Name: Katie Mazzia
Home Base: Eagle, CO
Occupation: Registered Dietitian/Certified Diabetes Educator
Years on Atlas Racing: 4
My first experience was in 1995, with a pair of old, heavy Atlas snowshoes walking on a snow-covered golf course - I never thought you could run or race in them. In 2002, I started trail running with the Eagle Mountain Runners group. When it snowed, our 5:15 AM trail runs turned into snowshoe runs, falls, slides and a serious cardio workout. I borrowed a pair of medium-weight running snowshoes and was relieved to have them for my first snowshoe race. The 4-Miler Snowshoe (Pedal Power) was beautiful single track through the woods, straight up and down with some obstacles like fallen trees, branches and rocks. I stayed on track, fell flat on my face once, and was happy I didn't end up with a puncture wound. I graduated to my second pair of borrowed lighter snowshoes from Anita Ortiz, along with the advice to mount my running shoes directly to the snowshoes (good tip!).
Finally, I joined Atlas and experienced the fun of super-light snowshoes and the ease of running on snow. Every year I still look forward to winter and the snowshoe racing season. It's an awesome social "cult" activity where you see the same great people, hope for a raffle prize and eat a free hot meal! I mostly race for fun and enjoy trying to keep up with others. Plus it puts you in awesome shape for spring trail running.
To snowshoe as much as possible, stay upright, get lost and find my way back.