Yet again, Mother Nature gave us a perfect day for racing with temps reaching the upper 20s and fresh falling snow. Teams came from all over the US and Canada to race, including some from as far away as Kentucky, Ontario, Quebec, DC, and a huge contingent from Princeton. After getting maps at ~4:30am and having some time for questions and plotting, teams walked along a dark trail to starting line lit by luminaries. At 5:18, the racers were off - three snowshoe points in any order had the first teams back in just over an hour. From there, 4 cross-country ski points brought them to a crackling fire and smiling Jim who had them start candles for gear-check. One more CP and TA 2 meant a new map and leaving skis behind for an hour or so of post-holing toward the tyrollean traverse. With four ropes there weren't many bottlenecks, and most teams got past the challenge without needing assistance. Last but not least, 7 snowshoe points in any order, including a small cave (!) and a smiling family. Finally, the finishline! After trading the lead back and forth all day with Berlin Bike, teams Eastern Mountain Sports and EnduranceAventure.com pulled ahead to cross together in 1st place with a time on course of 7:49. Nipping close on their heels, teams Sunrise Cafe and Team Vermont crossed together to tie for 2nd with a time on course of 8:08. 10 teams finished the entire course, which is a huge accomplishment - this race was anything but easy, and as always there were quite a few teams brand new to the sport. (Including the Princeton folks - they loved the race. Other colleges - represent!) All teams were more than happy to shower, grab some Madhouse Munchies, and wait for dinner and prizes. A few even took advantage of the hot-tub and the ever-popular massage therapist.
If you have photos you'd like included, contact photos at gmara.org. If you write a review, article, or blog about the race (please do!), send a link to tim at gmara.org and I'll add it to the results page - great free publicity, and I can guarantee at least a hundred eager page-views for your site.