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A new movement:

Veronique Fortin, Canadian National Cycling Champion; Procyclist Natasha Elliott, Pro-cyclocross racer; National Team Lise Meloche, Two-time Olympian World Cup Gold Medalist; Biathlon Nicky Cameron, Adventure Racer; Anne Jean, 2014 Canadian Ultra Running Champion; Sophia Tsouros, Adventure Racer. PHOTO CREDIT: Team Natural Fitness Lab. Digital IMAX film shoot by 02films,  currently in production, release Spring 2015.

Snowshoe running This fun, physically challenging sport can lead to superior body conditioning. By Joanne Richard

H

ead for the hills, parks and trails—it’s time to channel your inner Yeti. Snowshoe running is taking off and offers a great form of training throughout Canada’s long winters—it sure beats winding your way along slushy city streets, or putting in time on a treadmill. For those tempted to slow the pace over the cold months, take winter in stride and consider that snowshoe running provides excellent adventure, fitness and competitive opportunities. “You can get all the benefits of running but at much lower risk, plus more enjoyment and reward,” says Dave McMahon, pro athlete and coach at naturalfitnesslab.com. “It’s the most fun you’ll have in the snow all season,”says McMahon, who hosts snowshoeing and Nordic skiing clinics in Ottawa for all abilities and levels, from beginners to racers.

GET STRONGER, FASTER

Snowshoe running is an ideal supplementary training tool and a cross-over sport that attracts athletes from multiple sports— runners, skiers, cyclists, and triathletes all compete on an equal footing, says McMahon,

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an elite snowshoer who was a silver medalist at the national championships, and placed in the top 20 at the world championships in 2012. Snowshoe running leads to superior body conditioning, “building functional core strength, cardiovascular endurance, aerobic power, agility, balance, and confidence in a pragmatic, inclusive and natural environment.” A University of Vermont study reports that running in snowshoes during the winter months can actually boost overall fitness levels more than running alone. Add the resistance of hilly terrain with powder, and athletes are sure to come up fitter and faster by springtime.

GAINING GROUND

“It’s the fastest-growing winter activity in North America,” says Derrick Spafford, a longtime competitive trail and snowshoe runner, and coordinator for the six-race Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series. “With the increased number of snowshoe races taking place, snowshoe running makes up a very large percentage of this increase.” Trail running has also shown tremendous growth and many trail runners are using

Snowshoe running events ACROSS CANADA: • Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series (madtrapperracing.com) • Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series (healthandadventure.com) • Tubbs Romp to Stomp Snowshoe Series includes an event in Collingwood, ON (tubbsromptostomp.com) • Also check out snowshoemag.com for more races.

snowshoe running as a way to stay on the trails during the winter months, says Spafford. “Triathletes and cyclists are also finding it a great means and enjoyable way of staying fit during their off season.” “Many athletes are now thinking of snowshoe running as their primary racing season and summer sports as the offseason,” says Spafford, owner of Spafford Health and Adventure, which is the official Canadian distributor of Dion Snowshoes. 

iRun because it makes me eat well. Chrystal Fuller, Nova Scotia

IRun | Digital Edition | Issue 01 2014  

The official magazine of iRun Nation

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