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Embrace snowshoe racing with Snowshoe Canada's new virtual event

Snowshoeing is the sport we need right now

Going into winter without organized sporting events and with a need to keep physically distant from others means activities are limited. But, some are seeing a major resurgence in interest. And one of those is snowshoeing

What could be better than walking or running through the fluffy white stuff and taking advantage of our incredible parks system, which is very quiet this time of year? Add the competition and camaraderie that comes from a virtual event, and there is the potential for many to embrace this active and fun pastime. 

Snowshoe Canada is the governing body for all snowshoe-related activities in Canada. And the organization is gearing up to provide some virtual event experiences for both those new to the sport and experience snowshoe athletes. 

“Our mandate is to grow the sport by encouraging organized snowshoe events that allow people of all abilities to engage in the activity,” says David Robinson. “Snowshoeing is an excellent winter activity that is inexpensive to get into and provides excellent physical and mental exercise which helps maintain good health during the winter months.”

In an average year, the association would promote a dozen snowshoe events across Canada. With the pandemic still at hand, in-person events are tricky. Virtual events, however, are great and could be something that someone new to the sport might enjoy while at the same time keeping the competitive fires fuelled for experienced athletes. 

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, and running until March 21, anyone living in Canada can participate in the new Snowshoe Canada virtual event. To participate anybody of any age or ability can go to snowshoecanada.ca and register.

“The idea of this virtual event is to allow anyone anywhere in Canada to participate in snowshoeing by doing their choice of three different distances 2k, 5K or 10K,” Robinson says. “Participants can do the distances anywhere they want any time between Jan. 1 and March 21.”

Participants can snowshoe the distance of their choice as many times as they want throughout the winter. They can do it solo or with friends, relatives, or business colleagues. Distances can be measured by using various forms of GPS track devices such as an iPhone app, Strava or Garmin. 

When they have completed the distance of choice they can send back their times and we will send them a finishers medal and a swag item still to be determined.

Top finishers will receive additional prizes. The virtual event champion will be announced in late March 

“We want participants to get out and snowshoe as a means of getting some good quality outdoor exercise as well some invigorating mental stimulation,” Robinson says. 

According to Robinson, the best spots to snowshoe in Canada are ski resorts, municipal, provincial or federally owned parks. Most of these places offer groomed and maintained trails that are well marked. They usually offer rentals and a chalet for changing, get warming and having a snack.

“The sport is growing at a rate of 20 to 30 per cent a year and is growing faster the cross country skiing. It is inexpensive to get into and easy to learn,” he says. “Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to get outside during the winter get some exercise and feel great.”

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