RASTA works to get kids outside and active in the winter
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association (RASTA) wants to get more kids get outside and moving this winter. To that end, the organization is offering youths discounted registration for the annual Snowshoe Hare snowshoe race Jan. 13, held at Holiday Acres Resort.
James Williams Middle School is providing use of the district’s snowshoes for any young people who don’t have them.
“Parents often don’t buy them because (kids are) going to grow out of them, so this is a great opportunity to try it, see if they like it,” said race organizer Anita Snyder. “We’re hopeful.”
Snyder said she is seeing an increase in silent sports participation among young people in mountain biking, but not yet in snowshoeing.
“Especially now that there is the composite (Rhinelander Northwoods mountain bike) team with middle and high schoolers,” Snyder explained. “There are a few cross country runners who run the (Snowshoe Hare) race, but not really any locals.”
Most of the young people come from out of town for the competition, Snyder added, because the race is part of the Braveheart series.
RASTA is charging a $10 fee for kids 17 and under, $15 with an embroidered hat. Adult registration fee is $25 before Jan. 10. A children’s race is free.
There are 5K and 10K race categories and 5K and 10K mountaineer categories, along with a free chidrens race. Registration takes place 8:30 -10 a.m.; the children’s race start time is 9:30 a.m., and adults begin at 10:30 a.m. Overall male and female winners will receive awards long with those finishing in the top three in each age division.
Snyder said snowshoeing can be done at any fitness level and she hopes to see people of all levels at the race.
“It’s soft on your knees, it’s soft on your joints so it’s not like walking on the road,” Snyder said. “Any size, shape, athletic ability; a lot of people walk the course and they have their walking poles and bless ‘em for being out there, it’s just awesome. If you can (finish the course) in 20 minutes or you can do it in an hour, the important part is you’re out there.”
For more information or to register, visit www.rastatrails.org.