Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best snow at Lake Louise to Banff Loppet!

The first year out of the handful I've raced this event where a skier could probably get by with race skis unscathed. The snow was superb all the way!

Check out Tony Smith's review of participation of Team MitoCanada:

I was excited for the event though feeling the effects of long work hours, weekend warrior training only, and not sufficient rest.

The race started brisk. The first part is probably the hardest for me to keep pace as it has a long double-pole descent and my light weight is a factor. I worked it. Glad a few others went in front of me, especially down the wicked u-turn with everyone staying upright.

We took turns setting the pace... Tony Smith, Liza Pye, Brendan McCracken and myself. We were all happy to cross the train tracks before the morning train came.

I got my pre-mixed Vega concoction at the 3rd feed station handed out by competitor Theresa Gawron. She jokingly said "this is the only time she'd be supporting me" as she's usually racing with us.

The brisk pace caught up to me mid-way of the race at around 3 hours. That was realistically the time I had been putting in for training at pace.

I could hear women talking behind me with a woman on a relay team leading and Liza storming on her heels. Cool! If only I wasn't fading, it would have been fun to join in.

with sherpa side pockets, Marg still forging forward
It was time to majorly refuel if I wanted to finish in one piece. I let them by when a short herringbone climb approached as my inner leg muscle was ready to seize.

The rest of the way was lonely though scenic. Heading thru the marsh on leg 5, I could see someone in red gaining on me. I held him off until the end of the leg. It was Bill Young on a relay team with Mary Young. Mary was surprised I faded and Bill was happy he caught me!

First year I actually got to swap to skateski gear for Leg 6! Yay! Even still, I was pretty dog-tired skating it in. Ironically, on the Bow River I passed the same team woman that hauled by earlier. I welcomed the tailwind blowing me into the finish line! Good on Liza, she looked incredibly strong throughout.

Check out this video of the marsh section on Leg 5. Truly the adventure race of x-c skiing!!

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