Tuesday, February 22, 2011


“ Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
                                     Anais Nin

Me; resting My snowshoes; These are Not  Derrick's Dion snowshoes.
 What an exciting day! I was asked by my friend Derrick, www.healthandadventure.com, if I would like to come to his snowshoe race and take some photos.
 Derrick is the one who started me on the snowshoeing trail. I thought this would be fun, and my way to thank Derrick.
 It was a very early, very cold morning. There was not a lot of snow; we had a big thaw a few days before. There were patches of grass, and patches of ice, in all the fields that I passed on my way. I was wondering how anyone could possibly snowshoe, let alone race, in these conditions.
 I reached my destination:  “The Red Barn” and was so impressed to see everyone running about. Everything was so organized.
 There were volunteers signing athletes in, and arranging things before the race. There was a nice bonfire going, tables and chairs set up, and everything needed for the upcoming event. There were lots of smiling faces in anticipation. I was now excited.
 The athletes were dressed in their nice athletic wear; I was dressed in six layers, a funny toque, a hoodie, and two pairs of socks. They were warming up; I was cooling down. This was going to be fun.
 I could see how important this was, the athletes were focusing on the challenging six-kilometre trail through the bush. The terrain consisted of rocks, trees, high ridges, ice patches, wildlife, and a very tricky hill requiring a rope tied to a tree to pull you up. They were all pumped and ready to go.
 I take my position facing the starting line and the anxious athletes. I get my camera ready.
 As you know I take still shots, of things that are not running at me, I hope I can do this.
 The cowbell rings, they’re off. Snap, Snap. Run, Run. I run to the spot where they cross the road, before they reach it. Snap, Snap.  Boy they’re fast.  Pant, Pant.
 The determination and focus in their eyes impresses me. They are of all ages, challenging themselves, with courage and stamina. They all are racing for different reasons. I admire that.
 I am told I have a little time. I am thinking, “A little” it is six kilometres “should that not take at least an hour?”
 I think back to my own snowshoeing experience in the bush, six km should take about two days.
 I snap some photos of the children hanging from the top of an old apple tree, trying to get the bird’s eye view of the racers coming into the finish. Everyone is laughing reliving memories of other races and catching up on old times.
 One Mother is taking care of her children, in the tree, with a watchful eye. They are anxiously waiting for her husband, and their Father, to cross the finish line. This couple take turns racing; she had raced the last race while he watched the children.  He had his own cheering section.  It was nice to see a family so involved and supporting each other’s dreams.
 I hear someone call “someone’s coming”, I run to the finish line. It has only been 27 minutes. I take the shot.
 The lone racer sails through the finish line without even breaking a sweat. It was like he had just walked a few hundred yards. A true, gifted athlete, this looked easy for him. I was impressed.
 There were a couple of minutes, then in come the others, one and sometimes two at a time. Some looking like they were exhausted yet exhilarated. Some wondering how and why they had done this, others knowing exactly why. I commend their commitment to this sport.
 It was enthralling, seeing the competitiveness, determination, and courage of these racers.
 I had a great day - I can’t wait to see another race. I met the nicest people and ate the best chili.
 I take the time to stop and look at the snowshoes these athletes were wearing; they are surprisingly light, and compact. Now I understand how they can race. The athletes made it look so easy.
 I will continue to use my snowshoes in my bush. I will continue to take my time enjoying the view. I will carry my camera with me, and take shots of things that are not moving so fast. It was great experience.
 I thank Derrick and his family for inviting me, and their confidence in my abilities. It was fun.
 Who knows, someday I will be racing, bringing up the rear in my hour or two. “Never say never.”



  1. Thank you again Buttons for taking such amazing photos. They are just great memories for the runners to have from the day and what they have accomplished.

    I enjoyed reading about the race from your perspective.

    Hmmm..Sounds like you could be convinced to participate in the future. Can I sign you up for next year?? :)

  2. Well! I will have to think about that. I did love watching it. Thanks Derrick I had a great time. About the photos I am just glad they turned out. LOL B

  3. Congrats to you for stepping up to the plate for Derrick! I'll hop over there to see if your pictures are posted. What a great experience!

  4. Buttons, I loved your take on the race and the day, it was wonderful to see it all through your eyes. Your pictures are fantastic!!

  5. It all sounds so exciting. Great job on the pics and your perspective of the race.

  6. What excitement. Nothing like a real winter sport to get the blood flowing.Like you I think I would enjoy the pace of the farm. I kinda like looking around while I ski through the woods. The thought of racing would take the joy out of the watching but the thought I could race.....that just gets the blood flowing. My snowshoes are the old wooden type.

  7. Exciting for sure! I've never snow shoed, but would like to someday. Thanks for sharing the details, it sure sounded fun!


  8. Someday I'd love to try snow shoes!

  9. Yeay...you did it! At least you went to take pictures and enjoyed yourself. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a message. I'm going to check out your other blog! Have a wonderful day.
    Maura :)

  10. Nancy: Derrick and his family are like my family, I was happy to do it, even though I was nervous. You check them out. I know you are a great photographer, let me know what you think. B

  11. Sara Thank you I had a ball. B

  12. Heritage I love taking my time but it sure was exciting. Those wooden ones of yours would be hard to run in. The Dion ones are great. I may have to look into a pair of them.

  13. Kelle it was amazing fun. Thank You

  14. Alica you should it is so much fun and a practical way to get around. I love mine, but now I would like the lighter pair.

  15. Maura Thanks for stopping by I hope to see you again. B

  16. You make me want snowshoes. Freedom from the cross country trails, yes. A vehicle to carry me into the woods where I'd get myself in trouble, possibly. Fun, most likely. :o)

  17. You sound like you had great fun.

  18. Love your photos, Buttons! I so hoped to come home and run the Red Barn but couldn't sneak away from Edm right now. Your pictures and story helped bridge the gap and the disappointment for me. Thanks so much!!!

  19. Karen: It would have been wonderful if you had been there.There is always next year.Thank you B

  20. Leenie: You should get a pair.You will never go back to cross country skiing again. Freedom to go where you want to go. Trouble? in the woods, sounds like fun to me. B


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