BEND, Ore. - Time is getting short as the 13th annual 2013 Dion Snowshoes United States National Snowshoe Championships March 15th-17th west of Bend are less than a week away.
Over 200 of the country's finest winter endurance athletes have qualified from 37 recognized qualifying races held throughout the season across the country to compete for national titles, age group medals and berths on the 2013 U.S. National Snowshoe Team. Or, maybe just regional bragging rights until next year!
The folks at Visit Bend, SuperFit Productions, and Time 2 Race are all set to put on an awesome weekend of outdoor snowshoe fun for the elite athlete, the beginner, and the whole family. Athletes from across the country representing 25 U.S. states and Canada; Florida to Maine, Texas to South Dakota, California to Washington and, of course host Oregon, will be arriving in Central Oregon over the next week to finish preparations for testing themselves against the Meissner Sno-Park race course.
Noteables to look for include five time U.S. Men's National Snowshoe Champion Josiah Middaugh of Colorado, two time U.S. Women's National Snowshoe Champion Brandy Erholtz of Colorado and two time National Snowshoe Team member Christy Runde of Washington State. Joining the field this year, competing in the International Division, is Montreal Quebec Canada's own David Le Porho, the two time World Snowshoe Champion. Le Porho claimed those titles in 2011 in Japan and 2012 in his own eastern Canada.
The racing up front will be plenty quick as stellar fields look to assemble to push each other to those coveted berths on the annual U.S. National Snowshoe Team. But, the competition will be just as fierce all the way back through the fields as athletes vie for medals in each of the 5 year age groups. Junior A and B Boys and Girls will race over a 5km course, the first three crossing the line comprising the 2013 US Junior National Snowshoe Team. The first five Senior Men and Women to complete their challenging 10km course will make up the 2013 Senior National Snowshoe Teams.
But, the fun is not just for the elite athletes as a 5km Citizens Snowshoe Run/Walk will be held for anyone interested in joining in on the snowy fun. Loaner snowshoes will be available. For the youngsters, a Kid's Kilo will be held and on Sunday a fun 4 x 2.5km Snowshoe Team Relay. Get your team together now. Event registration is available right up to just before the start of each event. So, it's not too late to join in the fun.