Mt Washington Road Race

Mt Washington Road Race
Hannah, Madeline and Gabby go 1-2-3 up Mt. Washington in their age group

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Not to Groom Frozen Granular


Rob Bradlee is a coach who has taught lots of us how to ski better, faster and more efficiently. Coaches occasionally like to try out new things. Grooming a ski course with your face in the middle of a race is not one of his better ideas.....Ouch! Maybe helmets are next.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Valentine's Day Paintball at Gunstock


Rion O'Grady takes the silver at the Valentine's Day Paintball biathlon at Gunstock! Rion showed superior shooting skills, only missing 4 targets, which ain't easy to do with a paintball gun along with some reportedly very proficient skiing to take the Silver. Nice job!

Monday, February 23, 2009

7 CSU Juniors Named to the Junior Olympic Team!!


Seven CSU Juniors have been named to the Junior Olympic team and will be heading off to Truckee, California for some high altitude ski racing in the sweet sun of the Sierras. Those named to the team include J2s Corey Stock, Jackson Rich and Eli Hoenig. Those named to the J1 team include Olga Golovkina, Hilary Rich, Issac Hoenig and Chris Stock. Hannah Smith finished as 2nd alternate.

All of these athletes worked hard through the summer and fall and then skied most of the JOQ races to qualify. This is a phenomenal result for CSU. Only Stratton Mt. School put more people on the JO team than CSU!!! This is indicative of the team effort that includes bringing new skiers up through the E. Mass. BKSL team, the athletes, parents and coaches of the CSU team to the efforts of Weston Ski Track to provide us with excellent skiing through the winter and a good venue for our practices. Thanks to everyone who is a part of this effort!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CSU Birkie Results

Here are results for CSUers at the Birkie, at least the ones I know went. Good results and Sue's first full length Birkie since having three kids!! We will all await the stories.....

And, former CSU Junior Evelyn Dong finished in 5th place for women in 2:28:14!!

Freestyle
Alex Jospe 2:48:03, 6th 25-29, 23rd F overall
Terry McNatt 2:53:34, 64th 40-44, 462 M overall
Sue McNatt 3:20:40, 22nd 40-44, 119 F overall

Classic
Russ Keane 4:59:28, 38th 60-64, 435 M overall
Elmer Ream 5:19:43, 50th 60-64, 534 M overall

For Alex's story on the race go to her blog at: http://alexjospe.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Silver Fox Trot






Here are a few photos from today's Silver Fox Trot race in Hanover. Good conditions prevailed with lots of nice sunshine, good chili, and a relaxed atmosphere compared to Trapps. A number of CSUers and former CSUers partook the lactic acid producing pleasures of the Oak Hill course.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CSU Jackson Ski Camp

Once again the CSU Juniors had a fabulous ski camp up at Jackson. With a number of skiers in the ski house and a good many more staying with their families, on the Tuesday morning tour of the East Pasture Loop we had 30 people between juniors and parents and coaches! Five days of glorious sunshine and excellent grooming by the Jackson Ski Touring center made for fantastic skiing on all the trails and good weather for afternoon drills and interval workouts. To top it off, the same wax job (Toko Viola with Multiviola mixed in) worked for multiple workouts, reducing the time spent on waxing to a bare minimum. However, all good things come to an end and on the last morning with 8 inches of fresh, wet snow at 32F waxing finally became a challenge and we had skis with little to no kick to those sporting huge clumps of snow and our tour of the Ellis River trail was slow and short. Well, you can't have great klister conditions all the time!

The group managed to fit in several long, easy workouts followed by lunch and a nap and then technique work in the afternoon with some video review and one interval workout on The Wave. Everyone worked hard and had a good time!

Friday, February 13, 2009

CSU Juniors Score Big in State Meet!

CSU Juniors came through on top again at the state meet this year, taking the top spots in both the boys and girls races for the first time. Conditions were reportedly pretty slushy, particularly for the later boys race, but that did not deter the juniors! Corey Stock, Hannah Smith and Olga Golovkina made it a sweep for CSU of the podium spots with Blair Robinson and Jessie Pearl in the top 10. On the boys side Isaac Hoenig took the top spot for the 2nd year in a row and Chris Stock took 2nd, while Pat Joslin from Mt. Greylock took the 3rd spot on the podium. Chris Burnham and Michael Goldenberg finished in the top 10.

Mt. Greylock won both the girls and boys team competition, packing in all four of their scoring skiers in the top ten. Full results are available at: http://blogs.fasterskier.com/bnsc/2009/02/12/miaa-team-championship#more-473

CSU Girls:
1. Corey Stock
2. Hannah Smith
3. Olga Golovkina
5. Blair Robinson
9. Jessie Pearl
13. Olivia Meyerson
25. Heather Fischer
28. Kelsey Colpitts
31. Caitlin Guiney
32. Ellen Goldberg
63. Raelyn Carlyle

CSU Boys:
1. Isaac Hoenig
2. Chris Stock
7. Chris Burnham
9. Michael Goldenberg
12. Tommy Rummel
20. Neil Garrison
30. Will McCartney
34. Nick Serbedzija
35. Tim Lamere
60. Matt Worth
66. Michael Chiauzzi
69. Antoine Guillaume
73. Jake English

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Terry and the Amazing Technicolor Tires

From Terry McNatt:

A few of us can't get enough of the ski track and stayed local to race in the Massachusetts Winter Triathlon Saturday morning. The race consisted of a 5K run (2 laps), a 7.5K bike (3 laps same course) and a 6K ski (2 laps different course) all on the smoothly groomed Weston ski trails.

I was most leery of the snowy bike leg and looked into some traction options, studded tires (at $50-$75 per tire too $$), bike tire chains (looked like overkill), but decided to concoct my own. I thought why not glue some sand to my current tires? It won't last long, but I only need 7.5K. I had glue, but the only sand I could locate in the 11th hour was contained in a rainbow sand art butterfly my daughter had made. My wife was reluctant to part with such artistry, so we deferred to our daughter for a verdict. "Oh I hate that one. It's ugly and too dark". The bare honesty of youth is refreshing!, plus it means I scored the sand. After 20-30 minutes of dabbing glue here and there and dipping in rainbow grit, I have before me a pair of technicolor tires. Secret weapon or frivolous exercise, time would tell. Now I just have to wax my skis and screw some half inch spikes in my shoes.

It's 7:00 am and maybe 10 degrees and rising as I pull into Weston with my skis, ski boots, mt bike, pump, spare tube, running spikes .. jees! these triathlons require the gear. After 2 trips of gear schlepping (where's pit crew?) I'm ready to warm up. I thought my old Gary Fisher hardtail would be the be the most classic bike in the rack, but then Marshall rolls in his uber retro celeste green Bianchi. I'm guessing early 80's, pre-dating some of our fellow racers. Regardless, Marshall will surely take many scalps out there with his vintage mount. I get out for a quick ski loop, quick bike ride and quick jog with strides to cover all the bases. The course is excellent, hard packed powder and still set up solid after the chilly night. I'm wearing my usual old school CSU suit and cross country spikes covered by thin black biking booties so I don't freeze my tootsies. I'm certain I look ridiculous, sort of like a graffiti marked polar bear who just waded through a tar pit on his hind legs, but so does everyone else and there's no mirror in sight. We all take in the last minute instructions and line up. My plan is to get some cushion on the run, try not to lose sight of anyone on the bike and then hopefully eat up any leftovers on the ski leg. Of course with Weston veterans Dave Currie and Mark Jacobson it'ill be mano-a-mano on the ski, so no leftovers there.

The go command shortly after 8:00 am sends us sprinting down the first hill heading out towards the flats with the road on our left. Up the first rise and I'm sucking wind and running in around 20th place, ouch! Whether it's the too early start or Thursday's track workout, I'm less than sprightly. So much for plan A. I finally get some stride rolling up on the flats and gradually move into 4th. The leader Tony is in sight with 2 others dangling off the back and then me coming off the front of the pack. After the flats we drop down the left side of Mt Weston by the river, pop up the short steep climb by the touring center then head out on lap 2. I finally feel some life in my legs and starting bringing the gap down to the 2nd and 3rd place runners who have now teamed up and are slowly reeling in the leader. I latch on just heading down Mt. Weston, and they pick up the pace immediately after they realize I'm grabbing a draft. This is brutal, but it means we hit the transition together 2,3,4, anearobic, but a mere 20 seconds down on Tony.

I made the decision to keep my spikes on and keep the run to bike transition lickedy split. The leader did the same, but I'm guessing 2 and 3 didn't, because suddenly it's just Tony and I out on the bike course. I'm feeling quite good on the bike and try to coax up as much speed as the conditions will allow. Coming down Mt Weston I was really gaining and just told myself "Don't touch the brakes." I bogged down on the little steepy by the center and had to jump off and run the last bit cyclocross style. Finally, I made the pass just into lap 2 and then saw that Tony was riding a cross bike, so maybe those tires were just tad too slim for snow riding. At this point the riders were streaming onto the bike course, so you had to Super Mario around the many less speedy mountain bikers and avoid the ever multiplying tire ruts. The last 2 laps were ridden powered by the fear of being hunted and the adrenaline of trying to pass riders and not crash out. I was sooo looking forward to the ski.

Entering the transition zone I realized all that bare knuckle riding had left my fingers so numb I could hardly undo my helmet buckle. With no feeling in the ends of my fingers, I had too guide them by sight through the boot straps to pull on my ski boots. Then my glasses started fogging, aargh! I finally fumble through the transition and get skiing, still in the lead, but by how much? I was starting to feel good with no one on my heels, but wait! As I loop back at the end of the flats I see Dave Canuck Currie coming into view in his stealth black suit. No time for a victory lap today, so I went into Tuesday Night Lights hammer till you see stars mode for a lap. Looking across the flats again, there's Canuck Currie, gaining but I still have a cushion. Finally, I can ease up with 2 hairpins to go and enjoy the final straight to the finish line. Dave crosses in 2nd and Mark has skied himself into 3rd, so a Weston sprinter sweep over the tri gang. Plus, Marshall places 2nd in the over 45 division and 20th overall. Talk about a schoolin for the pushing 50 and other "youth" in the race.

All this thanks to my technicolor tires with the goldilocks air pressure, or was it all that "training hard in the summer and fall" that Coach Rob mentioned?

The race itself was a blast and excellently organized. Also, Weston again proved it can put on a logistically challenging event without a hitch.

Lake Placid Loppet

Here is Scott Lundquist's story from Lake Placid:

Here's my report from last weekend's races at LP. In brief, it's a great venue and tough course -- see the links at the bottom to learn more about the event for next year.
I understand that the CSU contingent that heads over to the Lake Placid Loppet gets thinner every year, but last weekend there were at least four Tuesday nighters there: me, Tom Clemow, Brett Rutledge, and Doug Jansen. In fact, I didn't meet Brett until we finished within 2 mins. of each other in the race, but that is getting ahead of the story...
Tom and I car-pooled out Friday afternoon, and for those like me who hadn't been to LP before, it presents some unique sights. Entering from the east on Rt. 73, you first come over a high pass closed in by the mountains, glimmering silver in moonlight for us, then past iced-in Chapel Pond backed by thousand-foot cliffs, before descending into the quiet hamlets of the Keene Valley; closer to LP, there are broad views to the west of the High Peaks, and then as you approach town, something incongruous, what first looked like the ugly apparatus of a cement factory, two slim concrete towers high enough to be topped by red airplane warning lights: the Olympic ski jumping runs! I've seen plenty of World Cup ski jumping on television, but you really can't appreciate the height those guys "fall" from until you're craning your neck upward to see it. (B.t.w., the Boston Globe recently published a stunning photo gallery on World Cup ski jumping, see http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/01/ski_jumping_world_cup.html ).
But we were there to race freestyle -- Tom back for his third marathon, and me opting for the one-lap, 25 km. Kortaloppet as I like that type of distance/duration, and truth be told, the two-lapper sounded daunting. Some of you may be familiar with the LP course's origins and reputation, but here is a good history lesson for those who are not (from Steve Thorne's blog at http://language.la.psu.edu/~thorne/placidloppet_2002.html -- Russian CSUers, please feel free to rise up in defense... ;- )
"We come to the base of a daunting set of inclines that were developed for the 1980 Winter Olympic games. This is a tough section that roller coasters up terrifically steep pitchs only to drop down and then reclimb higher up onto a ridge. According to 1980 Olympics lore, Lake Placid wanted to create a reputation for the fledgling North American nordic scene and so had made the 50k course super tough by creating the set of climbs I was now struggling through. When the European teams arrived they were indeed surprised at the extreme steepness of these ascents (according to race officials, the Placid Loppet is the most challenging of the American ski marathon series and is one of the toughest 50k courses on the international circuit). The Russians, however, were not merely impressed, they were pissed off. The course includes too much climbing, they argued, and they lodged both a formal protest with the Olympic committee as well as submitted a complaint to the local course planners. Their formal protest was noted but rejected. At the local level, the result was to mockingly name this portion of the course "Russian Hill", a designation that continues to be used today."
Suffice to say, I was a bit intimidated once I had seen Tom and the rest of the 50kers double pole off across the stadium field and disappear into the woods, and it was my turn to take on the unseen challenges of the course. It didn't help that I had really sweated my wax choice the day before, as Toko's recommendation to go HF Blue seemed wrong to me, given the forecast for temps rapidly rising from a low of 3F as a warm air mass would sweep in that morning, and their other recommendations for Northeastern races seemed to go with Red (I opted for more Moly because it appeared to have a wider temp range than red, then ironed in Jetstream; b.t.w., Rob B. has responded on this elsewhere). Indeed, as Tom and I changed up at the nordic center at 8am, we could feel a "warm" breeze in our faces atop the already 20 degree air, and we (not to mention the classic skiers) were disconcerted to see the center's thermometer dial move up literally by the minute. But despite all that, my skis felt reasonably fast during warm-up, I was pretty sure I'd dressed down enough, and feeling fueled-up and fresh-legged, I was ready to go.
In hindsight, the only thing I'd do differently over the entire race would be to line up in the first row instead of the third, and really work to get early position, because once we entered the trail after the first minute, I found only a few opportunities to pass anyone, and mainly felt limited to V1ing along up slightly rising ground that I could easily have V2'd faster and more efficiently if only there was room. (Hmm, haven't I learned anything from Weston starts?) It was frustrating to watch skiers a little further ahead slowly get away, but perhaps the forced conservatism was a good thing, as by the time the course steepened past the 5km. aid station and I got behind #467 (a local, Ed Lis) to stay, there was plenty of work to be had.
Suffice to say that, even when ranked in the company of Sugarloaf and Craftsbury (spring fling), this is the toughest course I've ever skied, just relentless hills -- never a long steady incline, but a succession of pitches, quick drops, turns, and more pitches, hardly ever 30 seconds of rest, and never a straight flat or sidehill like at Craftsbury (my usual benchmark for "hilly"). Sometimes I felt a bit held back by #467 as we labored in our V1s, but I was still reaching the top of each pitch pretty maxed out, at times swaying a bit like a prizefighter who'd just took a shot in the head. At least we were holding our places, and on the few occasions when we could see ahead more than 10 yards, I caught glimpses of the next group not that far ahead, a few blue-suited skiers and a collegiate woman racer (and likely Brett, although I never saw him). The first few downhills on rubbery legs didn’t go very well, but by the time we hit the “rollercoaster hills” coming up on 10 km., I forced myself into form, keeping those arms ahead, trying hard to step-step-step and carry some speed, athough there was so much snow-berming from the prior skiers that it was still touch-and-go on a lot of the turns. We came past the 10 km. aid station, where I grabbed another half cup of gatorade and kept chasing #467, and soon thereafter we were climbing again, up to a short height, a turn, then up some more, etc., more heart-hammering V1, trying to keep the skis underneath me and keep them moving, through the huge rollercoaster dip I’d read of, twice as big as that on Jackson's East Pasture loop but easy despite the speed; and more climbing, until a particularly steep section where my companion started “coach's skating” (poling on same side as the skate, like an extended herringbone), and I tried it too and it worked as well as anything else.
Somewhere on that wall, working intensely hard, I said out loud, “now I know what the Russians were complaining about,” and looked up to see the rise continue to sweep up far to the right, with a cluster of skiers approaching the height of land. I did not know then that this was indeed the infamous Russian Hill, and it was only much later that I realized it was already behind me, thankfully. Soon after that we started to descend back to the stadium, including a rip-roaring straight shot down where I was pretty sure I hit my maximum speed on XC skis ever, just hanging on and thankful I made it, esp. around a right-hand bend soon thereafter where I carried a lot of speed, past the watchful first aid guy in red, almost wiping out in the soft snow banked on the left, but somehow staying on my feet. Not elegant, but hey, still moving forward, good enough for me.
Once past the stadium field around 15 km. in, the course shoots through a road tunnel and enters the "biathlon side" for the last 10 km. of the loop -- not easy, but easier, more rolling and with places to actually use Weston-style skating (V2, Alt-V2). By then I'd tried to get past #467 a few times, but had found he was faster on the downhills and I had to be patient. Finally, with the finish line just 5 km. away I felt it was time to go, and from there on in I skated as hard as I could, consciously recalling the good hard workouts I'd done at Great Brook this year and letting them propel me to the line. There had been increasing numbers of two-lappers (with yellow bibs) to pass on the biathlon side, and just before a short pitch I encountered Tom skating well nearly halfway through his race, gave him some encouragement, and thought, thank god I'm not doing this a second time... I managed to catch one more skier in my race in the last km. (the second woman), promptly crashed going too fast on a final short left-turning downhill, bounced up immediately, and repassed, to end up 19th overall in 1:26:40. That was good enough for 2nd in the 45-49 age group (my first ski medal; yeah, it was out of a group of six, but still exciting), and that was how I met Brett while we were standing around looking at the results, as he won our age group, 16th overall in 1:24:55. It figures that we'd have to drive nearly five hours from Weston to actually meet!
I'm sure Brett has his separate story to tell, and also Tom, who sliced another 17 minutes off his previous best to finish the marathon in 3:39:22, 4th in the 55-59 group. I noticed that Doug had already posted his race story on his blog by Sunday morning, well worth a read ( http://hilljunkie.blogspot.com/ ); he was 18th in the marathon in 3:06:33. Overall, an impressive showing by the flatlanders, eh? I'd only add that the post-race lasagna dinner and awards ceremony was a nice chance to socialize and recoup those expended calories (incl. complimentary beer and wine), and judging from the raffle the event is well-supported by sponsors as well as the LP community.
If you're interested in trying it next year, Ken Roberts has a thorough description of the race course in his blog, at: http://www.roberts-1.com/xcski/lpl/route/index.htm ). The official website at http://www.orda.org/newsite/events/2008/loppet/index.php has a course map. The local paper put up a photo gallery of the races at http://cu.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/pages/gallery.php?gallery=297838 but I'm still looking for something with photos of the course. Hmm, where could I find a video of that 1980 Winter Olympic games race?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Talented at Trapps!


CSU Juniors scored big again at this weekend's JOQ races at Trapps. In the J2 races Jackson Rich and Corey Stock won both days with Hannah Smith finishing 7th in skate and 3rd in classic and Eli Hoenig 4th in skate and 3rd in classic. It sure was nice seeing all those CSU jackets up on the podium! The other really notable race came in today's wild and wooly classic race, which included not only the college carnival skiers, but also the Super Tour skiers. In the women's race Olga Golovkina finished a truly outstanding 9th place!!

Mother Nature threw the book of wild winter weather at us today starting with some light mist and temps in the 40s overnight to sleet when we arrived at the race venue, through heavy snow and howling winds to dropping temperatures as the sun came out. Rob and I tried any number of wax combinations starting with straight klister, klister covered, straight hardwax and then back to klister covered and nothing was good everywhere. BUT, we also tried our hairies and those worked great as did waxless ARs and Crowns, so all the kids went out on hairies or waxless and the results show that worked wonderfully. In the men's race the tracks really iced up and nothing was perfect, although ARs were probably respectable nearly everywhere. NENSA put up an excellent photo by Kris Dobie that shows just what kind of a day it was during the J2 race at: http://www.nensa.net/news/news_more.php?id=3152

A wild and successful weekend for CSU!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Craftsbury Marathon!!

Craftsbury was awesome! For nice photos that give you a great sense of the day see the ones that Kris Dobie shot at: http://krisdobie.smugmug.com/

My story:

It was one incredibly awesome day of skiing. I was part way through the 2nd lap when I looked very briefly around at some scenery, the sun was bright, the snow was perfect, the tracks were awesome and my wax had killer kick and I just had to stand up for a brief, smell the roses moment, and say to myself that this was a great day to be alive and what better way than to test yourself in a ski race in Vermont!
But back to the race....I spent most of it chasing the mirages of Ron Newbury and Peter Harris. They passed me somewhere early on section 2 of the 1st lap and slowly, every so slowly, inch by inch, disappeared, only to reappear on straight-aways or longer uphills, or out on the lakes, but ever so close and yet ever so far away. Then on lap 2 Chris Osgood floated by and so I hooked on to that smooth striding train but again, ever so slowly the elastic band that connects you to the guy you are chasing stretched until it snapped and he was gone too. A bit frustrating perhaps, but it was a good sign of my fitness and skiing that I remained ever hopeful that one of those guys was going to bonk and I would haul them back in like landing a giant fish after giving it some time to run. I had company for all of lap 2, a guy hanging behind me, sometimes clipping my skis but mostly just there, but making noises, talking, grunting on nearly every hard section......it was annoying! I mean, I spit and blow my nose, but this guy had a cacophony of noises and that drives me nuts! Plus, I was doing all the work and he was just sitting back there grunting. Finally, coming down Sam's Run I moved over and said it was his turn and I tucked in on the downhills for a nice draft into the strengthening wind and a brief respite. I now started focusing on when I'd lose this guy or would he stick like glue for the last 5km. I passed on the switchback uphills in Elinor's Field but he got back on my tail. I grapped a last feed quickly and pulled out, but he was there. We caught up to a couple people heading back to town (and I deftly dodged a tourer down in the middle of the last S turn) and he was there. We started up through the pine trees on the last, brutal climb.....I was now seeing stars and my legs didn't have much left on those little herringbone sections.....and he was still there. We passed a bonked kid and nearly caught up to Dave Roberts......and he was hanging tight. We headed out across the open fields, the cold wind knifing through my sweaty clothes, causing the stars I was seeing to now glow....and he was still there. We rounded the parking lot and I was asking myself when he'd make a move.....he sat back. At the road crossing I went, but there wasn't much left in the tank, the gears were slipping and the stars were getting brighter.....he stuck like glue. Onto the Common, in the best Weston tradition, I grabbed the inside track for the last turn, controlling the corner....and finally it started....double pole frenzy for the last 100 meters and I even gave a shot at shooting my foot forward.....I'd kept him at bay just barely.
It was a good day. Not as fast as I'd have liked, but it was too good to care much about that. For the first time in many years I had not bonked or had some kind of waxing disaster and the conditions were unbelievably good.
I stood there at the finish line, the stars now swirling around and as they slowly subsided I looked down at this little girl standing with her mom and asked her if she could undo my bindings and she happily obliged. It was a good day.....

Victor's Story:


I didn't have much time to wax. But, thanks to conditions, it wasn't hard and time consuming. I applied couple layers of VR40, checked - it worked alright. Then saw Frank who told me, that he used VR30 "with some VR40" (what does it mean? - I guessed at that time). Puzzled, I decided not to experiment, added more VR40 and, to pacify my mind, covered with thin layer of VR30. Rushed to start, some nice man let me squeeze into the middle of the crowd and, in few second, we started.
Remembering my previous years problems in this race, I decided to ski at a relaxed manner - no rushes, no staying with somebody next to me at any cost, just listen to my body, work hard enough but not over 3000 rpm. Slowly, I was able to pass few people, I usually ski close to - mostly on downhills and on flats, trying to squeeze reasonable maximum from double/kick-double poling. At the end of the 1-st loop I met Jamie Doucett and Bob Burnham starting their 2-d one. I was not too far behind, what pacified me that my pace is OK and I have to proceed in such manner. Most of the 2-d loop I was trying to stay with #98 (Jason Urckfitz). We skied pretty even, but he was able to keep always some distance. He was slipping a bit and switching to herring-boning on occasional steep parts, but glided well on flats and did well on gradual up-hills with diagonal stride. By the end of Sam's leg and before up-hill on the field, he slowed a bit, maybe been annoyed by me staying behind. And, as a man of honor, I had to go forward to pull both of us. Remembering that he's good on up-hills, I was pretty sure, he'll pass me back. But, again, I was pacifying myself - no panic, no rush, don't exhaust yourself. He stayed behind. On the final hill to Craftsbury Common, I finally realized, how tired am I. The thought, not to loose those small achievements I had, pushed me step-by-step to finish.
I have to confirm once more - the day and skiing conditions were excellent. Maybe the first time in few years of doing this race, it was not like a disastrous thing I have to pass through but rather, though not easy, a normal race. I had kick till the finish. I felt pretty well in the race. And, it was a surprise for myself, I was not hungry or thirsty. I started initially drink after each lap (4-5 km), but realized that I feel like overstuffed. So I switched to once per 10 km pattern. And I didn't feel any need to eat (in previous years, I started to consume gel after 30-35 km).
That's it, in brief. Beautiful lyrics about shining sun at the beginning of the race and swirling stars in head by the end one can find in the essay by James Doucett.
Thanks,
Victor.




Mass Classic Qualifier

CSU Juniors had another great day at Sunday's Massachusetts Classic Qualifier. This race, combined with the times from the Skate Qualifier, determine who will represent Massachusetts at the J2 Festival and the Eastern High School Championships. On the boy's side CSU placed 9 on the team of 24 for EHS and on the girl's side 8 CSUers are on the team. For the J2 festival, 5 CSU boys are on the team of 20 and 7 on the girl's side. Congratulations to you all!

I only had time to take photos of the boys race since we were applying lots of klister and couldn't get away to watch.