The Racing Gnome Snowshoe Races miraculously came together on February 4, 2018, despite snowpack under 15% of average. The 5k and 10k races are produced by the Donner Party Mountain Runners (DPMR) at Auburn Ski Club on Donner Summit.
The low snow conditions didn’t detract from the fun of the course at all, as Auburn Ski Club’s high altitude and north-facing aspect made the most of what was available. Course creator Peter Fain took the runners down along the creek into the “Black Hole.”
From the low point of the course, runners climbed over 450 feet off-piste to an elevation of 7,400 feet before winding their way back to the lodge area. The 10k racers did it all twice.
Race Director and creator Peter Fain (Atlas Snow-Shoe Racing Team) dominated the 10k with a winning time of 1:03:36. Eric Hulbert, visiting from Mexico, New York, took second in 1:11:27. He was followed closely by DPMR local Bob Wright of Kings Beach, CA, in 1:11:35.
Truckee local Sian Turner Crespo finished first in the women’s 10k in 1:24:24. Brooklynn Lawrence of Reno, NV, held second in 1:25:22. (Unfortunately, Brooklynn missed the podium photo opportunity.) DPMR mainstays Lesley Dellamonica and Sharon Fong, both of Truckee, finished the 2-laps in 1:45:46 and 2:12:04, respectively.
Truckee’s Helen Pelster (a.k.a. Trail Mom) defended her 5k title with a time of 39:24. WeTri Triathlon Junior Racing Team member Sydney Lewis, of Rocklin, CA, finished second in 46:22. Diane Frederic, DPMR member from Incline Village, NV, rounded out the podium in 46:42.
In the men’s 5k, Adam Kimble made it look easy to win his first snowshoe race in 31:22. Kimble, a DPMR in Tahoe City, CA, had raced to the podium of the Foresthill Divide Loop 35k just one day before!
DPMR Vice President Sean Flanagan, of Kings Beach, CA, finished second in 39:17. WeTri Triathlon Junior Racing Team athlete Dominic Pollizzi rounded out the 5k men’s podium in 41:51 at his first-ever snowshoe race.
This was the first year that DPMR was able to provide loaner snowshoes to a dozen first-time racers. The loaner fleet of Atlas Run snowshoes was generously donated by Alpenglow Sports. Specially designed running snowshoes are lighter, smaller, and feature bindings that keep the runner securely attached in their shoes.
All photos by Helen Pelster.
The Donner Party Mountain Runners is a grassroots non-profit running group that exists to inform, inspire, and connect mountain runners in Truckee-Tahoe. The Racing Gnome Snowshoe Race is produced entirely by volunteers.
The Auburn Ski Club Training Center, located on Boreal Ridge Rd. in Soda Springs, CA, is a non-profit winter sports facility dedicated to the lifelong enjoyment of winter sports.