Monday, February 02, 2009

City of the Lakes 35Km Ski Race

A beautiful day-I’m pretty sure I was spoiled for my rookie ski race. With temps in the low 30s, and abundant sunshine, conditions couldn’t get much better. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m not really a Nordic ski racer, but regardless I was very excited to give this a try.
The nice thing with ski racing is that they frequently start mid morning. No 4am wake up calls like you experience for triathlon, and the leisurely wake up was appreciated after a fun filled Saturday evening with friends.
After finishing my breakfast of Champions-Left over rice and a side of Guacamole (Kerry’s team is sponsored by Chipotle this year, so after their team meeting on Saturday he brought home a few extras), we were on our way to Theo Wirth Park for the 1030 start.
Kerry came along to cheer and take photos, and as usual he did a great job of both. We watched the Elite wave take off and then waited a full 30 minutes before it was my turn. It was a tough start: Straight up a sledding hill, and the first couple km were especially busy and hectic.

Some of the downhill sections were getting icy due to all the skiers ahead of us, but thankfully my alpine racing experience proved valuable as I avoided the trees and the other skiers. My lack of regular skate skiing technique prevented any real racing. I never really taped into Zone 5 because if I tried to go much faster I would’ve undoubtedly ended up on my face.

Dr. Sarah Kolpin coming off a week of brutal Board exams, enjoyed a nice release out on the ski course.

It was a hilly course, but certainly beautiful and unique. We skied over interstates, around 3 or 4 different lakes, through neighborhood parks, and finished on the street in Uptown. It’s pretty neat to have an urban 35KM ski course. I guess there’s an advantage of having “America’s fittest Mayor” in Mpls.
Jan Gunther and Karl Schultz. Jan turned 50 last year, and remains one of the fastest triathletes, and skiers in the State-Any age.

I would certainly do another ski race…. But I’m not eager to register for anything else this year. It was nice to just go out and have fun with the crowds, but I’ll need a few days to heal. Thankfully my lower body feels fine, but lifting my arms over my head is quite painful today.
Thanks to those who came out to cheer-Kerry, Jmac, Julie, Merilee, Sarah and Dave. You made me smile each time I saw you, and I sure hope I returned the favor. Your position at the top of the climbs was the perfect place to see me flailing for extra comedy value-THANKS for being out there! Additionally, I want to extend big thanks for the supportive FB comments… Much appreciated!

Here are the stats
Total time: 2hrs 16 min-- 47 minutes behind women’s winner Caitlin Compton.
Age Group-12/24
Overall- 518/846