The Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST) will host their annual snowshoe race on Saturday, February 8, in the Summerstown Forest.
The Summerstown Forest Dion Snowshoe Race (7.55 km) is part of the Dion Ontario Snowshoe Running Series (held in various locations in Eastern Ontario) and will be the fourth race of the season for the eight-race series. In addition to local runners, this race attracts athletes from the Ottawa, Kingston, and Montreal areas.
Local favourite Rob Lefebvre, who lives just down the road from the Summerstown Forest and has claimed the title numerous times in the past, is sidelined this year and will not be taking part in the race.
The Ottawa region will be well represented again this year, and the organizers hope that more local runners will sign up and challenge for the title. On the women’s side, Lisa Liskien, from Cambridge, will be back, hoping to improve on her third-place finish last year, after winning the race a couple of times herself in the past.
As was the case last year, a second shorter race will be offered at the same time: the Summerstown Forest Challenge Race (4.4 km). This shorter race is designed to attract more local recreational runners and younger racers.
Participants in both races are usually split evenly between male and female runners. Dion Snowshoes will provide a limited number of racing snowshoes for rental on a first-come, first-served basis. These snowshoes can be reserved at the time of online registration.
Both races are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will be run on the beautiful tree-covered snowshoe trail network of the Summerstown Forest. Race director Gilles Parisien, himself a snowshoe racer, declared the Summerstown Trails course to be one of the best in the race series.
To register for the race, please visit the FOTST website at www.summerstowntrails.com
Race registration is capped at a maximum of 150 competitors. Race day registration will only be available 150 hasn’t been reached by race day.
Pre-registered athletes are eligible to receive a souvenir. There will be post-race draw prizes, hot/cold snacks, and awards for top finishers. Organizers will make a donation to Beyond 21, a charity that provides support to adults with developmental disabilities, on behalf of each runner who completes the race.
– with files from Jean-Pierre Tibi
The Summerstown Trails are located on Summerstown Road (County Road 27), 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401 at Summerstown Station.
Through the winter, on weekends FOTST offers the rental of cross-country ski and snowshoe packages, as well as fat bikes.
For the latest conditions and more information, check out the Summerstown Trails on Facebook.