Saturday, January 21, 2012

White Mt. Chase, Jackson, NH

Today it was the Masters chance to race, with a few seniors mixed in, at the White Mt. Chase in Jackson.  It finally looked like winter up there with about 6-8" of new snow on top of some crusty stuff they had.  Thanks to the fluffy new snow the tracks and skiing were excellent.  Add in lots of NE masters skiers, the one day club championship and picturesqe winter weather for a great day of racing.

CSU brought up its usual big, fast team to contest the club championship.  Racers included Ben Smeltzer, Frank Feist, Andy Milne, Rob Bradlee, John Sakalowski, Bob and Anne Burnham, Greg Werner, Jamie and Lisa Doucett, Sarah Gates, Jody Newton, Tom Smith, Robert Faltus, Victor Golovkin, Michael Melnikov, Joe Bouscaren, Mark Doughty, Tom Simon, Charlie Kellogg, Alec Smith and Irina Melnikova.  Quite the crowd!   

Victorious Men's Team

It was about 8F in the morning, but calm and cloudy. By the time Lisa and I got up to the ski center there were flurries coming down.  Waxing was not difficult. I bumped my wax up to Rode Super Blue covered with mint and Rob was suggesting Toko Viola covered with Toko Blue, which is what I put on Lisa's skis.  I ended up having great skis and they were pretty fast too. After an all too short warmup, testing my skis partway up Yodel, we lined up with a good crowd of mostly masters skiers.  The start went off well,  as the field started to spread out quickly due in part to the slow snow.  Unfortunately, somewhere in there Andy went down and had to scramble, skiing between the tracks, for a while to move back up toward the front. 

Yodel was, as always, a difficult climb to start a race on.  I was clearly not warmed up enough and realized that I was going to suffer a bit, so didn't press too hard.  However, I wasn't stuck in a train, like others further back, so that was a good thing.  I keyed on Bob Burnham, trying to hang with his group, which worked well for a while.  I recovered a bit in the Eagle Mt. fields, catching a glimpse of the big front pack with Frank and Andy in there and probably Ben and Rob as well.  Then we headed up.  I couldn't hang with the Burnham group on the steeper hills and faded back, not sking particularly well, relieved at last to head down the Wave back to the flat fields and double poling and kick DP.  The downhills were really nice with the new snow.  No ice to contend with, they were totally skiable and fun.  At the first feed Ron Newbury passed me.  Ron and I have had some really fun duels over the years and that got me rolling. I wanted to get a gap on the flats since Ron climbs well, so picked up the pace for the rest of that loop.  Miraculously, I remembered how to ski classic and did much better on the hills on lap two.  I really enjoyed the downhills again, trying to find the best line and be smooth on the corners and, coincidentally, getting a nice rest.  Now on to my part of the course, the flats!  With rollerski kick and thinking of all those Littleton rollerskis, I started working the fields pretty hard and managed to pass a couple people.  Since the course wound back and forth all over the fields there were skiers going every which way making it hard to tell who was in front and who was behind.  Now I developed a little problem....triceps cramps.  I readjusted my DP to save my arms and the sports drink I got at the feed seemed to help. Finally, down Yodel to the finish.  Only a couple more hills, I got up those without my arms cramping and then hammered to the finish, not quite catching a Bethel skier.  Turns out he had triceps cramps too.  I'd had a good, solid race and was very happy. 

After grabbing my warmups I went back to Yodel to see Anne Burnham, Jody Newton, Lisa and Sarah Gates come down the big hill and finish. 

As the race wound down, Team Captain Andy scored the men's and women's finishes for CSU and at lunch it was announced that the men had regained the one day champions trophy due to great sking by a bunch of CSUers and the women took home the silver in a fine effort.  Not bad for flatland skiers!  Best finish for CSU was Ali Crocker's first place overall!  Just about everyone seemed to have had a good race as you can see in the race results.  Race results can be found HERE

An excellent day for CSU!!

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