Winter Warriors at Fleet Feet Bend

Each season change in Central Oregon brings the opportunity to expand on our already remarkable outdoor activities only a place like Bend can provide.

As I write this I am hopeful for some good cold mornings and light fluffy deep snow. I look forward to snowshoe runningsnow shoes. It’s a great activity that gets people up to the mountains.

The trails we pounded with the rubber soles of our shoes now are covered in snow. The snowshoe
is in my opinion one of the best pieces of gear a runner could have for winter time. It doesn’t require a bunch of special gear or formal training. If you can walk or run, you can snowshoe. And you can test them out first at Fleet Feet. We carry the Atlas Run snowshoe and we rent them, too. To rent a set of shoes, just give us a call and we will get you on the list. $10 gets you an all day rental. It’s a good way to experience the sport without a huge commitment to equipment. Plus each rental fee gets applied toward the purchase of a new pair. Almost no good reason not to try it.  Rent a pair and go make some tracks. And you don’t have to do it alone.

To keep engaged, motivated and equipped be a Fleet Feet Winter Warrior. We want to make sure there are still activities to keep our running community plugged in.  Monday evening workouts to build on strength.  Wednesday fun runs get you over the hump, and Saturdays with Shoey snowshoe runs.

The gear can be as simply or well planned out as you like. I will say from experience there are some items that make your day that much more enjoyable. Quality base layers to start with. Gaiters toAltra Trail giater_A3463_Gray keep the snow out of your shoes. We carry the Altra trail gaiter; it’s lightweight and keeps the snow out of your shoes. Wind and waterproof outer layers that are light and packable because the conditions can change without a lot of warning. And often overlooked, hydration. Because it’s cold, you actually need just as much water. There are lots of ways to carry it with you including ultra lightweight hydration vests with insulated drinking tubes that won’t freeze. That’s happened to me before. It’s no fun with all that water and you can’t get it out. Insulated no-freeze water bottles are a good option as well.

Be a Fleet Feet Winter Warrior. We are going to have a Winter Warrior info meeting on December 7th, 6 pm, at the store. Any one of us at Fleet Feet would love to help you get the most out of this season and all the seasons to come. Thanks for being a part of the Bend running community.

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe Blog is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Welcome to Cascade Snowshoe Runners

Winter is on its way and it is time to start thinking about snowshoe running!

As previously posted, we have a few changes this year.

First, we are excited to announce our new group name: Cascade
Snowshoe Runners
.  Our Saturday running events will be called Saturdays with Shoey.

Our spirit and vision have not changed at all, just our name. We honor and thank our founder Laura as she pursues new adventures this year. We hope to have a few “Laura sightings” at our events throughout the winter.

Secondly, we are happily returning to weekly runs. We will meet every Saturday at the west side Safeway at 8:30 AM to carpool. We typically gather near the Starbucks coffee stand inside the Safeway store. Our tentative start date is Saturday December 12th snow permitting.

Lastly, put on your dancing shoes and start the1891289_10203200340512287_727794098_n - Copy snow dance ASAP! After a summer playing in the dirt, we are looking forward to reconnecting with all of you this winter.

Keep checking in for updates.  You can get emailed updates from this website clicking on the link to left.  Daily chatter happens over at our new Facebook page here.

Get Yer Snowshoes On!


Mt. Bachelor area is pretty much the place with enough snow coverage to safely snowshoe right now, so that’s where we’ll go!

Distance of the snowshoe loop from Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center and out to Todd Lake is ~4.3 miles. With sun in the forecast, there should be gorgeous mountain views!

Gather at BackPorch Coffee in Century Center at 8:30am. Pick up a coffee or pastry for the drive, and be ready to leave at *8:40am*.

I won’t be there this week; Pat​ will be taking lead in my place. I will still see some of you for volunteering at Mastondon 10-ish Miler on Sunday though! Have fun!

Bessie’s A Beaut, and Horse is too!


Beaut, Butte. Get it? 😉

Since there’s still no new snow, we’ll do this dirt trail run, an out-and-back with a butte hike at each end. It’s 7.2 miles if you do the whole enchilada, or choose your own distance by turning around at any time.

We’ll park at the base of Bessie Butte and take the trail up to the top and back down. That’s ~1.5 miles. Then we’ll run right by our cars and hop on the Swamp Wells trail out to Horse Butte. The trail is easy terrain and very gentle. Hike up Horse Butte, then turn around and head back to our cars at Bessie.

Though you can turn around at any time for a shorter run, I highly recommend the whole shebang, which at just over 7 miles *includes* summiting both Bessie and Horse Buttes. From the top of Bessie, you can see Horse, and from the top of Horse, you can see Bessie. It’s pretty amazing to see where you’ve come from and where you’re going. It feels a little exciting and adventurous.

Who does cool stuff like this? YOU DO!!! If, like me, you’ve had a trying week, come out with us and feel empowered. Today I hike-jogged the route in just over 2 hours.

If it’s windy, you’ll want a windbreaker and gloves. I was very glad I had both today!

Meet at 8:30am, in the Bend Fred Meyer parking lot, north of the Freddie’s gas station; park along 3rd Street. Carpool/caravan will leave there at 8:40, and we’ll be on the trail by 9am.

Sugoi Shirts have arrived!


Our custom Sugoi Snowshoe Run With Laura shirts have arrived (and look fabulous, BTW)! If you ordered one (2+ months ago now), go in to Footzone to pick it up any time during business hours. Remember, you’ve already paid for it! If you missed out on ordering one, Footzone has a limited number of sizes for both women and men for sale. But hurry, they’ll go quick!

January 17th Run


This week we’ll be doing our snow dances on the Todd Lake Snowshoe Loop starting from the Mt. B Nordic Center. This is a *totally* different run from the other two times we’ve started from the Nordic Center, so don’t miss out!

Distance of the loop, with the short side-trip to Todd Lake is ~4.3 miles of rolling hills, big ol’ trees, and a couple gorgeous meadows. There is currently a ~1/2 mile flagged detour on the snowshoe loop to avoid unsafe or non-existent creek crossings due to the low snowpack. We will be taking this detour on Saturday, so if you know this SS loop, come experience something a little different. The detour takes us by the Watertower. Come see what I’m talking about. I ran this detour loop today (Wednesday) alone; it’s totally safe and quite enjoyable.

As always, please bring water and calories. With any luck, we’ll have a bit of new snow for our snow-dance journey!

As usual, gather at BackPorch Coffee in Century Center at 8:30am. Pick up a coffee or pastry for the drive, and be ready to leave at *8:40am* Looking forward to seeing you then.

Swampy Shelter Sunshine – Jan 3rd Run

The trail


We’ll run an out & back from Swampy SnoPark to Swampy Shelter, a ~4.25 mile round-trip over forested rolling hills on well-packed trail. Please run with water and some calories. Thank you.
Drivers: a SnoPark permit is required.

Gather at BackPorch Coffee in Century Center at 8:30am. Buy a coffee or pastry for the drive, and be ready to leave at *8:40am*. (This is a change from our previous carpool time of 8:45.)

Looking forward to running with you in the gorgeous winter sunshine!

Snowshoe Races are for all Paces


Snowshoe races are quickly approaching! There are four in the area in the next couple of months. Anyone can participate in a snowshoe race. They are low-key and friendly. There are usually a small number of participants intent on racing. Most folks jog or walk-jog for the fun experience of it all. I encourage you to give it a try. Anyone can do it regardless of snowshoe experience. Gather your friends and give it a go!

Below is a description of the four snowshoe Fun Runs and Races (listed in order by date) near us this winter. Chances are we’ll have multiple runners  headed to each of these events. Look for carpool information on the SRWL Facebook group leading up to each event. If you’re not on FB, email for info. See you “at the races!”

1) Sunday, January 18th, 10am – White River Snowshoe 4k/8k


The “the oldest and largest snowshoe race in the west” starts at White River West SnoPark on Mt. Hood’s SE flank. The 8k race is also a regional qualifier for the US National Snowshoe Championship, so there will be a few seriously fast runners here, but most of the 200+ participants take part for the fun challenge. I’ve seen people here on snowshoes for the very first time, hiking with poles, or with a baby on their back. Everyone is truly welcome.

If you are interested in qualifying for the US Snowshoe Nationals, you need to be a member of the US Snowshoe Association and (in a nutshell) place in the top 5 in your age group in the 8k race. It’s generally easy to qualify, as most race participants aren’t USSSA members. All of us who participated in this race the last couple years and wanted to qualify for Nationals did. So if seeing your name on a list of qualified athletes for the US Snowshoe Nationals motivates you, go for it! White River is our closest Nationals qualifying race this year.

The 4k race is a skinny loop along the White River Canyon. There are great views of Mt. Hood. The first 1/2 of the loop is uphill along the canyon rim to the end of the canyon, then it loops downhill through the trees. The finish is very fast. The 8k race does two loops. There is a drawing for some nice prizes afterward, and some snacks and beer.

2) Sunday, January 25th, 11am  – Tour for the Heart

Photo: Robert Curzon

This event is a 5k XC ski or snowshoe that starts at Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center, and is a fundraiser for women’s heart health.  It is wonderful seeing snowshoe hikers and runners along with both classic and skate skiers all having fun and getting along. The course is mostly flat with a couple small hills at the beginning and end. A special loop is groomed around Dutchman Flat just for this event, with gorgeous views of Mt. Bachelor. In the past, Elk Lake Resort has had their “Snowburban” on the loop with an aid station. Costumes are encouraged, with prizes for the best ensembles. There is a Group Challenge where groups with 10+ signed up are in a special raffle drawing. Type “Snowshoe Run With Laura” in the Group Affiliation box during online registration.  A couple years ago we got a really nice bag of goodies to divvy up. This is not technically a race, but a “tour,” so there may or may not be a timing clock at the finish. It’s a fun and fast course; if you’re inclined to race it and want to know your time, wear your Garmin.

3) Friday, February 13th, 6:30pm – Hoodoo Snowshoe 4k

Photo: Robert Curzon

This super-fun night-time race is held on the rolling hills of Hoodoo’s groomed XC ski trails! Wear your headlamp and follow reflective markings. There are volunteers on the course so you won’t get lost. Warm-up afterward with snacks and prizes in the lodge. Racing at night— how cool is that?

4) Saturday, February 28th, 11am – Snow Lovers Loop 4k/8k

This small and friendly event starts at the rustic Odell Lake Lodge near Willamette Pass. Runners and walkers of all ages enjoy a forested course that winds through the rolling hills of the lodge’s Nordic trails.  Last year, Sasquatch made an appearance at the starting line, and was also featured on the rustic age group medals, which were crafted from slices of tree limbs!  A post-race lunch in the restaurant at Odell Lake Lodge is included.  After lunch, enjoy the roaring fire in the lodge’s fireplace, or wander along the lakeshore and watch for resident eagles.  Odell Lake Lodge, which dates from 1903, is a cozy and inviting venue for this fun, low-key event.


Dec. 20th Run


Take a break from the holiday hubbub for a snowshoe run with friends!

We’re going where the best snow is, so we’ll start at Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center and head out to the Cascade Lakes Highway. But that’s where similarities to last time end. We’ll take a right on the highway and head out to Dutchman Flat, then follow ski trails along the tree line, looping around the east and north sides of the flat. Then we’ll head into the forest and marvel at the grand, giant old trees before hopping on the Todd Lake snowshoe trail back to the highway and Common Corridor back to our cars. The run is right about 3.75 miles of gently-rolling terrain.

Meet 8:30am at Backporch Coffee Roasters Century Center location (70 SW Century Drive). Carpool leaves at 8:45. See you then!

Chasing Shoey since 2011

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: