After the first weekend of races, we stuck around in West Yellowstone for a few days to get in some good skis before moving on to Bozeman. We lucked into getting a nice spacious cabin only a five minute walk from the Bohart Ranch, the site of Sunday’s races, which also featured a beautiful view of the Bridger Range across the valley. We had no internet or TV or cell phone service, but the area was so nice, I wish I’d been able to go backcountry skiing from the house every day instead of racing.
Now for the race reports:
Saturday’s race was a skate sprint on a loopy course near downtown Bozeman. It was cold with freshly fallen snow that made the turns not quite as zippy fast as they had been when we’d previewed the course the day before. I think we all had a bit of trouble getting warmed up enough for our qualifying heats, but three of us qualified for the heats anyways. Ida qualified 6th, won her quarterfinal, and went on to place 12th. Tim and I both qualified 23rd, and then were knocked out of the heats after 4th place finishes in the quarterfinals. It was a great course for spectating and cheering, and I think we all enjoyed it despite the cold. My only regret was that I just wasn’t aggressive enough in my semifinal. In sprints you really have to go for it and not let a gap form, and I just didn’t quite have the confidence for that this time around. I’ll have to remember that for next time!
Sunday’s race was a 10k/15k classic race at Bohart, on one of the craziest 5k loops I’ve skied on. It looped around, up and down with lots of tight corners, and included what I think is the steepest hill I’ve ever herring-boned up in a race. It was a fun, tough course. The race was made even tougher by the fact that it was either -8 or -2 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on which thermometer you looked at. Despite having trouble motivating to get out of the door, I ended up having a good race, finishing in 8th place! This was really exciting because I still know that I can ski better, and it gave me a taste of skiing with some of the top women. Other GRP finishes were Lauren in 36th, Tim in 30th, Matt in 38th, and Ollie in 40th. It was the kind of day where we were all just happy to finish and get inside, and there were some frostbitten fingers and toes to thaw out afterward.
Here’s a picture of Pepa scraping skis on the porch with the Bridgers in the background. Pepa was as tireless and awesome as ever, waxing tons of skis for us and making everything happen. Thank you Pepa!!