Snow Shoe the Bear

    Today I ran my first 5 K race.
    Yes, today I ran my first 5 K with out snow shoes. For months all I have been talking about how I’m running a snow shoe race. Well, for months I have also been complaining that there is no snow. These sixty degree February days are extraordinary but our mountains really need the snow. The sunny days are nice right now, when normally in February we would be seeing ten degree days, but in August when our forests are dry and the Santa Ana winds mean fire warnings, we will be begging for any precipitation. 
    Plus, no snow means snow shoeing in mud and ice.
   I drove up to Big Bear Village about seven this morning in order to preregister. It was kind of cold driving over there and I was bundled up in sweats, sweat shirt, vest and gloves. It would warm up in a few hours, but right now the sun was barely above the horizon and the highway into Big Bear actually looked a little icy and made me believe, yes, this is winter.
    After registering, I sat back in my car and enjoyed the beautiful Big Bear morning; alpine lake, ducks quacking and swimming happily, and oh yes, flatlanders littering and blatantly almost T-boning me while running a red light. Apparently there are no rules in the mountains.
    As the clock ticked closer to ten A.M. and the start time of the 10 K, the village was filling up fast with athletes in spandex everywhere. I began to notice one thing…
   So much spandex…
   So little snow shoes…
   I had my snow shoes nestled next to me on my bench in the sunshine. As I watched the runner’s take off up hill for the start of the 10 K, I noticed not one of them was wearing snow shoes and few had them with them at all.
   I had to go ask some one if you were allowed to run this race sans snow shoes. A lot of people had these cool spikes that you add to the bottom of your running shoes. I have some on order, but I haven’t received them yet. As, I soon found out, very few people had even brought snow shoes. The course had some snow, but was mostly packed down snow and mud.
   I took a chance, as my 5 K was starting in five minutes exactly, and ran my snow shoes all the way back to the car. I made it back just in time for the start of my race.
   I can proudly say, I ran the entire race. What really surprised me was I saw so many people only running some of the race. My time I’m sure wasn’t great; I think I finished in about forty two minutes. My GPS stopped working half way through the race, so I’m not exactly sure on the time. Hopefully the times will be posted on the website at some point. I guess the fastest time is in the twenty eight minute range.
   When the race started I was in the back of the pack, and I pretty much stayed in the same area the whole time. If I had started in the front of the pack, my time would have been so much better, but there were so many people walking in front of me, it was an obstacle course to dodge around them!
   I was really proud of myself that I did manage to run the whole thing, but I felt like I passed very few people, and I thought all this training and endurance building I have been doing would have made me a little faster.
    The next race I’m looking at doing is the Santa Anita 10 K. Part of this race is actually run on the race track! Which is so cool, but means it will be really hard, running in sand part of the race. That is in April on Santa Anita Derby Day. After that on my schedule is The Run Through the Pines in Crestline in the summer. I will for sure do the 10 K next time! There is also a down hill half marathon in Lytle Creek I’m considering doing. The thing for me is it’s actually harder on my joints to run down hill. I know it sounds weird, but I think I enjoy running up hill more! I’m going to keep my ears tuned, and see if I hear of another trail 10 K in the spring that suits me.

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