One of the best things about Snowshoeing is the access it gives you to the outdoors no matter the weather outside during winter. As snowshoeing becomes more and more popular throughout North America we are seeing a massive increase in recreational, amateur and professional races being held throughout. One of the reasons for the increase in races is the competitiveness that summer runners have brought into winter along with the increase in racing friendly snowshoes.
Snowshoe racing gives people the opportunity to train and exercise throughout the winter months and give people an activity to meet other snowshoers in their area.
The good news is no matter the skill level there are races and events for everyone.
Here is a list of our top ten races to check out this season (download the full PDF at the bottom of the list):
The Arrowhead 135 is recognized in the book "The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges" by Richard Hoad and Paul Moore as one of the 50 toughest races in the world. It is a human powered Ultra Marathon taking place in the coldest part of winter in the coldest city in the lower 48 states. Our average finish rate is less than 50%, the finish rate for new racers is much lower. 2014 finish rate was 35%.
135 miles Deep Winter across Northern Minnesota on rugged, scenic Arrowhead State Snowmobile Trail from Frostbite I-Falls to Tower, MN Fortune Bay Casino. Pick mode of transport at start: bicycle, ski or foot. This is their 15th year, beginning with 10 entrants in 2005 to ~150 starters 2018, featuring some of the best winter ultra-athletes in the world.
The Tuscobia Winter Ultra is a human powered run, bike or ski event held on the Tuscobia and Wild Rivers State Trails in Northern Wisconsin, in the middle of winter.
There are two options: an 80-mile one-way route or a 160-mile out and back. The 160-mile requires completion of a qualifying event, and is itself a qualifier for the Iditarod Trail Invitational.
Both distances have required gear and are semi-supported, with organized checkpoints.
Nestled in a quiet corner of the White Mountain National Forest, Waterville Valley is home to an expansive network of trails that wind among the forested slopes of New Hampshire's famous four-thousand footers. Our course flows along the well-groomed cross-country ski trails that spread over valley's rolling terrain. Come out and celebrate a long winter of frosty sports and the coming of our muddy spring with a friendly race in this happy valley.
The course corkscrews down Wrong Way Trail singletrack with a couple of fun descents down some brief, snowy chutes before traversing the back side of the mountain on Bubba Trail through beautiful mixed hardwood forests. Fuster’s Ravine crossing will mark the home stretch with the course opening up onto double track Riverside Run and back to the start/finish. The loop totals approximately 6.5 miles with about 1500 feet of elevation change.Visit www.gmtrails.org
to view a map of the trails you will be racing.
The 2020 edition of the Bigfoot Snowshoe Festival here in the State of Utah provided another great day with our 9th year. Everyone can have a lot of fun, Between the 6 events, the 50K, Marathon, 25K, 15K, 10K and 5k they normally have over 130 finishers.
Any snowshoe is allowed or any kind of traction system.
The Racing Gnome 5k & 10k snowshoe races are never boring. Peter Fain’s classic 5km and 10km (two lap) courses will surprise and challenge all who enter. All experience levels are encouraged to race.
The 6K Snowshoe Race has grown over the last few years and it was time to add a 12K Snowshoe race to give our snowshoers an extra challenge. The 6 K race has been moved to Saturday, and the 12 K Snowshoe race will be on Sunday. Combined ski/snowshoe racers will still have a 6K snowshoe as part of their race on Sunday.
And to really test your stamina, the 6K and 12K Snowshoe races will both be Qualifying events for the US Snowshoe Associations National Championships in Leadville, CO, February 28 and March 1, 2020. At 10,152 feet elevation, Leadville is North Americas highest city. At 9,800 feet of elevation, the Ski Classic race course will be a great training ground for snowshoers who want to qualify for the US National Snowshoe Championship races.
This event is out to challenge, with its signature, 15-mile race. If you are unable to complete the course in the mandatory three-and-a-half hours, there are 5K and 10K races as well. The course is primarily downhill, descending about 900 feet from start to finish.
If you are a serious athlete then the best and most accoldated race in North America are the annual USSSA sanctioned world championships. This year they are being held in Leadville, CO where athletes from around the world will compete. They association has made changes this year so please check our their website for qualification details.
One of the most challenging experiences on the planet, participants brave extreme physical, environmental and mental challenges as they work their way along the historic Iditarod Trail on bicycle, foot or skis. Requiring self-sufficiency and the considerable resilience to make it through up to 30 frozen days and nights, the Iditarod Trail Invitational has built its reputation on notoriously inhospitable conditions and minimal outside support.
There are plenty more races out there to enjoy this 2020 winter, if you are looking for one in your local area please reach out to us and we will track down the best information for you.
As always, Enjoy The Journey
Feel free to download the full Top 10 Snowshoe Races 2019-2020 PDF by clicking on the image below.