ without climbing up the mountain.” That is definitely good news for those of us who are intrigued by these unique snowshoe distances, but are reluctant to commit to a total uphill/downhill experience the day after a 10K – a perfect answer to Disney’s Goofy Challenge.
All competitors in the National Championships must hold current USSSA memberships. This is not required for the Kilo, Citizen’s events or the relay. Go to snowshoeracing.com to join USSSA, register, and for details. New this year, racers need not gamble on iffy local snow conditions as there is no longer a prequalification requirement. Be aware that registration is on a sliding scale and prices increase as March draws closer. There is day-of registration for all events, making it possible for Sunday procrastinators to jump into a last-minute relay with new friends, or assess their ability to pull a double.
Nationals pose an exciting opportunity to meet athletes from all over the country, share stories and create new friendships. Competitors should seriously consider entering the Woodford Whiteout Snowshoe Race on Feb. 25, for an exact tracing of the 10K course. For more info, visit dionwmacsnowshoe.com.
Join fellow participants on Friday afternoon, March 9 for a course preview, and then head out to a reception at Bennington Museum. On Saturday, the awards ceremony at race headquarters in downtown Bennington will be followed by a night on the town. With so many events, it is no longer a pipe dream to win at Nationals. Age group awards are especially generous with 10K recognition extending into 85+ and Marathon and Half into 70+. There truly is something for everybody, whether racing or hiking, shopping in classic Vermont shops, enjoying local restaurants or simply relaxing by the fire at the ski center. –Laura Clark
Review: Pretty Rugged Blanket
LATHAM – I just unwrapped my new Pretty Rugged Blanket and laid it out picnic-style, by the fire this evening. It feels decadent, like I am in an après ski lodge in Aspen shooting a commercial featuring mountain town luxury. This is not your “brand names for less” faux fur throw. It looks and feels more like something you would covet in a luxury boutique store in Saratoga Springs or in The Sagamore Resort gift shop – they actually carry them.
The blanket and concept was created out of a personal wish for owner, Tracy Slocum. An avid boater, she was looking for something to keep her incredibly warm on damp, cool fall days on the lake; like the furs of old-day explorers, but also hold up to the elements and a modern day lifestyle. Tracy sourced her own material with strict requirements for silky smooth and genuinely soft material, not synthetic. The result is a density so full that it is impossible to get your fingers to the base. On the back-side of the blanket, is a RuggedTex™ layer that is windproof, waterproof and spill-proof. This is the side that would lay on the lawn for a SPAC concert picnic. Alternately, if I were to wrap myself up to watch one of my boy’s Nordic ski races, fur side in, weatherproof side out, I would be cozy.
The 4’x6’ blanket comes in three colors: frost gray, Arctic blue and glacial white. Each has a zippered pocket to keep personal items safe and dry, come in a satin duster for easy storage, and include a carrying strap. It may not be something busy soccer mom’s will run out to invest in for themselves, but it should certainly be at the top of their Valentine’s or Mother’s Day gift list as it will make all those field-side days feel totally indulgent. For more info or to order, go to: prettyruggedgear.com. –Mim Frantz
New Adirondack 15K Race to the Lakes
QUEENSBURY – The Adirondack Distance Run, a much loved, 41-year-old road race, had its final run in June 2017. Safety concerns for the runners and volunteers on an increasingly busy NY Route 9N prompted the discussions and eventual dissolution. The Adirondack Runners Club is excited to announce a new race, scheduled for Saturday, June 30 with a start time of 8am from SUNY Adirondack on Bay Road in Queensbury. The 15K wends its way from the college, along wide shouldered and smooth roads, up and down a few hills, and onto the Warren County Bike Path, past Glen Lake, to the finish line at majestic Lake George in Battlefield Park.
Parking is available at the start and busing provided by the Lake George School District will take runners from the finish back to the start, between 10am and noon. Water stops along the route and refreshments at the finish line will be available. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Lake George Association’s Floating Classroom. The race is limited to 300 runners, and strollers and dogs are not allowed. Registration is available at active.com. Awards will be given to the top three overall males and females, and top three males and females in five-year age groups. Gender specific, technical shirts are guaranteed to all those registered by May 1. adirondackrunners.org.
Tour de Cure – New Venue and Run/Walk
ALBANY – Nearly one in 11 individuals currently live with diabetes, with someone new being diagnosed every 21 seconds. The Tour de Cure Capital Region (formerly Saratoga Springs) is one of the top five Tour de Cure events in the US and the top fundraising event in the Albany area – and more importantly the only annual fundraising event for the American Diabetes Association’s mission. The Tour celebrates individuals of all ages living with diabetes and spreads diabetes awareness. Last year the event raised $860,000 with 1,500 participants towards the fight to find a cure for diabetes.
The ADA is excited to announce a new venue and run/walk. The Tour de Cure will be held on Sunday, June 10 at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. There will be five new cycling routes available for cyclists, including rides of 10, 30, 50, 62 and 100 miles. New this year, the Tour now offers a 5K Run/Walk. All riders, runners and walkers will be treated to a fantastic post-ride and run/walk party for all to enjoy, including catered lunch by Mazzone Hospitality, beer garden by Ommegang Brewery, and live music by New York Players. Join ADA in their fight against diabetes and sign up today as a team or individual. Learn more at: diabetes.org/capitalregion.
CF Stair Climb on Feb. 24
ALBANY – The 30th annual CF Stair Climb to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Northeastern New York will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Corning Tower – Albany’s tallest building. Race up 42 floors (809 steps) either individually, as a first responder, or on a four-person relay team. First Responders climb in full gear and in appreciation of their service, only pay a flat $10 fee to participate. Once you register, there is a minimal $150 fundraising effort required.
Whether climbing to improve your time or simply cross the finish line, this event is a great way to spend the day with family or friends while helping people with cystic fibrosis. Once considered exclusively a childhood disease, approximately half of all people living with CF today are over the age of 18. Entrants can save $5 off the registration fee by using code: ADKSPORTS. To register and for more info: fight.cff.org/albanyclimb or call 518-453-3583.
Hague Endurance Fest & Stissing Tri
RANDOLPH – Wilson Endurance Sports announces two great opportunities to compete this June. Both races have been longstanding events in their respective communities, and are now under new management – and ready to welcome you! Come and experience these athlete-centered races that bring you back to the grassroots of the sport.
The Hague Endurance Festival will be held on Saturday-Sunday, June 23-24 in the Lake George community of Hague. Sprint and Olympic triathlons, Sprint and Olympic Aquabike, Kids’ Triathlon, and a Duathlon will make this the event for any athlete or relay team that love multisport. Food, live music, local beverages, activities and more will make this a weekend of fun for every age.
The Stissing Triathlon will take place on Saturday, June 30 in Pine Plains, which is on the border of Dutchess and Columbia counties. This Sprint Triathlon (1/2-mile Stissing Lake swim, 16.5-mile rolling bike, and 3.3-mile run around the lake) and Kids Triathlon (two distances), mixed with BBQ, music and fun make this a day you won't want to miss. Both are great for beginners and competitive triathletes as well as relay teams.
Both events are USA Triathlon sanctioned. Overall, relay team, and age-group awards will be presented. Wilson Endurance Sports is owned by Coach Mark Wilson; owner and operator of the Hudson Valley Triathlon Club, longtime triathlete and triathlon coach. Learn more at coachmarkwilson.com.