Sunday, December 20, 2009

Woodland race report

Woodland did the best with what they had for the race, which was just barely enough. It would have been nice to have not been routed on the asphalt, but what are you going to do? With some new snow (check) and a good roll and groom, they'll probably to get it back in good shape, although there is enough dirt at the surface that it'll need a good snow before it is perfect again.

The registration, day-of (because I was way too lazy to register online and don't mind giving Elk River a few extra dollars) was $35, and I had $33 in bills in my wallet. And lots of quarters. I think I started the race with about five Euros and $1.50 in my back pocket (proverbially, my wallet was in the car). I warmed up with Zach Handler to the X and back (skipping Gravity Box) and felt okay, and went and lined up for the start.

Because of the snow, the usual start that I came up with a couple years ago (backwards on the winder prairie loop and through the start to thin the field) wasn't possible, so several dozen of us went, in 100 meters, from a 30-meter-wide course to a 3-meter wide trail, which meant that those folks who got up to the front did well and those who didn't, well, fought it out on the trail for quite a while. About a kilometer in someone fell in front of a pack of us and we all stacked up, which would be a theme for the day. Craig Ruud blamed his wife (nice, Craig) and we strung out along the trail. The skiers were tightly packed and one competitor (who shall not be named) kept yelling at people about watching their poles. Seriously? I mean, either ski further behind us or way out in front, but don't ski where my poles are being planted.

Anyway, the race hit the Stony Rollers which were kind of grassy, and headed back through the rest of the course and on towards the lap, where there were some very thin areas over asphalt. I hit asphalt once and scraped a bit of laminate off my skis, which makes my skis look badass (oh, wood on the side? yeah). Then it was in to a second lap and I wasn't feeling particularly peppy, and finished in 1:07 which is not very good, but whatever. With a lot of kids back from college and some potential olympians leading out (everyone is home for Christmas, although the field is probably not as stacked as next week's Boxing Day Como race, which, at least, is groomed out real wide) I wasn't going to place real well, although I'd have liked to have a better percent back.

Of course, I'm not planning to peak in December. To the rollerboard!

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