K2inCanada's Blog

February 24, 2013

Sore toes and triceps – P’ayak 2013

Filed under: Canada, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 9:58 AM

Yesterday we did it again – after two years of saying I would never do this damn race again… But for the second time they altered the course slightly taking out some of the hills. I couldn’t quite see from the map which ones but thought I give it a try since it is on home turf – Callaghan, WOP. Nevertheless, I will NOT do it on skates after last weekends experience.

Whistler got 23cm of fresh snow over night and temperatures were expected to be about zero. We arrived at -1C and still light snow but you could see sections in the clouds were blue sky was trying to make its ways through. Easy choice for skis – crowns are the only ones that I would expect to work on this course were we know snow conditions vary quite a bit with elevation. Jeff did try his zero skis before the start but didn’t even make it to the start line before they iced up – which I didn’t know until after the race and I felt for him during the race when I saw other skiers with zero skis scrape ice of their grip zone.

Jeff and John did the 50km race – 850m elevation – and I did the 30km – 450m elevation. Jeff and I on classics, John on skates. Since this a freestyle loppet 95% or more of the 650 participants using skate technique. For most people it is the faster technique – I may be the only exception. Jeff didn’t feel ready to do the 50km distance on skates – most people like me don’t feel ready to ever do 50km on any skis.

I went out a little bit too hard at the start trying to stick with this girl I know on skates – but of course that was nonsense. But hey, I made it up the first hill on the biathlon course (black trail) without even knowing it. Had excellent grip in the soft snow and was able to scoot by to the right of all the skaters that were bunched up on the hill. Last year I hated this section – mostly because of the steep curving downhill portion were the snow piled up like crazy – this year it felt okay. I had people around me for most of lap 1.Well, those were mostly people passing me that did the 15km distance and had started 5min behind us. I “paced” since I knew I had one more lap to go. And I had this other classic skier ahead of me who I tried to catch but he was faster on the hills. I finally caught up to him on the flat parts (Meadows and Porters glide) double poling most of it. But he passed me again a couple of hills later. On a fast downhill section I tried to catch up but ended up popping out of the tracks and while trying to catch myself ended up planting my pole between my feet. Not good!!! Crash! And even though I was back  up in seconds – mad as hell about this stupid crash – I lost sight of him and never saw him again – the next 3km were all up. Lap 2 started out okay but I had less good grip – the tracks had hardened up considerably. And that slipping and sliding tires me out quicker than if I had grip. Nevertheless, I caught up with a women on skates who started to rest on top of the hills while I still could go on in my usually slow pace. My poling also wasn’t as strong anymore on lap two and I ended up with more diagonal striding where I would usually double pole. Again that’s slower. On Porters Glide I got lapped by the 4th place 50km skater. All hills after Porters Glide, I pretty much had to walk up – no more strength in the legs to get grip with my crowns.  But I steadily worked my way towards the finish line… and I finished in UNDER 3hrs! 2hrs52min to be exact – 20min faster than last year. The conditions were a bit faster but I think I also had a better race overall. John came in at 3:13 and Jeff at 3:29 doing 20km more than I!!

We concluded the day with a stop at the pub in Squamish. I felt my performance was worth two Guinness :-). First thing I did at home was emailing my kayak coach when we would have practise this Sunday. Nevermind my body felt beat last night and this morning but I am itching to get out on the water. Has been 3 weeks without… Forecast is for heavy rain…

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1 Comment »

  1. Nice job! 3 hours seems pretty good on crowns with all the climbing.

    Comment by Catherine — February 26, 2013 @ 1:52 PM


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