|The start of the rounds in the skate sprint race. I am on the one|
on the left with the pink hat on.
After a long drive down, due to some inclement weather, including snow, sleet and some freezing rain coming down in that order. I arrived on the eve of the last day of 2011. Exhausted after too many hours of stressful driving, I happily hit the hay long before the New Year. Instead, I was happy to wake up to a New Year feeling rested and ready to ski! At that point the first race, the sprint was still on for Monday. It wasn't until I was just getting up Monday morning around 6:15am that I got a call from David, my husband who was out at the venue early with the BNS crew testing wax and testing skis, that I found out that there would be no race on that day. Warm weather and rain all night long kept the trail from freezing and there was great concern about the man made snow lasting through the week if they held a race on it. The weather for Tuesday was expected to be much cooler , so another day of unexcited rest was thrown into the beginning of the week.
When the races finally did start Tuesday morning, it was a great day for a ski race. The temperatures did drop and the course set nicely and was CRAZY fast. The women's 1.4 kilometer sprint course was so fast that the top qualifying time by Jessie Diggins was under three minutes. The next thirty to follow, all those that then moved on to the rounds, were all within 18.1 seconds of each other. I was happy to be one of those top thirty which gave me another opportunity to race this crazy fast course with five other fast moving females, (six girls per heat).
Gunning it right from the start, I was in the mix three quarters of the way through the course. I then, before I knew it, lost a few meters in a short transition area and missed the draft going down the hill into the stadium. At this point I did my best to make up my lost ground, but ran out of real estate, as the finish was quickly upon us all. The top two from each heat moves onto the next round. I didn't make the cut.
While I was disappointed not to move on, I was very excited that I had the opportunity to race against these fast moving females. The tactics of these races are something that I have much to learn about. It is also tough to keep improving on this when I rarely do this kind of race and don't focus on this kind of racing in my training. Perhaps this is something I will change in the future. Perhaps.
Everyone enjoyed a day off following the skate sprint. Round two of the races began on Thursday morning. This time it was a race I am a little more familiar with, the 10km skate race. Three laps on this course completed this distance. I was happy to have a little better start position, starting just thirteen minutes in, where as in the past I had been starting close to the end due to my lack of USSA points. My start position enabled me to ski with and among a few of the top girls on various loops. I enjoyed the busy tracks, as nearly 160 racers were in this race along with me. I held strong through the first two laps and then felt myself slow down a bit on the third lap. In the end my time was good enough to put in me in 25th at the finish. I was ten seconds out of the top twenty and about a minute out of the top ten. Despite hopes of being a little further on the results sheet, I wasn't too disappointed in my performance. I do know that I have room to improve and can take that next minute off my time next go round. There is always something to work towards, isn't there.
|The trails at Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine. Not bad for all man made snow, not bad at all.|
Biathlon races in Jericho Vermont this coming weekend. The adventure continues....
Keep thinking snow,
|Austin Ross of Maine Winter Sports Center, having a good one in the men's 15km skate race on Thursday|
|It was fun to be in Western Maine racing. David and I were able to catch up with his folks, who live just down the road over the week!|
Where all the magic happens, the BNS wax cabin. While David was also in Rumford, I didn't see him as much as you might think. He and the rest of the BNS crew were working hard making the fastest skis out there. And I am very thankful for it!