As one intrepid race participant put it: "You think you're in shape, and then you do a snowshoe race."
The sun may have been shining and the snow hard packed but there was nothing easy about trekking up Mt. Hood at 4,200 feet in a 5-mile race to the finish.
And for first time racers Holly Bentley and Mark LaPlante, the course did not disappoint.
"Absolutely spectacular, anytime on the mountain is spectacular," LaPlante, who raced the 8K, said. It was the first time LaPlante had put on snowshoes since he was 16. Bentley took it a little easy on the 4k with her dog in tow.
"It was just good to see everybody out having a good time with the great weather. If you don't come out your missing it, for sure," she said, adding she plans to participate in all the X-Dog Events this year.
The race drew everything from first timers to seasoned runners, with the top male finisher Nick Scalfone crossing the line in 38 minutes and 15 seconds.
More than 200 adventurous spirits joined the race, some pushing themselves and running the whole thing while others took a more leisurely stroll, tossing snowballs and sipping beer at temptation station. No matter what the goal of the racer, the views could not be dismissed -from a clear, sweeping view of the top of Mt. Hood to non-stop views of the cascade range.
For photos, results and list of upcoming events, click here.