Sunday, December 21, 2003

Kelowna 30k classic

15 second starts again! For the second day in a row, Timo started just in front of me. I caught him fairly early in the race, my skis were great, and wasn't overexerting. At the start of the second lap, I got caught my Ivan, Jefferies, McKeever and Nighbor, who started 1:15, 1:00, 0:45 and 0:15 behind me. Ivan took off, and there were four of us in a train, until I suddenly stalled. Something was wierd because my skis suddenly felt a lot slower, and my muscles tightened up. I proceeded to ski the next 2 laps at a very slow pace. May be getting sick?

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Kelowna 10k skate

Race went fairly well, felt like I had a good pace going until Ivan caught me for 1 minute just after 5k. However, I steadily closed in on my 30sec man, Timo. At the top of the climbs I had a small gap on him, but he took it back and passed me going into the finish. I seemed to drop from about 10th to 15th in the last 2k, which were mostly downhill.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Kelowna Sprint

Another sprint, and another result in the high 20s. I finished 26th over a 1km course, 9.2 back and 3 seconds out of the top 16. I felt like I skied well, but in terms of the pace required for a sprint, it was not too good. I was told by my teammate Ivan that I looked like I was starting a 30k, not a sprint. I need to figure how to ski a 'sprint' pace, so I'm at least giving myself a chance.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

I am the Rabbit!

Today I raced the 10k skate Noram race at COP. The course was 4 laps of every bit of trail at COP, plus a trip down into the jumping bowl, and a little noodle on the downhilll area. Warm up was interesting, since the course was closed for the Women's race. However, the course opened briefly before the men started, so I was able to some pre-race intensity on the course.
This was my first race in the top seed. For the start of this year I am ranked 23rd, and this was the first time the top seed had been big enough. I drew number 1, and the top seed started first, so I was the first man out of the gate: the Rabbit. I figured this was not too bad, as I would be lapping as the middle of the seed started, and I might be able to catch a ride with somebody fresher. That didn't workout, but on the third lap I skied a bit with Casey Dyck, although I seemed to get a few meters back at times, not really utilizing the draft. Right in the last finishing straight, I was passed by George Grey, who started 1 minute behind me. In all a pretty good race, but maybe a little too comfortable, never reaching into the realms of true "hurt". I'm still figuring out how to get into that "all out" gear you need in a fast race. The winning time was 23:03 for 10k. My time was 24:23, good enough for 12th. Full results here.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Haywood Noram FIS NorAm Canada Cup COP: Madshus Sprints

My first classic sprint! Actually, it is my second, but the first edition at Val Cartier Nationals 2001 went so badly I prefer to forget about it. I liked the course, quite a bit of striding. The qualifying round went well, I climbed well and had a snappy double pole. Unfortunately, I ended up 25th, 10.63 seconds back and 2.5 sec from the required top 16. A bit disappointing, the body was feeling good and was ready for the heats. In hindsight perhaps the grip was a little too good, and the skis just didn't glide enough on the long gradual downhill part.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Thought we would be doing a small time trial yesterday with just the usual suspects, but it turned out to be a multi-club event, where we got to wear bibs! The course was tough with one outer and one inner loop around the minescar. There was a lot of climbing, and a fast downhill affectionately know as the elevator. I started 30 sec behind Brian McKeever, and could tell right away he was likely gaining on me. I was stuck on cruise control, my muscles were too tired push hard. My technique felt good where I had good grip, but I struggled a bit where I was slipping. Tried to pull out a strong finish, but horse power just wasn't there.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Back in Canmore. The pursuit race yesterday went pretty well. I improved on my 11th place finish on Thursday, and finished 10th (start number 23!), just .3 seconds ahead of my roommate, Kit Richmond. I couldn't quite stay with the leaders in the classic, I didn't want to overdo it, and my skis just didn't seem to be gliding as well as others'. A slight glitch in my transition where I stopped at the wrong pit cost me a few seconds, but it didn't really matter since I was stuck in third gear for the skate anyway. I passed one guy, otherwise skied by myself. Technique felt good, but didn't have the legs.
No races this week.