Rebecca reporting from the top of the world, or at least as we know it.
We are up in our hotel above Oslo and have just completed dinner with the
sun setting. Sharbel and Tabor are playing a little game of football in
the hall, so I'm taking the opportunity to write to all of you and tell
you about the race today.
I had a 10:32 start time, so I arrived about 1:15 before my start to begin
race preparations. This first included picking a pair of skis to race on.
I took one of the US coaches out with me and we skied around on my skis.
Trond, the head coach for the US, did me the kind favor of obtaining a
pair of new Fischer skis from the Fischer reps for me to borrow for the
race. They were much stiffer than the skis in my quiver and felt really
good to ski on. They ended up gliding the furthest so I went with them.
The race was almost underway. I quickly made my way through ski marking
and micro chip ankle strapping. The cameras were swarming the place where
the women were taking their warm ups off. A camera was focused on me as I
stretched and swung my arms to loosen up. It is fun to think that
somewhere someone who knows me might get to see a good shot of me.
Anyways, there I was. Next in line to start. I wasn't nervous at all, I
was determined not to start out too fast and to pace the race very evenly
from start to finish. I was also concentrating on skiing my very best
technical race; getting full glide on each ski, riding a flat ski, tucking
as low as possible, and using my upper body.
I took my time and skied into the race. It wasn't very long before the
two girls, who started 1:30 and 3:00 behind me, were right on my tail.
Then there was a break in the passing action. I was sticking to my plan
perfectly and kept getting splits that I was in 20-22nd place. This
sounded pretty good to me, but I knew that it didn't include the Red
Group, which are the very fastest, and were chasing hard behind me.
Finally, a group of three came along and I got a very good pull from them
for several kilometers. These girls eventually skied away from me, and
they ended up in 3rd, 4th, and 5th position overall. It was fun to hang
with them and watch the tactics of the best gals. Unfortunately, I didn't
get a feed out on the far end of the course and that ended up almost
killing me. So, I “walked the dog” for a couple of kilometers and then
finally got the feed I was needing. It was de-fizzed Coke and coffee
mixed and watered down. It was as gross as it sounds, but it did the
I pushed hard for the last 7 or so kilometers and finally came to the
finish. I felt pretty good considering what I had just tackled, this
course is all about uphills. The screen showed me to be in 28th place,
but I knew that wouldn't quite hold. The red group was still finishing and
would bump me back a ways. When every finisher was in I was in 34th
position. Only 4 places from my first World Cup points. I know that I
can improve on this race.
It was a pretty good day for me. Our men had it a little rougher. Our
top male was 42nd place, Andrew Johnson. The level of skiing here is
indescribable. It really makes you wonder how they are so fast, and what
you can do to bridge the gap. The winning time was 1hr 16min 22sec and to
have made it into the top 30 I would have needed to beat 1hr 22min 56sec.
My finishing time was 1hr 23min 47sec. No room for error or slacking in
Well, there is a line forming to use the computer, so I will cut it short.
Thanks for all the support and talk to you soon from Finland.
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