Friday, March 11, 2011

Masters World X-C Ski champs Whirlwind

Pretty incredible ski day at Sovereign Lake, Vernon to finish this weeks events at the Masters World X-C Ski champs. The temp was around -5C with good snowy tracks for the women's 30-km classic race.

I was getting better with waxing for these conditions with Coach Corey helping with the final touches. Lots less squeamish than I was for my first race on Sunday. .

Marg taking the lead at the 4-km hillclimb - photo Kim Maser

Fast women's start with 3 of us merging for the lead. I hovered back, noticed one skier already slipping a little. I coasted behind Mae Hooper, a local Vernon skier, to get thru the flat section. At 4-km I jumped into the next track and went my pace up the climbs making a clean break. The cheering section was motivating with their cowbells and cheers.
I maintained a good pace passing all the older skiers that started ahead in 5-min age category intervals. I gave cheers as I passed by and had many returned. One comment being "you go you youngster!" The volunteers were also awesome with many cheers. Cool to hear Euros cheering in their home languages hoping they're saying good things!
sporting the MitoCanada suit at the final daytime awards

After the calm first 10-km loop, I had a fun time on the very twisty and hilly last 5-km loop. It was getting warm as the sunshine was hitting this section of trails. Hearing cheers from clubmate Joan, I threw my toque towards her (as she was trying to take photos!). Losing the toque helped keep me cool.

As I was just completing the first 15-km course loop, I was passed by a speeding Russian bullet on the flat section. She was from a 5-year younger age category and had already bridged my 5-min head start. I clung on for, oh, 200 metres! I might have held her pace for awhile longer on a climb. She made me look like I was standing still!

The tracks were getting a little softer though still good enough for a great time skiing. On the last 5-km loop on the steep climbs, I ran herringbone up in the middle of the tracks. It was the easiest way with the sunny conditions.

I totally enjoyed myself out there :) and held off anymore youngsters passing me.

a happy threesome of Canadians for the 30-km classic race

I just hollered "J-E-R-R-Y !!" and the Moose was coming for me
Short recap on my 10-km race Monday... HARD!
I had no expectations except that it would be a fast race with fast women... and it was!

Grip and glide were awesome. Off the start at the merge, my skis were trampled on, with me not being aggressive with getting into the tracks. Sheila Kealey from Ottawa and Leslie Hall from USA took off already 20 metres ahead of a pack of four of us. My pack's quick pace gapped me by 5 metres. I worked to tag on just as the pace eased slightly. So, I took the lead on a climb and never looked back.
I worked hard double-poling on any descent. Hard enough to take bronze & 3rd place! At the finish I just hung over leaning on my poles gasping for air & recovering from the effort. Wow! I hadn't gone that effort in awhile. It felt good!
Check out the wicked VIDEO below!!!

video from Blaine Penny & BIG cheers from Team MitoCanada

It was cool to be selected to the relay team (for Wed) based on my 15-km results Sunday and 10-km results Monday. The glitch with the selector not knowing if I'd be back from my whirlwind daytrip Tuesday to Vancouver... assigned my position to an alternate. This put me in an awkward position race morning... though Jessica, the alternate, was understanding and I was able to race.
The team comprised of Ottawa's Sheila Kealy Leg 1 classic, me Leg 2 classic, my old Vancouver roomie Carolyn Daubeny Leg 3 skate and fellow Edmontonian Nancy Burden Leg 4 skate.
Nancy Burden starting Leg 4 skating

Very tough conditions for my leg as flurries came down with a strong headwind. The tracks were not visible in places. The 5-km classic loop was super flat! I did the best I could and our team held 3rd after a very strong USA team and not far off the Russian team.

Laurie Murray just finished her classic leg.
Albertans Clark Shipka and Mary Young cheering

Relay Team Canada - Carolyn, Sheila, Nancy, Marg


Jason R. said...

You're the looks of that video your skis looked super fast...nice tech on the double poling!


Marg Fedyna said...

All in practice chasing you down at the Cookie Race!!