8K Northern Vermont Snowshoe Race and State Championship | Race Recap April 2012

Feb. 5, 2012, Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Nancy Comstock of Burlington has been racing on snowshoes for about five years, as a way of supplementing her summer trail running. This year, at the Northern Vermont Snowshoe Race, the 56-year-old accountant placed first in her age category and 14th overall, completing 8 kilometers in 1:06.

VS: Have you done this race before?
NC: This is the third or fourth year I’ve done this event. The first year I actually won the women’s race because I was the only woman racing. Now there are a lot more racers, and it’s exciting to see that it’s growing. I hope to keep doing this race as long as it’s run.

VS: What do you like about it?
NC: I really like the challenge of it. I’m very competitive, and I like trail running in the summer and snowshoe running in the winter, and this is one race that’s convenient to get to. It’s a hard run, but it’s really fun, and it gets you outside on a nice sunny day.

VS: How were the conditions?
NC: This year there was nice, hardpack snow. Last year about a foot of snow fell the night before, and that made it very difficult. This year was a faster course because the snow was packed down. [Race Director] Zeke Zucker does a really good job. Part of the course is on groomed trails, and a lot is on single track through the woods, so the first competitors really blaze the trail. The course changes from year to year, and this year it was really gorgeous.

VS: What was the best part of the race?
NC: I love seeing all the people cheering at the finish line. At that point, you feel like you’ve done enough, and it’s good to finish. In addition to family and friends, at the finish there are people who are staying at the resort who see the commotion and come by, so you’re getting cheered by people you don’t know and will probably never meet.

VS: Would you do anything differently?
NC: I don’t think so. Zeke does such a nice job. He has no control over the weather, but he has plenty of really good snacks at the finish. And he does a great job with prizes. There’s also a 4K for those who want to snowshoe but don’t want to go quite as far, which is nice. The course is always wonderful, and there’s a convenient shuttle from the parking area. It’s just really nice. Probably the only thing I’d change is I’d love to see a trail running race on the same course in the summertime.

Phyl Newbeck

Phyl Newbeck lives in Jericho with her partner Bryan and two cats. She is a skier, skater, cyclist, kayaker, and lover of virtually any sport which does not involve motors. She is the author of “Virginia Hasn’t Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving.”