What a day! The Vasaloppet does seem to be our race. We’ve accumulated a huge herd of horses and a good number of wreaths over the years, and Sunday saw some significant additions. It’s great to see everyone skiing so well and having all that hard work pay off.
I’ve also been involved in running enough races to really appreciate all the hard work that goes into something like the Vasaloppet. I especially appreciate all the volunteers who actually make the race possible and whose efforts often aren’t given enough recognition.
So it’s with a certain amount of dismay that I recount this aspect of my race. I had skipped the first food stop, so I wanted to make sure that I got a good feed at the second. We came into it fast, however, and, as sometimes does happen, the cup of liquid that was pushed out to me, instead of ending up in my mouth, explodes all over my face and my glasses.
When I open my eyes a split second later, I realize that another of the volunteers has accidentally backed straight ahead of me into my path. I’m still going at a good clip, she realizes I’m coming straight at her, I lurch to the left, she moves in the same direction, we both shift to the opposite direction, and then BAM. I reach forward to grab her and hold her up, but just end up flattening her. Right over her I go, one ski on each side of her body. Amazingly enough, I don’t end up on top of her. In fact, the whole thing doesn’t even slow me down (which is a good thing because I’m doing my damnedest to hold on to Ahlers and the pack ahead of me).
So, to the volunteer, whoever you are, I do apologize, and I really do appreciate your being out there for us. I’ll be back again next year, and, if I do encounter you, I promise it’ll be in a much more friendly manner.
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Former collegiate skier at GAC. Currently a dentist in MN who can still win a few local races if the CXC guys don't show up.