K2inCanada's Blog

January 11, 2015

Dead last

Filed under: Canada, Ski, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 10:28 PM

First loppet weekend is behind me and right now I don’t feel like doing any more ever. I am sure I will change my mind again before next weekend – just need to figure out how to get out of my “sofa” shape in one week.

Weekend wasn’t all bad mind you. We – John, Jeff and I – had a good ski at Telemark on Saturday. Did some classic and skate. For the first time I classic’d Panorama Ridge and there are some beautiful views from up there despite it being overcast and the clouds hanging low in the valley. The skate afterwards was hard and I didn’t even do the actual race course which would be so much harder with more climbing. But at least the switching from classic to skate didn’t feel completely out of sorts even though this was only my 3rd time on skates this season.

We spent the evening with our Friends in Peachland – actually for the most part with Mary as Keith was going to a Kelowna hockey game. As always Mary treated us to some awesome pre-race food despite having been called into work that day unexpectedly.

Race day – condition were just the same as the day before and I decided to use my Peltonen with the grip tape. The day before I mostly used crowns but tried the grip tape at the end and seemed to have better grip. I felt okay skiing up hill but sucked at my usually strongest part, double-poling on the flats. So in no time I was close to being last. There were a couple guys around me – one who had no grip but good glide so we traded spots all the time and another guy who was slower on the climbs. Overall the two 7.5km laps on classics felt slower that I had expected (1hr24min) given that I thought the classic portion is going to be the stronger part of the race. So I already started the skate leg with a bad feeling. First part is downhill which is okay but since I was still using my classic boots I didn’t have the same amount of control in the corners and needed to slow down more. Then the long climb up the hill on Fern Creek. I almost managed it without stopping but near the end is one steeper section and that just killed me. I never recovered from it which is unusual for me and the steepest climbs, even though they are shorter, were still to come. On the only flat stretch of the course I was finally passed by the last guy behind me which put me into last place. Knowing that sure didn’t help, my legs were done. But I did finish – got close a few times to take the straight way home rather than climbing yet another hill. Needless to say I was disappointed with my race – 8min slower than last year at 2hrs35min for close to 30km! Jeff finished in 1hr50min. And the irony of it – I won a bottle of wine as there were only 3 competitors in my category while Jeff got a cookie medal for finishing :-).

So now I am watching the final stage of the Tour de Ski – an incredible steep hill climb. They all make it look so easy – maybe I can pick up some tricks 🙂

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