Team SOLDA had â€œblistering fast skisâ€ and posted the fastest time of the day in the Utah Nordic alliance 3 x 5-kilometer relay on Saturday. Despite being the fastest on all three legs, we still didn’t win! Here is the story:
The first leg is classic and the next two legs are skating. Our relay team of Anders Haugen, 8th in the sprint at last year’s US nationals, myself (Torbjorn Karlsen) â€œfit for his age, but could loose some weight and need more racesâ€ and former National champion and â€œalways in good shapeâ€ two-time Olympian John Aalberg all posted the fastest leg time on our respective legs.
Anders was the fastest classic skier of the day and John had the fastest skate time. But despite this we didn’t â€œwinâ€. This is due to this relay’s particular handicap system — the faster you skied last year the bigger is you handicap — So we placed 11th overall.
For years I have tried to â€œbeat the systemâ€ and win both ways — being on the fastest team and also win after the handicap is added. I have decided that you can’t beat the system.
One year I posted the fastest overall time/won after skiing all three legs by myself (switched skis from classic to skate after the classic leg) but I ended up in 6thÂ place or something on the official list after handicaps were added.
Another year I did the same (skied all three legs) but called myself Torbjorn, Oddvar and Bjorn. I came in second but ended up 9th on the official list. I guess I should have chosen other names .
Anyway as you can see, this relay is for fun and there are few or none â€œstackedâ€ teams as ours. I was happy to see that many of the younger skiers had improved greatly from last year and that some of the older skiers have stepped up their summer training and are fitter than ever. Some young and older skiers actually skied 1-2 minutes faster compared to the top skiers than they did last year.
Rollerskiing, intervals, distance and strength will pay off. Congratulation, keep it up. Â See you all at Soldier Hollow for the classic race next weekend!