Grabbed this from a TOKO eblast. Evelyn is a former CSU junior who has been skiing ever since. She won this year's Boulder Mt. Tour. Some good discussion of race prep and listening to your wax sponsor!!
Evelyn Dong (formerly of CSU and Middlebury) leaving a pack of elite wave men behind on a gradual downhill
Field Report from the Winner - Boulder MT Tour
The 2011 Boulder Mountain Tour was my fifth year doing this race, which I can hardly believe. 2007 was my first BMT and I'd like to say that I've come a long way in experience. Although, sometimes I feel like I'm right back at where I started. Winning in 2007 came as a surprise - I had done only one 30 km before that in my life and that race was more of a tour, not a race. This year, I came to the start line with a few more marathon races under my belt. I also came to the start line on time... which was a first for me. I can't say I have everything figured out about race prep but I've learned a few things along the way and it helped me out before this year's Boulder.
I started testing skis one hour before the start. Before a longer race like the Boulder, I don't need too much of a warmup but I also still need time to test skis AND get a decent warmup in. Testing was simple because I kept it simple. I waxed two pairs of skis the same way, starting with a Toko HF Blue underlayer and the same top coat. Waxing two pairs of skis differently may work for some people but I need to have as little to think about as possible on race morning. So, I preferred not to complicate things. My stiffer ski was clearly faster so I took those off and continued my warmup on my softer pair.
I've learned from this race that there is little opportunity to cool down skiing so I packed my race bag with running shoes so that I could throw those on at the finish and jog. After placing my bag, which also had my recovery food in it and a dry shirt, at the right sign, I made it to the start with time to spare.
And then, we were off! When the gun goes off, I try to forget everything else except the race. I don't think about if my skis are slower or faster than the girls' next to me, how much I was able to sleep the night before, if I had a good enough warmup, or anything else that I won't be able to change at that moment. Even if everything didn't perfectly leading up to the race, I pretend that it did. I think about my plan for the race and adapt that to how the race is playing out. And, I've realized that there is only so much you can control during the race - I have to trust all the work that I put in this summer and fall.
I can't deny that skis made a huge difference for the race. I received an email from Ian Harvey the night before the race in which he repeatedly emphasized importance of stiffer skis in these conditions. A synopsis of the email would go like this:
1. use stiffer skis
2. stiffer skis will be faster
3. you could use soft skis but they will be slow
4. therefore, use stiff skis
Needless to say, I was heavily influenced by this.
Just in case you thought I've matured as a ski racer and have everything lined up, I did manage to forget to bring a ski jacket to the start so I had to warmup in expedition-weight down jacket. If you saw someone looking uncomfortably hot and ready to strip down to their race suit, that was probably me.