Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Boot Cam

This is too cool for school.

I was searching for something a couple weeks ago (I think information about the ski race put on by Maine Huts and Trails but I can't quite remember; MH&T is building a 180-mile long hut-to-hut system connected by groomed ski trails, which is kind of very cool.) and came upon the website of Colin Reuter a skier and biker from the Boston area (where I come from). In any case, I looked around and said to myself, "Hmm, I wonder if he has a race report from the last Great Glen to Bretton Woods race (the race is no longer run, and their website might be kaput), a 50k classic race in New Hampshire and without a doubt the hardest race I've ever skied. He did.

(Why was it the hardest race I've ever skied. Well, several reasons. First, New England had three marathons that year, and two on the same weekend. I lived about and hour from each. So I skied both. This was the second 50k in a weekend. Second, It's a classic race run partially on snowmobile trails. Tracks are not always present. But third, and here's the biggie, it climbs 1600 feet from 31k to 40k. With no tracks. And no breaks. It was bonk-city. I'll probably write about it one of these days.)

I started reading his post and said, "hey wait, this sounds familiar." As it turns out, he beat me by about 10 seconds; we skied the last 10k together. After 100k, there was no way I was sprinting; I was happy enough to finish alive. I was sick for the next week.

In any case, this is not a post about old races or spending five minutes at a feed eating or anything, it's about what this fellow does during races:

Sugarloaf Inferno Boot Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.

Yeah, he takes video from his flippin' ski boot. For serious. In this case, he took it of a race which I almost skied in '07. New England has a history of "Inferno" races back to the '30s, with the original ones going from the top of Mount Washington to Pinkham Notch, about four miles in as little as six minutes. This one is a bit more, uh, less insane, but still descends a headwall on a downhill slope before a couple hills to the finish. He took a video, from his ski boot, of the whole thing. Definitely worth the watch.

And, for what it's worth, he's done this with his bike seat in Cross races and helmet when mountain biking.

Now, to my credit, when I went skiing in Colorado last June (oh, yessiree) I managed to take a couple videos descending the hills. Not racing, but still sort of fun:

although earlier in the day when it had been fast and wicked icy I'd forgotten my camera. Whoops.

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