Summerstown Snowshoe Race

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Image depicts a number of participants that entered the 7th Annual Summerstown Snowshoe Race


Summerstown, ON – The 7th Annual Summerstown Forest Dion Snowshoe Race was held on Saturday, February 8, and despite the very cold temperature (-16 at start time), race director Gilles Parisien was very pleased with the turnout, as 42 participants were on hand.

Worse than the cold, it was the trail conditions that were the hardest for the runners. Despite packing down the 20-25 cm of fluffy snow that fell in the previous 36 hours, the trails were still soft, and the runners had to expend a lot of energy to move forward, akin to running in sand. This and the cold had a number of runners switch from the 7.5 km race to the shorter 4.4 race.

With the absence of local favourite Rob Lefebvre, who had won the previous three editions, Corey Turnbull, of Smith Falls, ON, took the title. He himself is a regular at the race, having claimed 2nd place two years ago. He really enjoys running the Summerstown trails, declaring, “I love the rolling terrain, the wooded first section and then through the conifers. There’s a magic at Summerstown Forest that I don’t find in other forests.” He likes it here so much that he brought a pair of 15-year-old runners from the club where he coaches, and they finished 1-2 in the shorter race, well ahead of the other racers.

On the women’s side, Lisa Leskien, from Cambridge, ON, reclaimed the title she had lost last year. Cornwall's Caroline Samson-Bélair finished in 3rd place. For the shorter race, Ottawa’s Heather Lewis came in 1st, with Melissa McGrath, from Monkland, in second place. After the race, an exhausted but happy McGrath exclaimed: “It’s so beautiful back there, it was worth the pain.”

This year’s race had an international flavour to it, with two participants hailing from the United States, on their way to Ottawa’s Winterlude. One of them lives in Beaumont, Texas! One wonders how much snowshoeing he does in Texas?

At the conclusion of the race, medals and prizes provided by local sponsors were handed out to the first-place finishers, and as is traditional, the rest of the prizes were drawn for amongst all the participants in the spirit of camaraderie which prevails in this sport.

The complete race results are available on the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series website.

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Gilles Parisien
Race Organizer
Cell: 613-361-4623

Jean-Pierre Tibi
FOTST Board Member
Home: 613-347-1229

About FOTST: The Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST) is incorporated as a non-profit group run by volunteers with a stated mandate to maintain and develop green, recreational trails for healthy outdoor activities in the Summerstown Forest. In recent years, an impressive amount of progress has been made specially with the addition of a new parking lot on County Rd. 27; also, trails have been improved and expanded and new grooming equipment and signage installed. Many activities are offered, such as races, instructional lessons, outings for schools and seniors and Family Day activities. Rental of XC ski and snowshoe packages and fat bikes is also offered on weekends. The Summerstown Trails are located on Summerstown Road, 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401.

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