By Lyle Carter
Several snowshoe enthusiasts are expected to converge on the Wentworth Hostel at Wentworth Station Sunday morning.
The Snowshoe Boogie Snowshoe Race gets underway at 10 a.m. and registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
Everyone is welcome," said race organizer Conor Scallion. "A lot of interest has been shown from Truro, Halifax and Moncton. I'm hopeful we might see 50 or more people snow shoeing Sunday morning."
The event will be a first for Scallion, as the 33-year-old wanted to put together a competition to break up winter.
"With snowshoeing becoming more and more popular we're just looking for something for mid-winter," he said. "The interest people have shown has definitely been encouraging. My wife Christine and some friends are helping me organize things."
The snowshoe race is not only for advanced and competitive snowshoers, but for skills of all levels.
"Some people will be less competitive than others," Scallion said. "Snowshoers don't really have to race the trail. They can take their time and enjoy themselves. The loop offers an excellent viewpoint. There's some beautiful scenery along the hostel trail."
The cost per person is $40 with a family rate of $140 being offered. One family fun loop will be 2.5km, another 5km and another 11km.
"For the real keeners, there will be a 22 kilometre loop," Scallion said. "Personally, I'm a racer by nature and if a lot of snowshoers are getting together then let's make it a race as well. For anyone who would like to join in but doesn't have snowshoes, they'll be able to rent from Hub Cycle in Truro or here at the Wentworth Hostel."
Scallion said snowshoeing is good exercise, healthy, close to nature and a great outdoors event.
"We have plenty of prizes to give out following the race," he said. "Hub Cycle and the Bike Monkey of Truro are our main sponsors. We'll also be serving hot chocolate. Snowshoeing has become a lot more assessable in the last few years due to advances in snowshoe technology. Modern snowshoes are narrower, far more easy to use and much more comfortable."
Scallion began snowshoeing early in life.
"When I was a young kid I used the big beaver tales. They were the classic snowshoes with wooden frames, leather webbing and leather bindings," he said. "It was 2004 that I got my first pair of modern aluminum snowshoes. I've done most of my snowshoeing in Wentworth on the hostel trails. I've also snowshoed the Red Tail Reserve in Pictou County. I enjoy making a few trips into Victoria Park in Truro each year to snowshoe as well."
Bruce Roberts, owner of Hub Cycle, has plenty of knowledge when it comes to snowshoeing.
"My wife Daisy offers guided snowshoe treks through Victoria Park on Saturday mornings and Thursday nights," Roberts said. "I make the Thursday night treks. Snowshoeing is often more of an event or an experience than a race. I find that there's two types of snowshoers out there. With the recreational snowshoers, it's great for taking in the beauty of the surroundings. Of course, for the more competitive snowshoers, they really enjoy racing."
Roberts described snowshoeing as a very fast growing winter sport.
"Snowshoeing events such as Sunday morning at the Wentworth Hostel are becoming much more popular," Roberts said. "The casual snowshoer taking in the Snow Shoe Boogie will have a lot of enjoyment. The recreational snowshoer will want to take in this event. It is not just for the competitive snowshoer. I think this is a great idea Conor came up with. I'm looking forward to helping out Sunday."
For more information contact Scallion at 899-8259 or look for the snowshoe boogie Facebook page.
Lyle Carter's sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.