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Racers were greeted with brilliant sunshine, cobalt skies, and abundant snows at the 8th Annual Tahquamenon Snowshoe Race. Complete results(link) are now available. The temperature at race start was 42 ℉ and may racers were wearing short sleeved shirts and smiles. The first snowshoer through the 5K point was Andy Bayer of Bloomington, IN in 22:25, 4 minutes ahead of 2nd place 10K racer Keith Wilson of Klamath Falls, OR. Shortly after Wilson cruised through 1st lap checkpoint in 26:38 and was followed by the lead 5K racer, Travis Sigman. Sigman crossed the line looking strong in 26:54 and quickly reflected on his experience on the course: “It is beautiful out there, the creeks were flowing and the sunshine in the woods was amazing.” Soon, the women’s lead 10K runner, Chelsea Blanchard, also of Bloomington, IN arrived in 28:40 and grabbed a some HEED before heading out on her second loop. Bayer ended up with negative splits, covering the second 5K in 22:08 for a course record 44:33. Just one week ago Bayer, racing for Nike, raced the indoor two mile at the Millrose Games in New York City where he ran an 8:30. “I’m taking a break between the indoor and outdoor track seasons and thought I would give snowshoe racing a try,” noted Bayer. Wilson, one of the best snowshoe racers in the region finished 2nd in 54:00. Blanchard was 3rd overall and the 1st Female, crossing the line in 58:18. Both Bayer and Blanchard set new course records.
In the 5K overall champion Travis Sigman of Alanson, MI was followed by top masters snowshoer Robert Courtright of Traverse City (33:39). Rachael McCoy of Sault Ste. Marie was the overall 5K female champion with a time of 33:53. Danielle Cory, in her debut snowshoe race was the second overall among women in 38:34.
Now in its 13th year, the Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series includes 97 races in the US and Canada Four of Great Lakes Endurance’s races have earned spots on the 2017 Series: Two Hearted on June 24, Waugoshance on July 8, Grand Island on July 22 and Tahqua on August 5. Registration is open for all races and has been brisk, especially for the 50K events at Two Hearted and Grand Island. If you complete any of GLE races in the Trophy Series you are automatically entered. Prizes are awarded for the most races and the most miles raced. Age group awards are also given.