Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rangeley Marathon

Lots of CSUers made the long trek up to Rangeley for the marathon on Saturday. Driving up Friday on a perfect, cold, blue-sky day had me looking forward to getting in a short ski. However, the snow was incredibly slow as it had been -24F the night before. That didn't matter anyway with the snowstorm coming. In anticipation the race crew delayed the start by 1 hour to give people more time to drive in the morning. 3-4 inches had fallen by morning and it was snowing pretty hard and continued to snow hard all day. In addition, just to make things more interesting, the wind came on strong, whipping the tent around and blowing in any tracks that had been set for the 25km classic race, which went off first an hour before the skate races. Waxing, for once, was stick, but there wasn't much, if any, track left to ski in. Chris City took 3rd overall in the men's race and first in his age-group. Liz City was first in her age group. Bob Fitzpatrick was 7th in M5 and George Atkinson 2nd in M7. Chris reported that while the wax was great there were basically no tracks to ski in so it was pretty slow going.

Then it was the skater's turn. Andy Milne, along with a number of other people, placed their skis at the starting line and then went to check in because it was taking so long. Several hundred yards down the course after the gun went off Andy realized that something was amiss. The whole field was passing him.....doing double pole! Now that just isn't right! At that point Andy realized he had someone else's skis on and they were dogs.....He struggled through the entire first lap and when he came through the 25km lap he skied over to switch to another pair of his own skis. Things improved from there but he was never able to catch back up with the group he felt he should have been with even though he "skied like a man possessed!"

It was a tough day out there with the snow coming down, the wind blowing and it being a bit soft. The trail was in pretty good shape and if you stayed in the middle and kept your V2 and V2 alt short then your skis didn't sink in too bad. It got pretty soft on the steeper uphills and on at least one occasion I got completely stood up by the wind. I switched to the 25km because I'd been sick, which was a good move as I barely made it through even the shorter distance, fading badly in the last 7km. I was first in M5, Lisa Doucett was 2nd in her age group, Irene Melnikova was 4th in M4, Erin Dubinski finished 2nd amongt OJs and Jim Miller was 3rd in M7.

In the marathon, the race was won by Pat Weaver in 2:31:03 and the top woman was Hannah Dreissigacker in 3:05:17. Alex Jospe was 2nd Senior woman, admitting that "it was a very long race". Jon Peterson was 9th Sr male, Tom Clemow 9th M6, Michael Melnikov 3rd and Brett Rutledge 5th in M4, Andy Milne was 5th and Victor Golovkin 11th in M3.

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