The BC Cup (January 19-20, 2008) was my first real ski race (the Toonie race at Cypress doesn't count....)
I arrived up in Whistler the day before and skied the course for the next day's classic sprint race. There was some debate as to whether we would be doing 1000, 1200 or some other distance... no big concern though.
The course looked pretty straight-forward to me (not really knowing anything different...) There were a couple of high-speed turns that required a bit of practice. I am FAR more adept at turning left than right... this is a prosthetic thing I am sure... anyway, the fastest turn on the course is a swooping downhill right - at the time I gave myself a 50/50 chance of eating it at race pace. (I debated slowing to ensure stability but decided to roll the dice... slowing in a sprint seems wrong.)
Race day arrived. Usual breakfast - oatmeal, fruit, toast, juice.
Note: Race Day in skiing is VERY pleasant compared to triathlon. No 4:30 am wake-up for starters.
So, the race was an interval start (one racer leaves the start area every 15 seconds - like a cycling time trial). We lined up in the starting pen - hopping around to keep warm and then I was off.... Along the flat, up the long hill, down the hill, round a tight corner, down a longer hill, round the swooping fast corner (made it), and push hard along the flats to the finish. Simple.
It went really well I felt.... no disasters, no wipeouts, corners went relatively well.
When the dust settled I was 3rd - 1st place was 10 seconds faster and 2nd was only .7 of a second faster. It has been a long time since I did a race where tenths were even measured - let alone decisive!
All in all a great start to my nordic racing "career". Of note - kudos to the organizers for the SWEEET medals - heavy, engraved, quality ribbon - wow!
5k Skate Race tomorrow!