Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beckie Scott (Herringbone!) Loppet

I was super hesitant to go to the race in Vermilion as Alberta had close to record breaking warm weather the previous days, and I didn't want to race on glazed tracks. The race organization did a superb job grooming - best formed tracks I've skied on all season.

It's been many years since I raced here and I totally forgot how different and wicked the trails are. 30k race with 3 loops of 10-km. The descents were fast and mostly able to stay in the tracks. I biffed only on one surprise sharp left corner and was a little sketchy on a step turn corner later in the loop.
What is great about this course is the no-fail grip waxing... as the climbs start out gentle, then turn into super steep herringbone climbs, out of the track, so wax is not an issue... and a few herringbone climbs in a row!

Small turnout of hearty racers with an appearance by Olympian Becky Scott which was cool to see such a familar face at the venue of her hometown. The race temp was -15C, which was nice except for the bit of windchill.

Spent most of the race skiing with clubmates Jeff Innes and Helge Halvorsen which made it fun. Near the finish, Helge took off with 500m to go and gapped me. Fortunately for a hillclimb finish, I stormed and ran up to Helge as he was still climbing in the tracks. Helge just jumped out the tracks in front of me and I had no inclination on which way to pass. Jeff was right on our heels.
Wish we had a picture of that finish, it was pretty exciting! Clubmate Marion Mayerhofer topped off 3rd 30k woman finisher.
photos - Vermilion Nordic Ski Club website

No comments: