Frozen Zucchini 5K Snowshoe Adventure Race Report

By , January 27, 2014 6:31 am

Yay! First race of 2014!


And, yep yep! Still the hardest race to date. Ha ha. 


The Frozen Zucchini Snowshoe Adventure is aptly named. And not just because of the “frozen” part! I mostly mean the adventure part! Snowshoeing is a lot of fun, and I find it really relaxing. Running in snowshoes… um… yes, adventurous!


I did this inaugural race in 2011 and have wanted to do it again. Not really sure why, because I find it so challenging. Maybe because I love the snow and don’t mind the cold! Or I’m just crazy. 

Would you run a snowshoe 5K?

Anyway, I told Erin she needed to do this race, too! And for some reason, she listened to me! Woo hoo!


We went to packet pickup on Saturday and I was really impressed by the goodie bag – not only did it have stuff I could use (check out that schweet neck gaiter, AND! I got to choose which color I wanted) – but it had vegan treats, too!



And we were quite lucky for race day, because it snowed a few inches overnight! YAY! Fresh powder to run on! I shall note, that there was no snow for this race in 2012 and 2013, and I find that very sad. 


I found the park with ease, we had enough time for Erin to work out some bib/sock issues and use the restroom, then it was time to put the snowshoes on and take off (after a beautifully sung National Anthem, I must add)!


Running in snowshoes is challenging, in my opinion. Heck, it’s challenging not to trip in them, when you are not running. Right at the start, I felt the burn in my hip flexors, as I focused on bringing my knees up a bit higher and widening my stance as to not trip myself! I knew this race would really work me, and it did. I had that upset stomach you get (or maybe just me?) from doing speedwork when I was done. And I wore my heart rate monitor for S&G – I was in the 180s the whole time. WITH walk breaks! Ha!

Still, I had fun. I tried to smile. I enjoyed feeling cozy and warm in my new Efit jacket. I did not enjoy cold snow flying up at my crotch. Hee hee. 


Erin and I started together, but I ran most of the race by myself. A goal was not to fall, and that didn’t happen, because I got overly excited when I saw a fellow snowshoer with an Iowa State hat on and wanted to give him a fist bump, and completely forgot to focus on what my legs were doing (you kind of have to, the whole time) and tripped myself! Ha ha! I got a good laugh from it, and gave me a fist bump after the race!

The course was two loops. It was interesting, we were more toward the front (of 180 runners (pdf here)) of the pack in the beginning, which made the terrain more challenging on the first loop, because it was not as “stomped” down! On the second loop, it was much better (but I had used so much energy on the first loop that it didn’t help me too much, ha ha!). 


I remembered when I ran this race in 2011, I was third in my age group, and they only did first and second age group placements. So I tried not to get passed too much. But dang, it’s so tiring! I really kicked it up for the last tenth of a mile and there was definitely a thought of “This is hard work. No way in hell I am doing a marathon this year. Working hard suxxxxxx.” as I approached the finish. 


I finished in 44:21 (only a little slower than my 44:09 2011 finish) which was good enough for second in the 30 and under (huh?) age group (out of 14 people). Unfortunately, I missed the age group awards because I was changing, but Erin picked up my award (a $25 Erewhon gift card) and got an award, too!

I am happy that Erin tried this race! I think being outdoors in the winter can be a lot of fun (and we had a great day – mid teens for the temp, a little bit of sun, and 15mph winds with gusts (<— last part is sarcasm)), and I like to share that with people. The race director mentioned this too – beside promoting their local farming/sustainable mission – that there are outdoor, healthy, fun winter activities. I really hope to use my snowshoes a few more times this winter, I mean, we have the snow! I told Erin she should come visit again and rent snowshoes so we can go out… for a walk! Ha! It’ll take a few days to recover from this race!


37 Responses to “Frozen Zucchini 5K Snowshoe Adventure Race Report”

  1. Pam says:

    I would loooooove to do something like that. I’ve never seen that much snow in my life!

  2. Erica says:

    Ooh! I want to come try this next year! I have never used snow shoes. I am going to rent some from REI to see if I like it after the vortex clears!

  3. bobbi says:

    one year I WILL do this with you! it looks like so much fun! 🙂

  4. Heather says:


  5. Anne says:

    Wow, if that took you 44 minutes, I can’t even imagine how long it’d take me. I may still be out there doing it! 🙂 Sounds like a fun challenge though! And aw, love the frozen zucchini!

    That seems like a good race to wear your HRM in too, totally not surprised by the higher HR! I keep meaning to wear mine just running in the snow, since mine feels like it’s up there too.

  6. Linz says:

    I so remember you doing this race back when, sounds like an awesome one. I live snowshoeing, but running in them is tough! Glad you had fun!!!

  7. Xaarlin says:

    Holy crap that looks fun in a very challenging way 🙂 my god your hr was at 180??? That’s like 5k race pace (which would be like half the time it took you in this race.) What a crazy ass workout! Dayum! And congrats on the AG placing 🙂 way to start off the year on the right foot!!

  8. OH MY GOSH. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think that I’d live near where something like this happens! I would love, love, love to try this next year, no joke artichoke!

    Also, I should try snowshoeing before any of that happens. ^_^

  9. Heather says:

    Way to go! Haha, I sooooo know that “working hard sucks: feeling lol. I empathize!

  10. This looks like a blast! I’m glad there was snow for you too. Congrats on a great race!

  11. Marcia says:

    The minute I saw we were getting fresh snow, I thought of you. Wow perfect conditions this year! I’ve never showshoed but I’d do that race in a heartbeat. Did Erin enjoy it?

    • kilax says:

      Aww, thanks for thinking of me! You should try the race! I think Erin was happy she did it, especially that she placed and got a giftcard! 🙂

  12. jan says:

    Wow, that looks so hard! My hubby does trail runs in snow shoe all the time but I haven’t tried it. Great job on the race!

  13. Kristina says:

    What a cool race! I’ve only been snowshoeing once – and we were definitely NOT racing! That’s got to be a great challenge.

  14. Michele says:

    Woo Hoo!! That’s awesome!!

    So..snow flying up your crotch? I’m not sure how that happened, but then again, I’ve never worn snow shoes…

  15. Tiina says:

    This looks like so much freaking fun! I’ve been snowshoeing a couple of times and I loved it. I’m jealous that you have snow that can actually be fun instead of just a pain in the butt!

    • kilax says:

      I do enjoy snow and try to find fun in it! Luckily, I haven’t had to drive in it much, this year 🙂

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  16. Erin says:

    So fun! So hard! But fun! It IS kind of like a marathon where when you’re doing it you’re like “EFF THIS!” But then when you’re done you’re like, “Let’s do that again!”

    In fact, next time I’m going to break 40 minutes. New random life goal!

  17. Losing Lindy says:

    did you have the snow shoes or were they borrowed? I have never been snow shoeing, I hear it is fun at the arboretum

  18. Wow, I’ve never heard of a race like this. Looks like fun though. Maybe next year for me? But I am such a wimp when it comes to running in the snow.

  19. Amy says:

    This looks like fun! Maybe you are convincing me to sign up for a snowshoe race. I LOVE the gaiter-always a great freebie for a winter race!

  20. Rachel says:

    hmmmm neckwarmer: you’re doing it wrong. 🙂

    That picture cracks me up.

    This looks like so much fun! I wish I could have joined you too, especially since the fishing derby we were going to do that day got cancelled. I guess there is such a thing as too much ice on the lake. Thanks again, polar whore-tex.

    Congrats on placing as well. And falling? 😉

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha ha! Well, I have seen diagrams that say you can use those as wraps on your head, too… that one was just so stiff and thick (twss).

      We would have had fun running together! I am sorry your derby got canceled. Will it be rescheduled? Is there a chance to injure yourself fishing, at this derby? 😉

      Ha ha. I haven’t heard polar whore-tex! HA HA HA!

      Thanks 🙂

  21. What a cool race (pun intended)! I love themed races, but I don’t know if I could swing this. I am so uncoordinated.

  22. Mica says:

    You and Erin are the cutest! Gah, I feel exhausted reading about this race. I imagine I’d get over the fun novelty of snowshoes almost immediately, as soon as I tripped on my feet. Also, I am amazed at that much snow. Oh, Midwest, you are so cold right now!!!

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha ha! Luckily, the trips aren’t so bad in to the snow! But I like them much better when I am using them to walk, not run. It’s a fun challenge though!

  23. […] my sorely belated recap of the Frozen Zucchini 5K Snowshoe Adventure race. Kim already wrote up a really awesome recap on her own blog which, really, you should probably just go read. But, in case you want my take, here […]

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