Tuesday, February 12, 2008

BC Championships - Race Report

Race Weekend schedule looked like this:

Thurs - Arrive
Friday - Preview the course - 60 minute gentle ski
Sat - 5km Classic Race 10 am
Sun - Relay Skate Race 11 am
Mon - Depart

I had a great solo ski on the course on Friday with heavy snow falling....  it was pretty weird being alone - literally, alone - as in nobody there at all - not one car in the lot.  The course was ungroomed with about 6 inches of powder sitting on it.  It was really well marked which was a relief (after getting off-course at the BC Cup I am a little cautious about knowing the course...).

The course is a hilly, technical track (I think - with not much experience to compare it with other courses.)  Steeper but shorter uphills and downhills.


The scene on Saturday was a little more low-key than I expected...  I thought there would be a bit more fanfare for the provincial championships.

Tony had arranged for Jamie Stirling, a Nordic Racers coach to be my wax tech for the race...  lucky too since I haven't had any instruction in the complicated world of x-c waxing.  After getting the skis dialled-in I went through my warm-up.  I got Jamie to add more "grip" several times - until I heard someone say, "Go light on the grip, I figure I'll be running up the hills anyway."

This single sentence made me think twice about all the grip wax I had requested....  I would certainly be "running" up the steep hills on this course (which would mean that a strong grip was a lot less necessary).  Oh well, it was too late.

Out on the course I felt pretty decent....  some of the hills were steep enough that the "running" more closely resembled "walking"....  but I noticed that it was this way for a lot of others as well.....

I was about 3.5 or 4 k into the race and enjoying one of the longer downhills on the course when I spotted a woman in front of me in the tracks.  Her location was definitely not ideal as I would have to jump out of the tracks at high speed to go around her....  I wasn't looking forward to the manouevre but had very little time to worry about it.

Yeah... you guessed it - I bailed.  Right at the fastest part of the course.  Lost all the speed that would have carried me a long way.  Got up and finished it off.

My race reports will now feature a new section at the end it is:

What I learnt at this race:

- Don't overdo the grip wax - skis get really sticky and can cause slowness and even wipeouts.  I'm not blaming the wax for my wipeout though
- Don't leave it till the last second to get out of the tracks on a fast downhill if you have to pass
- Practice jumping in and out of the tracks

So, on the whole I was pretty happy with the race.... gotta let these falls go.... they won't happen often once I have more time under my belt (positive thinking:)  My time was pretty decent but can definitely be improved upon.  Another step in the learning curve.  Most of all I am looking forward to a race free from problems......  no missed turns, no falls etc.  


Relay day was fun.... just a three person relay (3.5k skate each).  Courtney, myself and Courtney's guide, Jen, did the three legs of the relay - I went second.  

I actually found this race harder physically, my shoulder was screaming at me from the first minute.  I will need to look into the problem and probably skip a bit of swimming this week to rehab it.

Beautiful sunny day and a team event made for a lot of fun.

Next Race:  Coast Cup #5 - Callaghan Valley.

P.S.  Yes, this does make me the Provincial Champion....  but, until there are a few more people to compete against I'm not going to start feeling too proud of the title!    

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