USA Snowshoe National Championships 2018

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2018 Dion Snowshoe U.S. National Snowshoe Championship 10k

The start to the 2018 year of racing has begun and I have been blessed with some strong results. Snowshoe Nationals was a great event though I dealt with some adversity that kept me from having my true peak performance. Let me explain.

Snowshoe Nationals each year rotates to the various regions throughout the US with this year being a Northeast year and with Bennington, VT as the host site at Prospect Mountain. This was the same site as in 2014 where I made some critical errors going out too hard and coming to a halt at the long 5k climb in the race. That year I finished 18th overall in what still remains as one of the biggest and most competitive fields for snowshoe racing ever assembled.

This year was planning on bringing some top talent as well. Though registrations lingered until the final few days leading up to the race, the 40+ inches of snow was going to make this a unique event for all.

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Our plan to head out was near 2 pm to get a jump to enter town early enough to snag some food and rest before the race. Lucky enough that the Men’s 10k would not start until around Noon which would give us a nice morning to prep for the run.

On the drive to the race, we hit some bad Friday traffic making the 3:40 minute drive from Princeton to Bennington more like a 5 hour drive. I decided to drive as Myself, my amazing wife Ashlee, my father and our two dogs packed into our car for the trip. The dogs had trouble settling in through most of the drive and we hit some periodic stops to let them use the bathroom.

It was by the time we were near Albany that our one dog Ozzie, was up to no good squirming all around the car. We soon found out that he had to go to the bathroom and bad! A nasty smelled filled the car cabin and I bet you can connect the dots here, Yes, he POOPED in the car. We eventually was able to get to a rest stop as this happened just as I was merging through some of the highway interchanges in Albany which made it a couple miles before we could get off at an exit.

We cleaned things up and then headed to Bennington. We checked into the Paradise Inn and got situated. We were starving and got some food a local brewery. My first mistake was not getting enough food before 2 pm. With only some toast and a little bit of pasta before we left, I was way under-fueled. The mac and cheese I had for dinner began a downward spiral. I had a bad headache and was feeling full but something did not sit well with me.

We were on a bottom floor and some type of raging party was going on up in the room directly above us. We had people screaming in the halls from Midnight all the way up to about 4 am which kept all of us awake. It was not like a little noise but screaming and smashing into walls like their was some type of West Side Story brawl happening all around us! The hotel was full and had no where else we could go. We talked with the front desk about the noise and felt they did not say anything to the party animals up above us.

I came into this night already depleted and tired and without a good night’s sleep, I did not know what would transpire.

We finally were awake at 7 am with our dogs and myself having some bad stomach distress. The food we had last night was not agreeing with us at all.

I was physically prepared for this race and my training was the best leading up to a Snowshoe Nationals. I was ready there. But the pre-race prep leading to the race was nothing but a bum moment.

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More to come…

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