With 34 runners participating, the First Annual Summerstown Forest Snowshoe Race, held this past Saturday, was a huge success.
The race was organized by the Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST), and race organizer Gilles Parisien was especially pleased with the local turnout.
“One of our goals was to make this 'new' old sport known to the area athletes, and with 18 local runners registered, we certainly achieved our objective," he said.
Another pleasant surprise was the number of female participants in the race.
“Usually, we have a far greater number of male participants, but today we had an almost even split,” said Parisien. “But with this kind of turnout, the Summerstown Forest Snowshoe Race is sure to become a permanent fixture of the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series.”
The 7.55km men’s race was won by Canadian and World Champion David Le Porho of Montreal with a time of 36:14.
He beat out Derrick St John, formerly of Cornwall, now residing in Gatineau.
“I really enjoyed the race and the course. There was a bit of everything. It wasn’t all flat, and the few knobs and hills made the course fun and challenging” said Le Porho.
Natasha Elliot, also of Gatineau, finished first in the women’s division in 44:43.
Best results by local runners were posted by a couple of members of the Cornwall Multisport Club.
Rob Lefebvre of Williamstown came in third position in 43:06, and Lynne Giroux, of Glen Walter, who was taking part in the first snowshoe race of her life, also finished third stopping the clock at 55:02. “Because of the warm weather, the soft snow made the race that much tougher,” commented Giroux.
At the conclusion of the race, medals were handed out to the first three finishers, and as is traditional, the rest of the prizes, which were provided by local sponsors, were drawn for by all the participants in the spirit of camaraderie which prevails in this sport.
The complete race results are available at www.summerstowntrails.com.