Viking Snowshoe Invasion coming


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  • PHOTO BY JANET REDYKE Mountain Creek will be the site of the Vernon Township Board of Recreation’s Viking Snowshoe Invasion on Jan. 27.



The Vernon Township Board of Recreation is sponsoring The Viking Snowshoe Invasion Race at Mountain Creek on Saturday January 27. Director of Recreation and Community Affairs Mishelle Downtain is excited and hopeful that the first event will become an annual happening in the township.

“This winter activity will be a fun filled snow fest and a challenge of one’s winter skill and fitness,” Downtain said.

Billed as charging the mountain, participants can ride the cab up to the top of the mountain and then choose to tromp out a 5K or master a one- mile downhill dash. Spectators can gather by the outdoor fireplaces and cheer their Viking on with plenty of hot cocoa to warm everyone.

According to REI Expert Advice Beginner’s Guide to Snowshoeing, snowshoeing began thousands of years ago as a form of transportation. Today, snowshoeing is a popular winter sport accenting recreation and low impact aerobic exercise. Citing the quote “If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” the REI website stresses techniques like widening your stance to avoid stepping on the frames, practicing going up and down hills and slopes and the use of poles.

Snowshoeing is a relatively inexpensive activity requiring snowshoes, warm clothing and footwear and a pair of poles. Native Americans were known to have developed the most advanced type of snowshoes with the Inuit, the Cree and the Iroquois using snowshoes for winter hunting parties. The Plains Native Americans wore snowshoes on winter bison hunts before the introduction of horses.

Registration for the winter snowshoeing activity can be completed online at https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Vernon/VikingSnowshoeInvasion or paper forms are available at www.vernontwp.com. The base registration fee is $30 to BYOS (bring your own shoes) or an $80 registration fee includes participation and a discounted pair of TUBBS snowshoes.

For further information on the upcoming Invasion, contact Mishelle Downtain at the Vernon Board of Recreation 973-764-4055 ext. 2261.

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