UNION — The fifth annual Moose Mountains RunAround snowshoe race and Kids Snowshoe Shuffle, at Abenaki Ski Area in Wolfeboro took place in January. More than 60 participants, including 32 snowshoe racers, a dozen children, 15 volunteers, and supportive friends and family, participated in the fundraiser benefiting local land trust Moose Mountains Regional Greenways.

The snowshoe race course was two laps around a hilly two-mile combination of scenic ski trails and single track. Race Director and MMRG board member Dan Coons reported that John Carton, age 52, had the winning men’s time at 32 minutes, 26 seconds. The top women’s finisher was Haley Heinrich, age 26, with a time of 34 minutes, 55 seconds.

Heinrich, from Wolfeboro, is a long-time runner and loves the outdoors, but just recently started snowshoeing. This win was her first race on snowshoes. “It was such a great experience,” exclaimed Heinrich. “I liked the double loop, a chance to learn it the first time around and pace it the second time. And I liked the camaraderie; everyone was so friendly. But maybe the best part was the prizes – the moose hat is so awesome.”

This was the third Moose Mountains RunAround snowshoe race for participant Tom Zotti of Wolfeboro, who was dressed in patterned tights and neon yellow neoprene booties. Zotti explained that the booties, sold as bicycling gear, did a great job keeping his feet warm and dry during the race. He commented, “What better way to support the cause than to get out on the trails?” Zotti also helped mark the race course in advance, one of many volunteer tasks that went into producing the snowshoe race.

Following the snowshoe race, MMRG held a Kids Snowshoe Shuffle, which attracted more than a dozen participants. Kids got to try out loaner snowshoes from Tuftonboro Free Library while they ducked under foam hoop arches, walked through rings laid out on the snow, carried a stuffed moose in a shovel or candy in a spoon, and other challenges.

Many people, businesses and organizations contributed to the fundraiser. Board member Lorrie Drake, who helped plan and supervise the Kids Snowshoe Shuffle, thanked the many volunteers who made the event possible. Drake added, “We’d also like to thank our business sponsor Wolfeboro Oil Company for their generous donation, the Tuftonboro Free Library for kids’ loaner snowshoes, Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation for use of the terrific Abenaki Ski Area venue, lodge and trails, and Steve Flagg of Nordic Skier for his superb grooming of the trails.” 

For more information about Moose Mountains Regional Greenways, visit www.mmrg.info.

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