Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nordic Celebration

The Hilltoppers have grown from 7 to 50 kids

Today was a celebration of wintertime at Chapin Forest with 5 and 10k races for the adults and 1, 2 and 3k races for the kids. I got up bright and early, got stretched and exercised then headed off solo to Chapin to do my first XC race. My wife and daughter would be soon to follow.

I was supposed to borrow some fast Classic skis, but when I arrived the lender was not there yet, so in a rush I rented some skis, boots and poles. Its only $5 at the Lodge. The skis were new, but looked a bit wide and were a tad heavy. No worries-I wanted a good workout and to taste XC ski racing.

We lined up with a small field of about 27 or 28 in the 5k classic race. I stayed near the back being a beginner. The instructions were to double pole out of the start area. he said go, I go, but my skis are soo slow I am going no where. I double pole all the time on my skate and my classic skis (which delaminated on me last week) and this was unreal.

As we turned to go up the first minor climb I start to make up positions (about 5 or so spots) by just humping up the climb really hard, but every time down the hills I listen to my waxless skis go whrrwheewhhrrwhee and the guys pass me like I am standing still. They arent even tucked. One guy was having a smoke and the other was texting his friend on his Blackberry...ok just kidding. So up more climbs and I start to get a gap, but when we hit the long descent back to the bottom three guys go past and theres no catching them, though I tried like heck.

The effort is fun-its what I wanted to do today-just go balls to the walls for 5k!! But once in race conditions I really wanted to have some race skis BAAD!!

Dick did the 5 and 10k races

In the end one of the Hilltopper coaches Josh Dally (who competed in a 50k XC race in the U P of Michigan yesterday) won and I was 9 minutes back in 17th with a 26:something. Must have been a good race up a few minutes!! I think with race skis I could have gone 4 minutes faster at least. Most of the rest of the field was about 6 minutes ahead of me. I did get some props when i finished though and that was fun!! The announcer said I was on rental skis!! There were only 3 in my age group, so I got 2nd in the 40-49 group.

Josh finishing the 10k race

So my first XC ski race was a blast and I am pumped to do more. I am a horrid Skate skier, but thats what my new skis are. But not being good isn't a big deal. Ive only been skiing this winter. Now I'd be a liar if I said Ive never skied before this year. I went twice last winter and then a handful of times in the 80's. My point being that I should do Skate races to avoid the rental ski crutch, but I like Classic too.

Audrey, one smooth skiier

Come on out and give it a try!! Its a great workout and who doesnt like sweating in 15 degree temperatures!!


Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

Nice job Audrey.
O yah, Ray nice job.

Anne said...

Kudos on the sking!

I just got out for my first skate ski. What a blast.