Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

February 22, 2014

Snowshoe race supports nature preserve

TRAVERSE CITY — Racers looping the Grass River Natural Area have the chance to experience childhood winter bliss today at the Grass River Shiver snowshoe race.

Executive director Haley Breniser said it seems like she’s a kid again when she straps on a pair of snowshoes and runs along the trails.

“You have snow flying from the back of your snowshoes and you’re just running through the woods,” Breniser said. “I don’t have the best knees, so running isn’t great for me, but running in snowshoes is better because it’s kind of soft. It reminds me of being a kid and loving to be in the snow.”

The Grass River Shiver is usually part of the preserve’s winter festival, but the festival was scaled down this year because of staff changes at the preserve. Breniser started in November 2013 and hired James Drake as the new education director in February 2014.

The Grass River Natural Area is a 1,443-acre nature preserve in Antrim County and home to nature education classes and events.

The course is a five-kilometer loop through the natural area’s hardwood forest and cedar swamp. Some racers will do the course twice for a 10-kilometer distance. Registration is at 9 am and the race starts at 10. Registration costs $25, and racers get a voucher for a free bowl of soup from sponsor Short’s Brewing Company. Money raised will support Grass River Natural Area programs.

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