Each winter, the Western Massachusetts Running Club hosts a snowshoe race series between December and March, mostly in Massachusetts State Parks. Connecticut resident Edward Alibozek started the series 16 years ago and has been running it with his friends ever since.
The races happen only in the Berkshires because that’s the only place where there will be snow deep enough to snowshoe consistently throughout the winter. Places that have hosted races include Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Mount Greylock State Reservation in the Lanesborough and the Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest in Hawley. On Saturday February 19, I attended a race at Mount Greylock (see video below).
“DCR just makes it so easy to host these races,” said Alibozek. “We have to get all our own permits to use the state parks, but they’ve always helped us out.” Not looking to make a profit, Alibozek charges a $5 entry fee for participants to cover costs. This isn’t his day job, so anything that helps him out allows him to continue the series, he said.
“Anyone can come out and race,” he said. “Heck our oldest racer is in his 80s and our youngest at age 14 or so.” And if you’ve never snowshoed before, these races aren’t a bad way to try. Beginners are always welcome, said Alibozek. “Walk or run, we all have a good time.” The 2010-2011 WMAC Snowshoe Series ends this Saturday, March 19.