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Thanks to my high school XC and track coach, my snowshoe racing initiation took place in 1996 as an impressionable 18-year-old. It wasn't until my senior year that I decided to run year-round, primarily in preparation for my upcoming collegiate racing career. Gone were the days of shooting endless free throws, learning a playbook, and running suicides on the basketball court. My new reality was logging cold, lonely miles in the foothills of Northern Colorado. Rocky would have been proud of my trail blazing efforts in the snow, minus the logs on my back of course.
It only seemed natural to test my winter fitness by entering a snowshoe race. Although concerned about the apparent pain and suffering involved, it took little convincing from my coach to get me to sign-up. I was a teenager and still invincible - or so I thought. It only took 100 yards and oxygen deprivation at 9,000 feet to teach me otherwise. I'll never forget that race. Total exhaustion but also totally hooked. Crossing the finish line gave new meaning to accomplishment and fulfillment as an endurance athlete.
Unfortunately, a terrible invention called "indoor track" prevented me from exploring the New England snowshoe racing scene while in college. Now it's over a decade later, and I'm back to my roots, trying with a vengeance to figure out how not to simulate that first race experience. I'm not sure it's possible - but that's the inherent challenge, and that's why I love it, especially since snowshoeing and snowshoe racing offer such a blissful escape from the sometimes demanding realities of life today.
Continue to promote the Atlas brand and grow the sport of snowshoeing and snowshoe racing through my involvement in the Atlas Racing Team
Travel to a few marquee races outside the Rocky Mountain Region
Stay healthy and consistently compete at a high-level
Represent the Atlas Racing Team at the National Championships