With two days of timing now under my belt, I feel like a pro! The day was perfect for racing, a little cold to start but sunny skies and beautiful views. Being in the timing building throughout the morning gets me pumped up for racing. I watched technique and listened for course conditions. Many of our racers compete in both disciplines, skating and classic, and there are some athletes that race in all three categories; skate, classic and snowshoe! I haven’t perfected my classic technique nor have invested in the equipmen,t so I’ll hold off on that for a while. I decided I’d take the double challenge – skating and snowshoeing. I have been racing Triathlon for three summers so I used that experience to prepare my equipment. I fit my snowshoes to my sneakers, previewed the snowshoe course and brought all my stuff with me to the start. But, first up, was the ski.
I warmed up and inspected the first tricky corner of the course. The turn is a little less than 90° so it can be a bit of a challenge. I felt ready to put the techniques I learned to the test. I took a lesson from Susan and was hoping to finish a little faster and smoother than the previous week. I thought my hopes were crushed, that 20 minutes of racing was perhaps the sloppiest I have ever skied in my life. I fell on the tricky corner, planted a pole on the inside of my ski and actually held it together, and found myself way more off balance and flailing a bit more than usual. Somehow I managed to finish 10 seconds faster than the week before. I took a few minutes and grabbed some water then put on my snowshoes. In the sport of racing there is a saying “Don’t try something new on race day” Well, I went against that and ran in snowshoes for the first time. It was a little awkward but I figured it out and got an excellent work out for the day! My body has been trained to run tired; it’s the last leg of a Triathlon, so I was smart in skiing first. Who knows what would have happened if I tried to ski after snowshoeing 3 kilometers. Although technique-wise I didn’t have a great race, I had a blast and found myself laughing…at myself, so it was a good day overall. If there were only more hours in the work day, I’d take the challenge again.