Junior World Championships kicked off today with the 5km/10km freestyle race. It was super exciting what with all the athletes from every country here ready to rip around the challenging courses and kick some butt!
Going into today’s race, I was super nervous, and had a ton of jittery energy. Because I was excited. It had snowed the night before, making the course slower and more challenging, and there were already some long sustained climbs in the course. These are the kind of conditions I live for – where you have to be light and snappy! Although Fasterskier gave me the best laugh I’ve had in a while when Nat hit it right on the head with “She still isn’t the prettiest skier—her energetic movements sometimes bubble into the occasional awkward angle and stray body part”. So true….so true. But in terms of a sweet course, good warm-up, encouraging and fun teammates, coach support and super talented wax techs, I was set up to have one of the better races of my life.
My plan was to take it out fast right from the get-go, and try to hold the pace until the last half a loop, where I’d try to ramp up the tempo and gun it to the finish. For the most part, I kept to my plan…although I’d almost forgotten how much it hurts when your legs fill with acid and I started to get a little clumsy with my technique. Looking back, I think I could have scrounged up a few seconds on some key transitions in the second lap where I was just too tired to think properly, but other than that, I don’t think I could have pulled any more from my body.
I was super proud of my teammates, especially since it was Kinsey and Izzy’s first time to Worlds! It’s a pretty exciting scene and Estonia really puts on a good race, with millitary members all over the course helping things run smoothly, a huge screen showing results up in the stadium, and full bleacher seating for the spectators. And the best part….it’s going to be televised! Today’s race wasn’t on Eurosport 2, but the rest of the races will be!
The schedule of events, with websites broadcasting live results, are linked here.
Full results from the womens 5km skate are linked HERE.
Full results from the mens 10km skate are linked here.
Our stay in Estonia has been sweet so far; we’re at the Waide Motel, and we take a 30 min shuttle to the race venue – no big deal since it’s a scenic ride and there aren’t any traffic jams in the countryside.
Aaaaaaand…..today, something amazing happened. THE SUN CAME OUT!!! I haven’t seen it in over a week, and the grey fog was starting to get depressing.
But now I’m set; got my vitamin D in for the day.
There were live results updating constantly on the website linked above, and we had a great time watching the junior mens race from the dining room this afternoon. Although it would have been fun, we couldn’t stay all day to cheer in the snow since we’ve got more racing yet to come.
Tomorrow is the 10/15km skate for the U23 racers, and I’m super excited to see how they do! Hopefully I’ll get some sweet pictures of the venue to post up soon.