Since I started running, I’ve been on the lookout for unique races. I’ve done the colored runs, mud runs, glow runs, foamy runs, obstacle races, road races, and trail races – events with ALL sorts of entertainment. But am always on the lookout for something a little different. When I first stumbled upon the White River Snowshoe Race, I have vowed to attend at some point in my life. Maybe, to avid snow people this race isn’t unique (I don’t know), but for me, my snow skills consist of snowball making, sledding, and making lopsided snowmen – so this race seems just like the fun challenge i’m looking for.
The snowshoe race, put on by X-dog Events, takes place at the White River West Sno-Park on Mt. Hood. If you haven’t been there before it’s a few miles northeast of Government Camp off HWY 26 / HWY 35 junction. The race, which proclaims itself as the oldest and largest snowshoe race in the west, features a 4k and 8k option. The 8k race begins at the White River Sno-Park and travels to the end of the White River Canyon and back. The 4k race begins and the White River Snow Park and is a smaller loop that takes you around the canyon. The 4k loop has one significant climb in the course and has previously served as the US Juniors National qualifier.
The two snowshoe events are designed for everyone. They claim that if you can walk 5-miles you will finish this race – no specific experience is necessary. Check out this video for an idea of what to expect during this event. If you don’t own snowshoes you can rent them around town. They are available from REI, Next Adventure in Portland, Otto’s in Sandy, and other sports stores around town (typical day rentals are approximately $10 – $15). You will also need to purchase at least a daily sno-park parking permit to park, which you can pick up for $4 from the DMV and also at various places such as resorts, sporting good stores, and other retail outlets. Click here for more information about the parking permits.
I am excited for the great scenery, to learn how to use snowshoes, and be apart of this unique racing experience!