You know how people always say, “have fun out there” right before a race? Usually I’m thinking “yeah, right! this is going to hurt a LOT”. And getting nervous before races has never been one of my favorite things. But the races in Silver Star actually WERE fun! For starters, the trails were in great condition and the race organizers did a great job so everything ran smoothly, which is always awesome. Then the weather was really nice and warm with beautiful views from the trails. There were lots of awesome skiers up there and it was fun to get to hang out with friends. And after the races, we got to play some hockey and go ice skating – which is always my favorite part! Even though I have next to no hand-eye coordination, it’s still fun to goof off and not be so serious.
The sprint day was crazy; I’d almost forgotten how to do the rounds since I hadn’t done a sprint with heats since spring series! But it was good to get back into the swing of things. The course was shorter than last year by a little bit, and pretty quick. So after the qualifier, I thought over pacing a little more and realized I needed to start charging over the hills from the get-go.
But I am also a huge chicken. I’ve had trouble in the past with getting pushed around, boxed out…basically, I don’t enjoy aggressive racing. So here’s my confession: instead of dealing with it and getting used to contact racing, I ran away from it! In the rounds, I pushed the pace right from the start and tried to be more aware of where everyone was…but mostely, I was keeping myself out of any tangles. However, I was happy with how it worked out, even though I still need to work on skiing in a tight group more.
And of course, Kikkan once again managed to awe and inspire everyone…all before 7am! We got up early to see her dominate the World Cup sprint and win by quite a bit! It was so amazing to watch, and really, really cool to have an American on the podium again. But Kikkan’s been doing more than just winning: she’s been showing us that it’s ok to race hard and fast and fearless.
Thanks to some fast boards from Cork and Gus, we had a good weekend! The 10km classic went well and results are linked HERE. The race was hard with the first 1-2 km winding its way uphill. It was easy to start a little to fast and regret it later! But luckily there were some good downhills and some flat-ish sections that provided a little recovery. I got to ski the first half of my second lap with Kate Fitzgerald, which was really cool. I think we both pushed each other, and it’s always nicer when you’re suffering in a race if you’re not by yourself. That said, there were a lot of coaches and athletes out cheering on the course, which was awesome!
Today we packed up and left Silver Star to drive to Rossland, B.C. The CXC team is staying at the lovely home of Ethan Meginees and Alex Loeb, who are very gracious hosts and also extremely good cooks! I’m happy to be back in Rossland and excited for the upcoming skate sprint and 10km skate on the Black Jack trails.