Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Gold Rush

Rick Reynolds skiing strong

Chris McGovern, Sufferin'

Royal Gorge and Auburn Ski Club hosted this years Gold Rush under sunny
skis on Sunday and conditions were as good as ever. A fast and hard piste
meant sub 2 hour times for the mens podium, but once again the "Hurt
Locker" door was open and those who ventured thru it finished looking like
death warmed over.
Matt Gelso continued with his NCAA dominance by taking the gold after a
high speed crash on the second of 3 laps. Andrew Johnson representing
Steinbock Racing took the silver with Marshall Greene captured the bronze.
Team Rossignol members Jon Engen and Rick Reynolds (Truckee XC) were 9th
and 15th and 1st & 2nd in the 50+ age group. Chris McGovern of Truckee XC
was 23 and 1st in his age.
The womens Gold Rush was won by Maria Grafnings with Beth Reid and Laura
McCabe taking 2nd & 3rd.
In the womens 30k Silver Rush, Julie Young of Team Rossignol was 4th and
2nd in her age. Truckee XC women Susan Reynolds and Laura Stern were 7th &
8th, both winning their age groups.
In the womens Bronze Rush Debbie Hakansson was second and 1st in her age.
Another great day for Truckee XC with each athlete on the podium, either
1st or 2nd in their age group!
Many thanks to Roger Chaney who once again was invaluable with his
pre-race support and feeding.
For complete results go to:

Thanks to Mark Nadell at Macbeth Graphics for the pics. Check his site out, I bet there is a pic of you there if you raced.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Russell Kennedy Checking in from JO's

After arriving in prescile Maine our only question was what the skiing would be like. So after a delicious lunch we all hopped into the vans and headed to do some skate skiing. We arrived at the ski area to find a warm 50-degree weather. After skiing the roller coaster like trails we headed home to catch some sleep. This was my first time skiing on the east and I was liking the courses the snow was very granular. After one more rest day we were off to racing. The sprints came first; Far West had one of its best sprints ever qualifying 8 racers in the quarterfinals. After a good prelim I had a good quarterfinal but just didn’t quit have it in me to qualify in second. With New England tactics knocking me out of the lucky loser position I did not make the semifinals. However Katrin larusson had a marvelous race finishing 10th grabbing the last medal. We all looked towards the next race. Race day came, after watching the girls race and finish well with Annika Taylor grabbing a 9th, I was ready to go. After racing as hard as I could after the disappointing switch from mass start to interval start, I finished and collapsed. After cooling down I found out that I was sitting at third OJ. When the race had finished I had maintained 3rd. Behind David Noris and Sam Tarling. After an awards ceremony and a rest day we were back for the skate interval start. It didn’t go that great for far west. I finished 14th feeling like I was getting a cold. We went back to the hotel to prepare for the relay our final race. We started and coming into one of the turns I got tripped up and lost a lot of time. When I tagged off I was in 9th we my team raced hard but we ended up in 10th far west didn’t have the best day but we raced hard.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bear Valley Weekend

The Girls!

Bear Valley Bjornloppet 20 km freestyle (Sat. 3/13) and 10 km classic (Sun. 3/14)
One of the race volunteers tried to remind me of a year when it was actually stormy for the Bjornloppet weekend, but I can't remember doing these races under anything short of brilliant sunshine, crystal clear blue skies, and superb snow conditions. This year was no exception! The skate race follows a 2-lap course that starts and finishes on the dead-flat and super-wide "Runway", and this year we were lucky to have a strong tailwind that blew us along that exposed section before we turned into the hilly middle portion of the course that's sheltered from the wind and loops through gorgeous aspen groves. Truckee XC did well today, with Debbie Hakansson and Susan Reynolds taking 1st and 2nd in the womens race! I watched Debbie rocket off the start line and she apparently never slowed down, finishing 4th overall and being the only woman to clock a sub-hour time this year. And Susan was not far behind. Way to go you two! Julie Young (Rossignol) finished 3rd in the women's race, then myself in 4th. In the mens race, Dave Stover finished first with Scott Fairman about 30 seconds back, and Dan Warren in 3rd. I was initially worried that my Rossi's might be somewhat stiff and Leki pole baskets too small for all the new snow that had fallen the previous night, but instead found that everything worked GREAT, and clearly worked well for Deb and Susan too! Another feature of the Leki pole system that I appreciated on Saturday was the 2nd velcro strap on the grip that allows you to either snug down or loosen around your thumb, something I personally like (and need) to adjust depending on glove thickness and Reynauds-related hand issues. My skis ran great with the Toko HF dibloc red that I had waxed with, even though for logistical reasons I had needed to guess on the wax two weeks in advance of the race. Overall a great day!

The classic race on day 2 was held under even better conditions than Saturday. Another bluebird day with cold snow, but a bit less wind and firmer track. Perfect hard-wax conditions - what a treat for a springtime classic race in California! The classic course traditionally follows a different route from the skate course, but again begins and ends with a considerably long section of flat track across the meadow. The middle of each lap then brings a lengthy climb up to the hut at the top of "Equipe", with great panoramic views at the top (glad I had my Rudy Project sunglasses with their superior ventilation, so I could actually see something!) The climb has a few steep pitches and is almost completely exposed to sun, so usually the trick for this race is finding the right kick wax to get up the hill but without sacrificing too much glide on the flatter or colder portions of the course. I went with 2 short and thin layers of Toko red grip wax mostly because I've always found Toko red to work very well even in conditions substantially outside of those listed on the container, and I wanted to be able to work the hill. And my skis did indeed run great, particularly on the 2nd lap. Dave Stover and Scott Fairman again took 1st and 2nd respectively. Julie Young was the next racer in, taking 3rd overall and 1st in the womens race, and beating me to the line by 4 seconds. I had a slight gap on her as we crested Equipe the 2nd time, but she was quicker off the hill and along the double-pole section to the finish.

A big thanks to Paul and Diane Peterson for once again hosting this superb race weekend. The post-race festivities also make this a great event! Thanks also to Roger Chaney for all the technical support and waxing advice he provided, not to mention moral support! He seemed to be everywhere along both courses, either cheering or behind a camera. For anyone who has not raced at Bear Valley before, definitely mark your calendar for next year, which I believe will be the 38th (!) annual Bjornloppet. And don't forget your sunscreen.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Great Ski Race

Susan Reynolds

Rick Reynolds

Chris McGovern

Debbie Hakannson
All of these great photos are from Macbeth Graphics. I bet there is a picture of you if you raced!
The Great Ski Race lives up to its name once again.
If you ask why, here are the top 10 reasons to be in Truckee/Tahoe every year on the first Sunday in March.
10. The greatest added features: talk about some “whop de do’s”
9. The greatest competition: over 1000 racers including 4 Olympians.
8. The greatest weather: “It’s California Dude”
7. The greatest course in North America: a great climb to separate the field and then screaming technical descents.
6. The greatest spectating: Daron Rahlves even comes out to watch the skier cross finish!
5. The greatest grooming: perfect corduroy.
4. The greatest cheerleaders: “California Chicks Dude”
3. The greatest organization hosts the race; Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, if you need help in the wilderness these are the guys you want coming to assist you!
2. The greatest awards party: live band, dancing, food and
1. The # 1 greatest thing: they never run out of beer!

Truckee XC/Team Rossignol had another “Great” day with 4 podium finishes.
In the men’s race: Adam Swank was the overall winner with Ian Case second and Philip Violett third.
Rick Reynolds of Truckee XC/Team Rossignol was 7th and first in his age group.
The women’s race was won by Beth Reid in a hard fought battle against fellow Olympian Katerina Nash, with Cathy Howard taking 3rd.
Julie Young of Team Rossignol was 7th and 3rd in her age group.
Debbie Hakannson of Truckee XC was 8th and 2nd in her age group.
Susan Reynolds of Truckee XC was 12th and 3rd in her age group.
Special thanks once again to Roger Chaney for the pre race and post race assistance and team leadership.
For complete results go to: http://thegreatskirace.com/results/2010.htm

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thanks Royal Gorge

What a day for skiing. Just wanted to say thanks to Royal Gorge for putting on one fun ski race. I also, wanted to thank Mark Macbeth Graphics for all the pictures. I think Mark got in some interval training sprinting from photo op to photo op. see all the photos here:

It was a busy weekend in the northern Sierras.

Fri. & Sat. Auburn Ski Club hosted the high school state championships.

On Sat. Rick Reynolds taught a “Ski Downhill’s Faster” clinic at Royal Gorge.

Sun. the master racers were welcomed to a new race on the schedule. Royal Gorge hosted a 10k skating race and it was a spectacular day. The course was perfectly groomed on hard packed new snow & Toko yellow with helix was the call.

The race started off into the wind and tactics played an important roll.

In the men’s race Philip Violett attacked first, Reynolds waited for a cross wind to counter and shortly after that Tav Streit made his move to bridge up. The “3 Escapeodos” stayed together until the finish with Reynolds leading the sprint. Streit won the photo finish, with Reynolds second and Violett third. Chris McGovern came in with a respectable 7th. In the women it was Debbie Hakannson 4th, Susan Reynolds 7th and Laura Stern 8th.

Thanks to Royal Gorge the Farwest has a new race on the schedule offering some speed work on great terrain just before The Great Race.

For complete results go to www.farwestnordic.org
Truckee's Premier Nordic Ski Team