The annual Yeti Snowshoe Race, part of a series that’s gaining popularity across B.C, saw some 250 snowshoers – some out to win and some out for just a good time – take on challenging 5K and 10K courses at Mount Washington Alpine Resort last Saturday Jan. 29.
With tons of snow and fog in the air, the starting horn sounded and the thrashing hoard of runners, with snow flying in all directions, disappeared into the grey mist that enveloped the hill. This year’s Yeti saw serious athletes mixed with fun teams dressed up as “Snow Queens” and others sporting pink wigs or kitty-cat costumes in what has become a “must-do” event for many local outdoor enthusiasts. A new duathalon style event was added to the roster this year combining XC skiing and snowshoeing.
Snowshoe runners came from the mainland and Victoria to compete while champion adventure athlete Dave Norona kept the spectators laughing with his comedic work on the microphone. Several Comox Valley teams took part with the team from Extreme Runners taking several top spots.
In the 5km Event, Steven Spiers of Shorerunners won in 25:25. The first woman was Nancy Fedoruk in 29:24 The teams from Extreme Runners came 2nd in the team category with strong individual performances by Domenic Nadeau (1st under 20yrs) and Mary Ann Rolfe (1st 50-69yrs), Karin Holm and Robyn Dicesare finishing first and 2nd in the 40-49yrs group, Bonnie Ervin (3rd 50-69yrs), Eric Martinat (2nd 40-49yrs), Jack Campbell (2nd 50-69yrs) and Louis Nadeau (3rd 40-49yrs). The Extreme Runners Masters Women’s teams finished a strong 1st to round out the day.
In the 10K race, Shaun Nelson of Victoria won in a fast 48:02. The first woman was Tamsin Anstey in 51:02. The Extreme Runners team came 2nd led home by Vince Brotherson in his first shoeshoe race in 5th overall (1st 40-49yrs), Margerite Mason won the 50-69 women’s group. John Ingram was 2nd 50-69yrs, Mary Bridges 2nd 40-49yrs, and Cathy Clarke 2nd 50-69yrs).
In the gruelling duathlon event consisting of a 5K snowshoe, a 10K XC ski and another 5K snowshoe, Robert Lang won in 1:27:55 and Extreme Runner Genevieve Burdette was the first woman in 1:56:24.
The next race in the Yeti Series is at Whistler Olympic Park on Feb. 11. For full results and information about The Yeti, go to www.theyeti.ca.