A Time to Run---- A Time to Snowshoe

From Frank Gaval

     Some twenty years ago when running was not so popular, many of the participants in the sport often heard comments such as: You ran how far? Are you CRAZY?

     Now with the great emphasis on fitness, no one is surprised when a friend mentions that they’re attending an aerobics class, taking part in a triathlon or even a marathon. And even with this increased awareness of the importance of staying fit, many individuals overlook the benefits found in outdoor winter activities. Many prefer the local health club or spa with their variety of programs. That’s fine. However, winter offers a great many outdoor sports. There’s ice-skating, tubing, cross-country and downhill skiing as well as snowshoeing.

     But for the runner who is interested in fitness year round, the sport of choice in the winter besides X-C skinning is snowshoeing. Snowshoeing offers fitness levels similar to running.

     The fitness industry has become big business with TV shows, books, CD’s and specialty clothing to match. Running was the leader in this boom and now snowshoeing is growing by leaps and bounds. One can see the expansion and development of each sport parallel each other dramatically.

     Runners have discovered triathlons, mountain biking, and now snowshoeing. Many will continue to run and compete thru the winter months. But in area where the snow covers roads and cold temperatures decrease one’s motivation to put in a few miles, snowshoeing makes a sensible alternative. Of course, mechanics are a little different and muscle groups involved differ slightly, but snowshoeing is inexpensive and can be done practically any where there is snow.

     The new snowshoes are small, lightweight and need little instruction on their use. Any type of shoe can be used with the snowshoe even running shoes. So, snowshoeing can be a great training alternative because of the same unique qualities which attracts so many to the sport of running.

     This winter sport offers racing opportunities as well as activities the whole family can do together. The kids love being on snow. Not many youngsters will want to pound the pavement with running but they’ll jump at the chance to be on snow either skiing or snowshoeing. Take time to try this expanding sport to your life, in which case you may find your running a break from snowshoeing.

     For additional info contact the United States Snowshoeing Association or

FRANK GAVAL 570-788-4219. e-mail: [email protected]

CHECK THE CALENDAR SECTION AT for area Snowshoe racing events.