Thursday, March 19, 2009

New race reports, UPDATED

Russell Given'er

Truckee XC has been doing a lot of racing lately here are some reports.

Russell Kennedy Junior Olympics:

The Junior Olympics was a good week, as I had been looking for some good race results. In the sprint races, I went into the final heats in 13th place and was hoping to capture a few more places and go home with a medal. I ended up getting boxed out and maintained my placing of 13th. After a rest day we picked up racing again with the mass start 15K freestyle. This had been my best race in 08 and I was excited. After a well-skied race I finished in 4th place, my best JO finish ever. Friday was the interval start classic race. After a fall, I finished with a disapointing 16th place. Relays were on the final day and I had the lead off leg. I came in 5th and the team ended up bringing home a 9th place medal.. Overall it was one of my best JO’s ever.

Debbie Hakannson reports on The 5th Annual North Routt des Bois 90k:

After one big loop thru the Routt and Medicine Bow National Forests: temp at start time just above 0 degF. We started out at 8200 feet with a 14K loop around Steamboat Lake, wide open and cold! Stayed on the lake just long enough to get frostbite and that frozen spastic feeling in the legs. Then headed out into the woods, away from civilization, some good climbs, lots of rolling and flat terrain to the Wyoming border. 50K down and feeling pretty good. Then the hard part starts, climbing up and over the Continental Divide (at almost 10,000 feet) was as steep as climbing UP I

m OK, snowmobiles on the trail, no relaxation possible on the downhills, grooming sketchy, turns sketchy, legs cramping. More flats and rollers to final big climb at 80K. More agony and leg cramps for 2k,then leg massage at final aid station at the top. Wild ride down thru the aspens (which took out 2 ex-olympic downhillers!), and 8k flat out race to the finish. The race had beautiful scenery, weather and aid stations. Grooming and sno-mos a bit of a bummer. The field was small but stellar with ex WC mtn bikers, ex-olympic downhillers, ex and current Nordic combined world champions, Western States 100 winners and moreMy goals were to finish, break the 50 year age group womens record and have fun. Mission accomplished on all 3 counts finishing time 6:35.

Laura Stern: 2 days of racing in Bear Valley

Just back from a superb weekend in Bear Valley -- it has to be my favorite
race weekend of the season. The snow and course conditions (and grooming!)
were outrageously good, and Paul and Diane just go SO out of their way to
put together a fantastic weekend for everyone, with a big Mexican feed
after the 20 km skate race on Saturday (with prizes for pretty much
everyone) and another smaller post-race awards party on Sunday after the 10
km classic race. And did I mention the spectacular grooming?! Couldn't
have been better. Perfect weather, too -- not a cloud in the sky the whole
time until midafternoon today... yet perfect hard-wax conditions for
classic this morning. Was great that Roger was there too with Rosi demo's,
and helping everyone with last-minute ski prep and advice. He's the best!
Julie (Young) beat me by 2 seconds in the skate race yesterday, but I was
somehow able to hold her off today (but not by much!) So was happy with a
2nd and a 1st. Peter Mayfield won the mens races both days, with Scott
Fairman taking 2nd both days.

This In from Kris Krone:

March 14th, 2009

North Routt Courer Des Bois

Steamboat Springs, CO

45K and 90K

The North Routt 45km race was to be my first longer than 30km event that didn’t also lose elevation. My first real ski marathon. And after 3 days of constant carbo loading race day was finally here. Trying to keep up with the 90km athlete’s pre-race calorie consumption program may not have been the best strategy. Nearly one week later and I am still full.

Race day: We drove to the start in the dark. Arrived 35 miles from civilization at Steamboat Lake and as the light of dawn appeared and an indoor bathroom seemed to be available in the modern looking lodge the morning was off to a good start. That was until we stepped out of the vehicle. “Hello Colorado.” The squeak-squeak of snow under foot, the steam emitting from breathing outside, meant two things: didn’t wax cold enough and didn’t bring enough clothes. Though by start time an hour later things were looking up. Air temp warmed 5 plus degrees and the sun was clearly out and on! Off the line at 9:00a.m., the skis felt a bit grabby on the cold snow, but enough glide to not be too concerned about the 45km ahead. The course starts with a visual display of Colorado’s beautiful landscape. I was admiring the scenery and then reminded myself that I was in a race and refocused!

The first 30km went smooth and was over relatively fast, though conditions on the climb were challenging as the snow was marbled and granular over ice. It was a push/pull with the skis which made for extra work but I felt I was climbing efficiently. When I reached the 30km mark aid station, (I am normally finished at this point) I decided to stop for Heed and was thinking “great, almost there, it’s all down hill from here. Wrong. When I took off from the aid station legs were cold but thought of course there would be a stretch of recovery, instead it was about 5km of slightly up hill against the wind and cold slow snow. This shot my legs. Heart/lung package still felt good so I continued on in good faith. I was told there was a steep but short hill at the end of this course and here I was. As I started to climb the actual verticalness forced a herringbone maneuver. I thought I could sustain this for a short period of time. After 25 minutes (not a short period of time in my world) I had achieved some of the ugliest “skiing” ever witnessed. Perfecting the falling forward and just catching yourself herringbone technique. I was mentally demoralized. The words “never again” and “why” intermixed with some explicitives now resonated in my oxygen deprived head. I imagined that I must be close to the finish now. Just around the corner. Well 12 –14 corners later and what seemed an eternity the finish was at least in sight. At one point, about 2 km out there was a steep short downhill. My legs were jelly so I just ran it straight down. At the bottom instead of the trail running out it did a sharp hairpin turn back up the hill. I didn’t even attempt to slow down. I was so tired it just seemed easier to stuff myself into the oncoming snowbank. And I did. I had to throw myself backwards, (well lean at this point) to extract all body parts and skis from the bank. Luckily it was soft snow. I gathered myself together and headed home. I tried to stand up straight and V2 with pride as I dragged my carcass over the finish. I felt a bit queasy and light headed, which may actually have been the proudest moment of my race season. Finally I had pushed out of the comfort zone, this was a breakthrough. Finally made myself almost sick through effort. I thought, “I have arrived.”

One of the highlights of this race was watching my friends come through the finish after completing 90km, a truly remarkable feat on this course, with smiles on their faces. I found it difficult to explain my undoing after 35km to them. And of course as soon as I had changed my clothes and refueled the body I was making plans for next year. So much for “never again” and “why.”

check these links for complete results:

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