My buddy, Mike ("Q"), ran the 10k last year and has been bugging me ALL year to do this (I wussed-out last year from all the feet of snow and cold). I'm glad he talked me into it. The race director (Matt Vandersys of Endurance Sports) for this race always puts on really great quality events.
4/6 women, 8th out of 11 overall. I actually ended up running an extra .15...was following a couple and assuming they knew where they were going--oops. After a short way we realized that we weren't seeing the blue course marker flags, so had to back-track a short bit. My gender placement wouldn't have changed, as I was still quite a ways behind the 3rd place overall female.
Fantastic race...yummy beer (thanks to Old Boys' Brewhouse--they hold my very favorite HM every Sept. Swag includes a coupon for 20% off entire meal bill and a free XC ski session...also a nice embroidered fleece headband, instead of another cheesy cotton T), soup, muffins, and chips at the finish. Weather was great, too. Just around freezing, no wind, not a cloud in the sky.
Most people chose to do the snowshoe 5k or 10k, but our recent warm-temps had left the snow really flat and packed. I don't think snowshoes would have been any advantage under the circumstances. I wore my trail shoes and wish I had thrown the Yaktrax on, as they would have been useful during only a couple of stretches, but most of the course had good, sticky/gritty snow. Going up and down a couple of big hills had me sliding around...flat areas were perfectly fine, traction-wise. On the down side of the big hill I mostly slid on my ass after falling twice. It was slick from XC skiers snowplowing down (definitely not a hill I would even attempt on XC skis. There are some badass skiers in this area) and then the warmer temps melting and refreezing overnight. I had held off a snowshoer just behind me until this point--just past the half-way mark. Rats. :p
Bonus: Q and his buddy...who I shall call "the other Mike," came over from the other side of the state to run (they placed 1 and 2 out of 2 in the guys' 35-39 AG...but didn't stick around. Doofuses/doofi didn't get their medals -- Q, contact the RD, he's a good guy and I'll bet he'll mail you your awards). And Heather and 2 of her kids were our personal cheering section.
WAY fun race. I can't wait to do it again next year (and not get lost). I hope they can attract more runners...it was a nice race, but hard to feel very competitive with such a small field. So if you are within a reasonable drive of Muskegon, MI you should join us next year! :D