Bulletin News

Friendly competitors invited to Rough Raquette


Rough and ready winter Red Dragons are going to love participating in Rough Raquette, a new one mile or 5K walk or run at Raquette Lake on Saturday, Feb. 18.

This event, hosted by the William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education Outdoor Education Centers, will provide a social and recreational opportunity for alumni to banish the winter blahs while raising money for historical preservation of the former Camp Pine Knot, more recently named the W.H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Camp Huntington.

“The race is open to anyone,” said organizer Rhonda Pitoniak '01 M'16, director of outdoor education with the Parks Family Outdoor Center. “We are aiming to create awareness of our historic preservation needs with alumni and the greater Raquette Lake community.”

Camp Pine Knot is the first Great Camp of the Adirondacks and was originally built by William West Durant beginning in the mid-1870s. According to Pitoniak, the original log and bark-sided structures have held up well, but need constant upkeep and preservation to ensure they are here for future generations.

The inaugural Rough Raquette race takes place on Saturday, Feb 18.

The Rough Raquette will be part of the annual Raquette Lake Winter Carnival. Pitoniak hopes it will become a carnival tradition, like the Ladies Frying Pan Toss or Ice Golf.

“Raquette Lake got its name from the French word for snowshoe,” Pitoniak said. “Knowing that the weather cannot be predicted and winter everchanging, the name Rough Raquette seemed appropriate.”

The event will take place at 9 a.m. starting approximately a quarter mile from the village shoreline on a completely flat course on frozen lake. The short and longer snowshoe races will take place concurrently and share the same course for the first half mile. The competitive pack will head toward South Bay before looping back to town. This is an out and back race. Be sure to allow time to get to the starting area after your arrival. Everyone must wear snowshoes unless there is no snow. Loaner snowshoes will not be available.

Additional Rough Raquette details:

  • Prior registration/entry fee/waiver: Online race registration will be accepted. Registration on the day of the event will need to be cash or check only as no electronic devices will be available. In lieu of a registration fee, participants are asked to make a suggested donation of $30 for the 5K and $20 for the one-mile snowshoe. All money raised will benefit the Camp Huntington Historic Building Preservation Fund. All donations are final with no refunds or deferrals. Registration includes signing a liability waiver.
  • Packet pick up: begins at 8 a.m. on the ice in front of Raquette Lake Supply in the Village of Raquette Lake.
  • Race facilities: This event will be completely outside on the lake with a campfire near the starting line and portable toilets nearby on shore. Be prepared with warm clothing and dry clothes for after the race. Keep in mind winds on the lake can be strong at times. Suggested clothing includes warm layers, gloves, hat, long tights or waterproof breathable pants.
  • Gear: It is your responsibility to make sure that you have suitable traction devices that are safe for you to walk or run on. Snowshoes can be any style — metal, plastic or wood. Recommended traction devices includes Kahtoola MicroSpikes or NanoSpikes. Participants also can make their own pair of screw shoes.
  • Parking: Free parking is available in the village, but space is limited. Carpooling is encouraged.
  • Weather: In the unlikely event of no snow, we can still participate on the ice. A decision will be made 15 minutes before the race if snowshoes will be worn based on race day conditions. In the event of unsafe ice or windchill temperatures below minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the race will not take place. A decision will be made by noon on the day prior to the race.
  • Posted race results: The results listing will be available on our web site on Monday, Feb. 20.

For more information about Rough Raquette, contact Rhonda Pitoniak '01 M '16 at 607-753-5485.

The event overlaps with SUNY Cortland’s Alumni Winter Camp, which is happening at Camp Huntington from Feb. 18 to 23.

“The timing fits perfectly with alumni winter camp and the Raquette Lake Winter Carnival on the same weekend,” Pitoniak said. “It would be great for folks to come for the race and stay for the carnival.”

The winter carnival youth activities start at 11 a.m. and include plenty of games. The carnival will feature a Ladies Frying Pan Toss at noon, Ice Golf at 2 p.m. and bonfire all day. A fireworks display will begin at dusk on Saturday night. On Sunday at noon, it’s the Timed Cross-cut and chainsaw competition. Competitors welcome! For more information on the Winter Carnival, call 518-624-3077.