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Race Recap: 2014 White River Snowshoe 8k & 4k

The start of the White River Snowshoe Race Credit: Amber Corsen

The start of the White River Snowshoe Race
Credit: Amber Corsen

Snowshoes Credit: Amber Corsen

Snowshoes
Credit: Amber Corsen

On Sunday January 19th I ventured out to Mount Hood to participate in the White River Snowshoe 4k & 8k race put on by X-Dog Events.  As suggested from the x-dogs website, I stopped at Otto’s Ski Shop in Sandy, Oregon to rent snowshoes for this event. I was greeted by friendly staff as I entered the shop. I only had to wait for person in front of me to rent snowshoes before it was my turn. I decided to rent boots in addition to snowshoes since I wasn't quite sure what shoes were supposed to fit in snowshoes.  I was able to conveniently purchase a day snow park pass at Otto’s which saved me a trip. It took about 30 minutes to rent the snowshoes and was told I had until 7pm to return the shoes, which was plenty of time.

Start of the White River Snowshoe Race Photo Credit: Amber Corsen

Start of the White River Snowshoe Race
Photo Credit: Amber Corsen

White River Sno-Park is approximately 45 minutes from Sandy. I left Sandy at 9:00am and got to the snow park approximately 10-15 minutes before the start of the race. Being a newbie to the sport of snowshoeing I packed everything I thought I might need for the race. I had multiple layers of clothes, insulated snow pants, jackets, arm warmers, hats, gloves, sunglasses, etc. I decided to ask people walking around the park that seemed experienced what to expect so I could adequately dress for the event. I was told that it gets pretty hot once you start racing and decided to wear leggings under my running pants with just a long sleeve t-shirt and a hat. I ended up getting very warm and wished I had not worn the leggings and just worn a short sleeve shirt instead.

White River Snowshoe Race Along The White River Canyon Credit: Amber Corsen

White River Snowshoe Race Along The White River Canyon
Credit: Amber Corsen

I got a lesson from the friendly people there on how to put on my snowshoes and walked around for a couple minutes to test them out. The boots were not as flexible as I would have liked and after looking around at the other participants and what they were wearing I think next time I will just strap my tennis shoes into the snowshoes and skip the boots. At 10:00 a horn blew and the race begun. The 4k and 8k races started at the same time, along the same course. The first mile or so was a gradual uphill along the gorgeous White River Canyon.  The weight of the boots and snowshoes and the slight incline made this mile very exhausting. We turned and climbed up a little hill which lead us into a forested area of the course. This beautiful section of course had a couple small inclines but was relatively downhill for the remainder of the course. At one point, the course took us on a section

White River Snoeshoe Race - Temptation Station Photo Credit: Amber Corsen

White River Snoeshoe Race – Temptation Station
Photo Credit: Amber Corsen

that overlooked the racers on their second lap along the edge of the canyon. At approximately 2 miles into the course I approached a “temptation station”, which offered racers cups of beer. I fell for the temptation and had a glass of beer before heading to the end of the course.

White River Shoeshoe Race Credit: Amber Corsen

White River Shoeshoe Race
Credit: Amber Corsen

The course offered two different distances, a 4k and an 8k. The 8k was simply two laps along the same course, directed by arrows and a volunteer just before the finish line leading the 8k runners around the course a second time. I had a little mental struggle at this point, but resisted the temptation to quit early and did the second loop. The slight incline along the White River Canyon seemed far more challenging the second time around. Once into the tree area I regained my confidence and finished strong. Sadly, the temptation station was gone the second time around but I keep on chugging and finished the 8k race.

White River Snowshoe Race  Credit: Amber Corsen

White River Snowshoe Race
Credit: Amber Corsen

After finishing, I headed over to the table where the check-in was and grabbed a beer. The finish area was very laid-back, with just a couple cases of Coors Light for racers to grab, coolers full of water, and a couple of bowls of pretzels and animal crackers free for the taking. I grabbed a beer and watched the awards ceremony. They gave out prizes for overall winners and winners in different age groups. It was a little hard to hear but I’m pretty sure they also gave out awards for the person who reached the

White River Snowshoe Race - Overlooking The Canyon Credit: Amber Corsen

White River Snowshoe Race – Overlooking The Canyon
Credit: Amber Corsen

beer station first and to the person that traveled the furthest to go to the event. Newbies also got a x-dog dog tag for participating in the event.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this race. The scenery was one of the prettiest I have seen, the people were friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere was very fun. I was nervous at first but ended up enjoying the sport of snowshoeing. I plan to participate in this event again next year.

White River Snoeshoe Race Credit: Amber Corsen

White River Snoeshoe Race
Credit: Amber Corsen

4k Results:
Justin Miller of Lake Oswego, OR – 19:53
Eric Dolezal of Vancouver, Wash – 20:35
Sarrah Hadiji of Annadale, VA – 26:07

8k Results:
Nick Scalfone – 38:15
Kevin Cooper of Beaveron, OR – 40:34
Mike Blackmore of Euguen, OR – 40:50

Full results are posted here.

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2 Comments on Race Recap: 2014 White River Snowshoe 8k & 4k

  1. This race looks gorgeous! Having never done snowshoeing, how was the recovery? I will keep this is mind for next year!

    • Amber Corsen // January 29, 2014 at 11:07 AM // Reply

      I tackled this more as a glorified hike so recovery was pretty fast. 🙂 I have no idea how people run in snowshoes, but they do

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