It was a very challenging 15km skate today. The course was full of false flats and working downhills. My race plan was to go out at a comfortable pace, find my rhythm, and try and build to the finish. I went out at a comfortable pace, and it turned into an uncomfortable pace by the end of the first lap. Altitude is a silent killer! I was able to keep it together enough for a 10th place finish, respectable in my opinion for the end of November. It was for sure one of the toughest races I have done. The sensation is hard to describe; you feel as if you are skiing at a medium/slow race pace, but at the same time it feels like you couldn’t go any harder if you tried. Your heart rate is pinned, and with any increase in speed (especially on the climbs) you end up full to the brim with lactate. Another surprise factor of the day was the freak snow squall that blew in right in the middle of the men’s race. It coated the slick trails with that deadly powdery fluff that is detrimental to your glide. It affected the speed of the skis, but more noticeably it turned the rest on the course into work.
Todays race was an excellent wake up call to the body. Race season is upon us and it hurts like hell! Tomorrow’s 10km classic is going to be fun. We are using the same 5km loop as today, and the steady grade will mean lots of kick double pole and long, smooth striding. It is time to get my BIG on and ski like the 6ft beast I pretend to be.
For full results on the day and a start list for tomorrows 10km classic click HERE
I would also like to send out a huge congrats to my friend Lenny Valjas on his 5th place finish today in the classic sprint World Cup in Kuusamo! Lenny stormed through the heats with his fierce looking mustache and was the top Canadian of the day. Also congrats to AWCA teammates Alysson, Drew, Kevin and Nish for representing the team on the World Cup. Today was the first race of a three race mini tour for the crew. Full results from today’s race along with results for the rest of the weekend found HERE
Time for bed. Another tough day of racing tomorrow!