This probably counts as cheating, but since I don't have time to get the video of this weekend's sprints off my camera yet, I have an old video from back in the college days. It's footage of some people (mainly me and Kris Kebler) jumping on nordic skis at 2004 college club nationals at Sugarloaf. As you might expect, much crashing happens, mainly because Kris really, really wants to do a 720 off a jump that's a foot high at best.
The audio got a bit de-synched during the upload, but whatever, it's still amusing.
Also, I did three more races since my last blog post. At this point I think it's safe to say that I've maxed out the "race your way into shape" training plan and I'm not going to go faster unless I get a little smarter about training. Maybe next year...
So Saturday was the Eastern Cup sprints at Weston. The whole event turned into an impressive debacle due to timing issues, but that didn't really affect me, since I skied a mediocre 43rd out of 120 in the qualifier and didn't make the heats, missing out by 3.76 seconds. I felt really clumsy -- worse than usual -- and later I realized that one of my poles had the basket twisted 90 degrees, which is probably why I whiffed a few pole plants. It must have been left on the heater somewhere. Anyway, I didn't make the heats, I did get some video of the heats, Justin Beckwith dominated, lots of people crashed. Fun times. The women never got to do heats because the timing was messed up for them, which put a pretty serious damper on things. And of course the timing was the only part of the event not being done by CSU (Cambridge Sports Union), they hired professional timers so that it would get done right... and look how that worked out.
It wouldn't be very classy to call out the timing crew, but let me just say, they were from a place that rhymes with "ackson XC."
Sunday was 7.5k, one loop, interval start classic race up at Pinelands. Pretty much the pinnacle of excitement as far as nordic skiing goes. Due to some logistical problems I was on my warm skis (the temp was 10 degrees) and they weren't waxed. So I had a nice built-in excuse there... which was pretty important since I ended up 100th out of 172. I didn't feel terrible, but I did pretty bad (based on the people around me, who I had been beating) so I'm blaming the skis and moving on.
Tuesday night! Master blasters! Getting smoked by Anna Mcloon for the 3rd week in a row! Yep, that all went down last night. This time they were really serious about having a less congested start, so they enforced 4 per row. And as you would expect, everyone still lines up as far forward as they can, despite the fact that they may or may not suck royally. By the time I got there I had a killer row 10 position, meaning 36 people were in front of me.
But, this was really a blessing in disguise. After 2 weeks of going out with the lead group and getting dropped after half the race, and crawling through the rest of it, this time I went out slowly and moved up. Because the course turns back on itself so much, I could see the gap from me to the lead group, and I was happy to see that most of the ground I lost came on the first lap when I was in heavy traffic. So maybe some day I'll get my act together and have a good Tuesday night race.
I ended up "losing" a sprint to Jim Stock -- one of the many master blasters -- by about a third of a ski length, at the end. Given that I came off the last corner a solid 10 yards back, I wasn't really that upset I didn't get him. If it had been 10 meters longer I would've had it. If I'd thrown like Odd-Bjoern I would've had it. But I'm no Odd-Bjoern.
This weekend, a change of pace -- the Jay Winter Challenge. I'm going to die in the snow.
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