Summerstown, ON – The 9th Annual Summerstown Forest Dion Snowshoe Race was held on Saturday, February 11, and race director Gilles Parisien was very pleased with the turnout, as 53 participants were on hand, the greatest number yet. The race was held under sunny skies and the snow that had fallen the previous night gave the forest an enchanted look.
The Dion Race Series attracts a wide range of participants, and as was the case in previous years, twice as many racers were from outside the area, hailing mainly from Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston. The field was split evenly between male and female runners.
The overall winner of the race was Bancroft’s Bernie Hogan, a member of the Algonquin First Nation, covering the 7.7 km in an excellent time of 35min 43sec. Local favourite Rob Lefebvre, winner of three previous editions, took second place. On the women’s side, Chelsea’s Lise Meloche, a two-time Olympian in biathlon, claimed first place with a time of 46min 35sec.
For the shorter 4.4 km race, the best results for local runners were posted by Williamstown Jennifer Gareau, and trails neighbour John Warner. Two participants came all the way from Kingston just to walk the course, and they did it in one hour!
This year’s race had an international flavour to it, with one participant hailing from Australia. And yes, there is snow in Australia, at least in certain regions. And the snow season lasts from June to August. Christmas in July anyone?
At the conclusion of the race, medals and prizes provided by local sponsors were handed out to the first-place finishers, and as is traditional, the rest of the prizes were drawn for amongst all the participants in the spirit of camaraderie which prevails in this sport.
The complete race results are available on the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series website.