Sunday, January 27, 2013

Local Loppets - Double Header

Squeaked in the back-to-back days of Beckie Scott Loppet on Jan 26, and Tawatinaw on Jan 27. Both races had about 50 hearty skiers. Maybe only three of us did both. One had an Olympic Gold Medalist!

So much more fun to race at training pace on a trackset course we rarely ever ski on, than to train on the same old trails.

On the line - Ryan, Jason, Cameron, Marg (in green), Jeff tucked in

Becky Scott Loppet - 29.2 km, 1:59
(2011 time 1:52 duking it with Jeff & Helge!)

Good snow, -15C start, -11C finish. I was deceived by the sunshine and lack of wind in Vermilion, and underdressed a smidgeon. 75% of the course is shaded anyway, with the coolness from the lake for a good stretch each lap.

Typical herringbone climbs which was tough to match Helge's pace! I soon dropped off on my own. Even though I finished 1 min after the next guy, there was no sight of him in front with the twisty trails.

My hands were frickin' cold, enough to consider dropping out after each 10 km loop. My mind was either on sending warmth to my fingers or minimizing the pain from my underarm with every pole stroke midway thru the race.

Could have been in better spirits with my mitts on! Will not let my body get cold like that again. Not fun shuddering in front of the fire at the end. Very cool to see Becky out.

Tawatinaw Loppet - 25.7 km, 1:46 (laps 1/2 - 51/55 min) 2011

Colder start at -19C, finish at -8C, crazy! Knew best to dress up one layer with the 2nd day of racing, and getting overly cold the prior day.

The speedy 15 km skiers set a quick pace at the start. Within the first 50m, a polite newbie paused to let in a skier, had his ski pole in my path causing me to go down. Quick to rise though I was off the pack's pace.

Skied with Wietske, a guy, and a strong young woman up the climb. Followed them down the first descent, and overtook on the next climb. Wondered where Wietske was... Taras and Greg were in sight on the double-pole ridge section.

The trails were wicked, especially the latter 5 km of swoopy trails and major descents, including the few last herringbone climbs. Treat to bomb down the 1 km descent for the 2nd loop. Far back of the boys now after the descent, too light!

Found my heartrate was low and I was at cruising pace, not race pace. Enjoyed the last lap though super lonely.

Found out Weitske fell on her One Way pole switching lanes, and it broke. She gutted out 10 km with one pole, picked up another for lap 2, and finished. It would have been fun to race with her.

Wish more skiers would come out to these wicked races!

photo - David Cure-Hryciuk
Finished off the day on the AT gear skinning up the ski hill with an easy descent on Tawatinaw's black diamond run!

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