The first hour I was still thinking, heck ya - I'm totally going to do that snowshoe marathon. So fun. Little did I know ( I didn't wear my Garmin dangit ) I had only gone 2 miles in the first hour. We did see a few other hikers up there and they had YAK tracks on their shoes. I'd never seem them before but they're now on my Christmas list. They are basically just spikes that strap on to the bottom of your shoes to run through ice and snow. My snowshoes were a little bulky for me. I wish I had some that were a little narrower. But that's why you rent first, right?
By the time we got three quarters of the way up, the tracks on the trail ended. Meaning we were the first ones to get that high up on the trail! Sweet - fresh, un-touched powder. Well, that is until we saw these...
Those would be moose hoof prints! Who knew that moose needed a trail to find their way around... And then a little farther on we saw these...
Those look familiar. Seems our good friend, the neighborly mountain lion, was still hanging around - playing a little cat and moose. Luckily we never saw them but with the fresh tracks they couldn't have been too far off!
We finally made it to the top of the trail, otherwise known as Elephant Rock. It usually is a gorgeous view, but we've had a few bad air quality days, so an inversion mucked up the view a bit. Still happy to make it up to top!
There was no running to be had in my snowshoes unfortunately. In my short experience of snowshoeing, I'm hoping that they make smaller versions of what I was using. Surely you have to be able to run in them. I checked the finishing times of the marathon from last year's race and the winner finished in 5 hours! With the pace I was moving at I'd finish in about 10. Not sure I love snowshoeing enough to go for 10 hours straight.
So training tip for today? Make sure to test everything before race day. You need to test what kind of nutrition you're going to intake, how often you're going to drink water, how fast your pace is going to be, and how to run in snowshoes... : )
I still haven't ruled out the race. I'm going to try another retailer and see some other gear and test it out. It really would be amazing to do a marathon in the snow, especially here in Utah. It is the best snow on Earth, ya know. Just have to make sure I can get it finished in under 7 hours preferably. Or else make sure there's restaurants on the course for a mid race meal...maybe a Texas Roadhouse or Chili's would suffice.
Winter scenery just doesn't get too much better than this. Hope you're enjoying your winter season of running too!