Maine Rollerski Time Trial Report from North Haven Island, Maine

FasterSkierNovember 3, 2007

As the ferry from Rockland chugged into the dock and the trucks out on the deck came to life, growling as they waited for the boat to come to a halt, I looked across the narrow straight between North Haven and Vinalhaven Island. The water was choppy from the wind, but the sun was shining brightly on the large houses that stared back across the water at me. This type of crisp New England day was ideal weather for a rollerski race, and North Haven was the ideal setting. Teams from Colby, Bates, Bowdoin and the Maine Winter Sports Center had made the trip out to the island for a 15km freestyle race that was organized by Andy Shepard of Maine Winter Sports Center. As we walked up the hill from town toward the start/finish line we admired the fall colors and the idyllic cottages that lined the streets. It was clear that our event was not typical of a Sunday morning in October, but people smiled as they drove past wondering what exactly we planned on doing during our stay on their small island.

At the top of the hill everyone was shown into a small gymnasium where we began to prepare for the race. Bibs were handed out and boots were pulled on. The atmosphere was cheerful as we emerged from the gym ready for our warm-up, and friends chatted as we skied up and down the road getting ready for the start. The pavement was smooth, the scenery was worthy of a post card, and everyone was excited to test themselves against the other teams.

The women started first at fifteen second intervals with a short break before the men. I was the first man out, and felt the pressure of the rest of the field looking to chase me down. I pushed hard out of the start and found a comfortable V2 rhythm as I headed out on course. I forced myself to focus on the female racers ahead of me rather than the men who were trying to chase me down from behind and soon found that I was gaining on the women fast. I turned right onto the road that wound around the outside of the island and began passing people at the top of the first hill. As I coasted up behind other racers, I was struck at the beauty of North Haven. The small coves and rolling pastures seemed like they were straight out of a fairy tale that I had the fortune of passing through. It was hard to feel too much pain while racing in such surroundings, but I worked to stay focused and continued to push myself. Just past the halfway point of the race, I passed the lead woman and knew that I had nothing but open road in front of me. It was exhilarating to know that I was leading the entire pack toward the finish line. I sped over the rolling country road, over a bridge and back into town. I hammered into the finish feeling satisfied that I had pushed hard and stayed in front. Other racers began to come into the finish looking as spent as I felt but just as fulfilled.

After a cool-down, we all headed back into town for a hearty lunch and race results. With a full belly, we went back out for one more loop of the island before it was time to head home. In the afternoon sunshine, we all ambled off to explore the remaining scenery the island had to offer. It was also a chance to catch up with friends from other teams. After an easy hour of skiing we thanked our hosts and boarded the fairy back to Rockland, tired and happy. Perhaps, as one skier proposed, there is a future for destination rollerski racing. After a race like that, I wouldn’t bet against it.


1 36 : 22 Cook Bowdoin

2 36 : 49 Kline Colby

3 38 : 01 Horton Bowdoin

4 38 : 44 Ross Colby

5 38 : 44 Ellefson Bates

6 40 : 01 Mogk Bates

7 40 : 11 Evans-Brown Bates

8 40 : 32 Bailey MWSC

9 40 : 34 Fereday Colby

41 : 05 Gill Colby

41 : 09 Blazer Colby

41 : 14 Cooper Bates

41 : 21 Briggs Colby

42 : 08 Collins Colby

42 : 20 Mathes Colby

42 : 35 Poole Bates

42 : 46 Shepard Bowdoin

42 : 64 Rummel Colby

43 : 08 Bowers Bowdoin

43 : 50 Whiton Bates

43 : 53 Bard MWSC

44 : 44 Kabuto Bowdoin

45 : 22 Winebaum Bates

45 : 31 Bush Bowdoin

46 : 27 Smeltzer Bates

50 : 05 Maffei UMPI

50 : 38 Tyson Colby


1 44 : 06 Megan Toussaint MWSC

2 45 : 34 Ingrid knowles Bates

3 45 : 39 Jennie Bentrup Colby

4 46 : 25 Laura Spector MWSC

5 51 : 03 Natalie Ruppertsburger Bates

6 51 : 16 Kirsten Gill Bates

7 51 : 56 Hannah Shepard UMPI

8 53 : 12 Megan Cornwall Colby

9 53 : 43 Lexie Praggastis Colby

57 : 20 Linnea Rooke Colby

57 : 27 Elissa Rodman Bowdoin

66 : 09 Abby Finkel Colby



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