Snowshoe Running 101: Learn From a Pro

Former U.S. national team racer Laurie Lambert schools beginners in the basics

Former USSSA National Team member Laurie Lambert.     Photo: Matt Dreier

After obtaining a pair of Outside-endorsed Atlas Run snowshoes, I registered for a snowshoe-racing clinic in Red River, hosted by Laurie Lambert, a member of the U.S. national snowshoe team. Lambert has represented the United States at the World Championships three times, and in 2007 she won a bronze medal on the Dachstein Glacier in Austria. “She’s a competitive athlete, but for her it’s all about the joy,” says Ellen Miller-Goins, co-owner of EFXC.

Before the clinic, I had several email exchanges with Lambert, who offered to let me borrow her Dion racing snowshoes and told me to contact her “any ol’ time” about my own training and racing. When I encountered Lambert for the first time at the EFXC lodge, she was enveloped in the usual hustle and bustle of people and dogs that frequent such places, but she took the time to meet everyone who had made the trek to Red River. She’s a wispy woman—five and a half feet tall and 112 pounds—with striking looks to match her big personality: piercing blue eyes, flyaway auburn hair, a wide smile with perfect teeth. She speaks with a subtle Texas twang, and introduced herself as “Laaaw-rie” to the 20 or so folks who attended the clinic. Then she stuffed us full of homemade breakfast burritos and white-chocolate cranberry cookies and launched into Snowshoeing 101.

Lambert plans to host the clinic again this December, but you don’t have to wait 'til then—or travel to New Mexico—to reap the benefits of her expertise. Thankfully Lambert agreed to let me share her words of wisdom with Outside readers. Read on for more about what to expect, how to choose the right shoes, what to wear, and how to get better, faster. 

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