Snowshoes going fast for unique winter race

Super Snowshoe Shuffle slated for Sparta

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  • The snowshoe race last year at Mountain Creek Photo by Vera Olinski

By Laurie Gordon

A unique event is “returning” to Sparta on February 3. Last year, due to lack of snow, the inaugural Super Snowshoe Shuffle was moved to Mountain Creek. This year, the event organizers are hoping to hold the event in Sparta at Station Park. The Shuffle may not be until February, but if you want to reserve a pair of snow shoes, it's savvy to sign up soon.

“The Sparta Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) and Main Street Events NJ are looking forward to getting many folks active during a quiet time of the year,” said race director Andy Ball.

The Superbowl Weekend event will start at 10:30 am on groomed trails through bucolic Station Park.

“We recommend bringing a warm change of clothes, sun glasses and hand warmers,” Ball said. “There are two options for participants: the 5K (3-mile event) or the 1.2 mile. There will be music and prized, custom medallions for the top male and female finishers in both events.”

About those snowshoes.

Ball said, “ We have 100 shoes to give out while supplies last for the $85 entry. When we exceed 100 new shoe requests, then entry will be $125. If you have snowshoes, you'll save as entry through race day would be $30.”

The Welcome/Sign Up Center will be at 38 Station Road at Sparta P.A.L. Snowshoe pickups and paper registration will be held on Friday, February 2 from 5-8 p.m as well as as Pre Packet pickup. Online registration will close Feb 2 at 12 noon. You can also sign up at the Sparta Police Station on Jan. 12 and 26 from 5pm to 7 pm. Snowshoe consultation and hot refreshments by Action Bikes will be included. Participants will also receive a winter event hat, while supplies last. as well as hot refreshments and massages.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Sparta Police Athletic League. The PAL is managed by the recently retired Police Chief Ernie Reigstad. Sponsors for the event are also being sought. If interested, contact Andy Ball for sponsorship options and some great exposure at a very one-of-a-kind event.

And one of a kind it is.

“[Reigstad] and I knew the Sparta PAL was being supported and promoted by Train Creative and Main Street Events NJ, both believing that continued wellness efforts throughout the year would be best for fundraising and public relations,” Ball said. “Who does anything in February we asked. And why not during the most exciting weekend of Superbowl Sunday? This event is a one of a kind in New Jersey."

Ball added that High Point Cross Country Ski Center is looking forward to some day having this event held at the state park.

"It seemed a monumental achievement to have moved from the green grasses of Sparta in 2017 to welcome 125 people to the snow blown Mountain Creek facility," Ball said. "The state park, as many know, is much flatter and accommodates this type of general fitness event with fire pit, indoor facilities and full equipment support and store.”

For information and to register for the event, visit To become a sponsor, contact Ernie Reigstad at: 973-534-7447 or Andy Ball at (973) 222-8748.

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