Saturday, December 20, 2008



The race today at Woodland was on very good conditions, although the skiers chewed up the new snow, especially on the hills, so they were slow and choppy. As we left the groomer was pulling the roller. Also, the new Stoney Rollers trail at the end of Terminal Moraine at Woodland is fantastic. The hills are well graded and well banked, the curves are perfect and the ups and downs quite fun. It seems to be well graded so far, so even without a ton of snow the conditions were great.

With new snow falling, the drive to Elk River was interesting. I was doing about 50 on 280 but when we got on to 35W there was a car, upright, facing the wrong direction, about fifteen feet up an embankment on the side of the road. We didn't go much faster than 50 the rest of the way, without incident (except thinking we missed the turnoff to Highway 10).

The race itself was nice, slow and suited for my soft RCSes. I didn't go out particularly hard and was fine with letting the pack drop me on the first uphill. (We used the Prairie Loop backwards start, for which I take credit from last year's MLK short notice race. It works great to thin the field.) I skied in and out of a couple packs for most of the first lap and then found my way in to leading a pack for the second lap. My sunglasses had been on for, oh, all of 4k before they were hopelessly fogged up and pretty much useless. Oh, well.

Around the end of Stony Rollers I started to let someone else lead, saying they might be able to go faster, but they told me that they liked my pace. With no wind, I didn't really mind leading on. With a few K to go—we dropped off Wash Pond, so around Scouring, we saw a group ahead, and worked to reel them in by North Mickey. Hitting the little hill before Prairie, I was about fifth in a pack of seven and realised that no one else in the pack knew the course—it was 700 flat meters to the end. I made my move and jumped in to third place and started sprinting, catching up to the top two racers. One beat me legit. The other beat me according to results but I'd protest that if I cared. It was a good finish.

We went and skied a half a lap before deciding that it was cold and we were done. The slaves were headed out to pack the new snow when we left. With the snow it was a long drive back to Saint Paul.

And the best part of the race? I got girled, but except for Bjorn Batdorf (who is a pretty good skier), so did everyone else. And he only beat Caitlin by four seconds.


Oh look, Bruce took lots of pictures (thanks to

Oh hey look it was snowing.

Despite the fact that 16k we'd be in the exact same position, I didn't ski right behind Mary Beth the whole way.

The race leaders. Seriously, Caitlin is leading the race, and came within 4 seconds of winning.

Jakob finishes, all alone. The next picture in the photoset shows him looking at his watch, or something.

I get ready to spring. I think I won. But I am not an objective opinion.

I can only get to two trails at most, on a good day! Check out all the trail reports at

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